Paul Allor's first limited series in the TMNT universe -- and I say first because TURTLES IN TIME was announced today -- comes to an end with this third chapter. With this final issue, the writer not only gives proper closure for the three main characters, but also does a tremendous job teasing what's to come.
Obviously, General Krang is the primary focus of this limited series, but Fugitoid and Baxter Stockman by no means feel cast aside, either. As this issue shows us the final steps General Krang took to assure the survival of his people (and whether his father is in one of those tanks), we're also given a proper insight into Fugitoid and Baxter's minds after their violent encounter. On the surface, these may seem like one-dimensional characters and understandably so. However, if this mini-series accomplishes one thing, it's proving that couldn't be any further from the truth. This has absolutely given us a detailed look at who these three individuals truly are and why there's so much potential with each of them.
Andy Kuhn and Bill Crabtree once again present some fantastic images of the Utroms, Fugitoid and General Krang. The little aliens look so lively and you can almost feel the squishy texture (or at least I assume it's squishy) on their heads. They also do a commendable job with each and every character's expression, further bringing these individuals to life as they are filled with shock, anger, determination, and more. Plus, their take on Fugitoid is adorable.
Truth be told, I would have loved to see Allor have a little more space with this story. It would have been great to see the Triceratons get more attention so we could better appreciate their side of the war. It would be a bummer if this was it for their role in the rebooted universe, so hopefully there's more plans for them down the road. And maybe it's just me, but I thought it was a little odd to have them imply the Technodrome will soon be complete. We never received a glimpse of the progress and the focus has been on restoring power/saving the Utroms from their immediate problem.
I obviously enjoy Kuhn's work on the aliens, but personally, I'm not the biggest fan of his more crowded panels. The ships flying through the sky feel a little too cartoonish for my taste and it's a big contrast to his work on panels that offer mid-shots or even close-ups. Lastly, his close-ups of the Turtles aren't exactly for me, either. The details surrounding the cheeks and mouths tend to give them a look that just doesn't feel right to me. It feels drastically different from what we've seen from other TMNT artists
Very minor gripe: the part that covers Shredder's mouth appears to be the same material as the rest of his helmet. However, Shredder uses what appears to be a cloth or some other less durable substance to cover his mouth in this universe. Like I said, it's a very minor gripe.
TMNT: UTROM EMPIRE #3 wraps everything up quite well and Allor handles it in a way that gives the scenes more of a cinematic feeling. Not only are we given a proper conclusion to the events between the three big characters, but we're also struck by an absolutely massive teaser for the franchise's future. Seriously, it's huge and demands to be read by any TMNT fan.
TMNT: UTROM EMPIRE did exactly what it set out to do. It made Krang a far more compelling character, expanded the universe's mythos, and did a great job fleshing out a couple of the supporting characters. Now we just have to wait and see where this trio will appear next.