Andy Kuhn's art was met with mixed opinions, but that's a conversation we no longer need to have because there's a new artist on-board: Ben Bates. The transition is a fluid one. The book has a similar appearance, although it feels more polished and the facial work is far more solid. So, if you were part of the crowd that fled the title due to the artwork, this should no longer be an issue.
The team is in a rough spot -- physically and emotionally -- after their vicious fight with Slash (last issue). I was thrilled to see writers Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman have Master Splinter step up to the plate and provide some mandatory insight. The speech might be long-winded, but it's a good one and was a necessary band-aid for their wounds.
There's a big brawl in the end of this issue, and while it's not brutal like the one with Slash, it's pleasantly fun. Long time Turtle fans are surely going to enjoy seeing Donny duck his head into his shell to dodge an attack and will absolutely get a nice sense of deja vu with the cliffhanger.
We also get a quick update on Shredder and Karai. While it's nothing extraordinary, it does flesh out the details for what's to come. This in combination with the Slash/Old Hob team-up and Krang means there's a lot of exciting trouble down the road.
Seeing Mikey with his tongue out as he leapt into combat made me feel like a kid again and root for the team instead of being frustrated over the blatant misunderstanding that was taking place. Moreover, General Krang doing Darkseid's menacing pose while watching a city engulfed in flames was quite chilling, too.
Those who turned their backs on this title because of the art should definitely reconsider their choice. The new art warrants giving IDW's reboot another shot. It's sporting a smoother presentation and there are far fewer awkward faces.
Art aside, this new take on the classic franchise proves month after month that it's a blast and likely something any fan of the franchise (be it new or old) will love. It's worth noting that this can also function as a jumping on point. Though if you do, I still highly recommend eventually checking out the previous stories as they're release in TPBs.