Who is Alopex and why should you care? Writer Brian Lynch and artist Ross Campbell set out to answer that question and I think they did a phenomenal job. Up until now, Alopex hasn't had all that much time to shine. She's mostly been presented as a rather formidable mutation, and while this issue certainly shows more of that, it also brings a whole lot of heart to the character and breathes so much more life into the villain.
Despite the TMNT universe being immersed in the stellar event 'City Fall,' you really don't need to do any homework before diving into this issue. Lynch does a more than able job crafting a very satisfying standalone story which not only delivers a much appreciated dose of action and rather awesome melees, but also revisits Alopex's origin story in a refreshing manner. We take a stroll down memory lane with Alopex as memories of her pre-mutation life come flashing back to her. The life of a fox may not seem all that enthralling, but Lynch does an fine job connecting it to her current dilemma and wrapping everything up in a way that'll definitely make you want to keep an eye on the character.
Campbell does a terrific job with the illustrations. You can feel the speed and force behind each vicious attack in the two big melees and he successfully animates the variety of locations. From a sleek corporate office to a snow-covered forest, the environments are every bit as engrossing as the characters. It's a detailed yet slightly cartoonish and animated look and that's a perfect fit for this universe. As for the coloring, each location often has a certain tone to it, but there's always something vivid thrown into the mix and gives each scene a unique and vivid appearance. This holds particularly true during the final moments and it really pays off. There's some really fantastic illustrations of Shredder to be found in the final scene.
No major complaints. IDW continues to do an awesome job expanding the TMNT universe.
This micro-series issue accomplishes exactly what it set out to do: prove Alopex is an interesting character and worthy of her own issue. Before reading this, I wasn't sold all that much on the mutant, but a tight script, strong plot developments and solid visuals have made me do a total 180. If you're digging the current TMNT stuff, you definitely need to pick this up. Based on this chapter, it seems clear she may play a bigger role as 'City Fall' continues.