Review: IDW TMNT #13

For 12 wonderful issues, IDW Publishing has brought us a steady pace of awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle issues.  With the great team of Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman and Dan Duncan, the kept us on our toes from issue to issue.  I really have felt it and loved each of those 12 issues.  I speak highly of this comic to many people as I tell everyone about the new comics from IDW, wIth the twists and turns they threw at us.  It’s been outstanding and a real treat.  With issue 13 though, sad news has come to us all.  Dan Duncan has another job and is now no longer part of the new TMNT series.  However, the surprise for me was the artist they brought in to take over for him in these next few issues.

The name hit me as we were told who was taking his place, as I recall all of my reviews.  There’s only one review I’ve done for the TMNT comics where I was hard on the artist.  Not because this artist can not draw, as his humans and backgrounds look great, it’s his design for the Ninja Turtles that kills me.  Andy Kuhn, the artist who did the Michelangelo issue from the Micro series, is taking over the regular series.  The style he used for the Turtles in the Michelangelo issue was distracting from the story and I fear the same will happen now with the ongoing series.  With a little hope that he may change his style to match that of the on going series, I go on to reading this issue.

The first page comes up and right away we have the Turtles.  Michelangelo and Raphael are playing a game that many of us remember from our childhood.  Don’s helping them, as Leonardo is watching.  It’s a fun family moment.  Though as I feared, this style of the Turtles is something that really throws me off.  I do not have anything against Andy Kuhn.  It’s just that his choice in how to draw the Turtles is something that I do not want to ‘have’ to get use to seeing.

After the family fun, we learn that Splinter has been on the edge since his fight with the Foot, and Mike is worried about him.  Leo tries to help take this edge off by offering to play the game with Mike.  I do like the writing in this scene, though I still can not connect to the artwork here.  We go into Splinter’s mind who is really serious as he watches his sons play and not sure if they’re ready for what is to come.  As if this was not enough on all of them, Casey falls into the place, bloody.  He was beaten by his drunk father, as seen in IDW TMNT Micro Series #6.  Raph gets really pissed about this and goes running out to take on Casey’s dad.  Splinter goes after him, seeing April on his way out, who is taken aback  when she sees Casey.

Now I don’t mind how Splinter is drawn by Andy, I like this new style here.  April and Casey also work.  I don’t mind how they’re drawn at all.  It is only the design of the four Turtles that keeps distracting me from the story and not getting the feeling that could be brought to these comics.  Tom’s writing is still amazing as ever.

Next we come up to a fight scene of Karai taking down Foot Soldiers.  She looks like she’s doing really well for herself.  Though as soon as she’s done, Shredder tells her to do it again.  The two of them get into a long talk of how she feels she’s a leader.  Though Shredder proves to her in his own way that she is not a leader nor is she fit to be his second in command.  The only reason she is not killed is because she is blood related to him.  Also during this scene we learn that Karai made the choice to bring Shredder back to life.  It should be interesting to see where this all leads.

Really this for me has been the best scene in the comic.  Andy’s art of Karai is dead on.  I love the glare in her eyes when she says “Excuse Me?” after Shredder tells her to go again.  Andy’s strength is his human characters and it really shows through here.  The full fight scenes and flashbacks here at the Foot base is a piece of art.  Pages that could be hanging on a wall as display.

Back to the Second Time around shop,  April and Casey are sitting together as April is shocked to learn this part about Casey’s life.  She’s annoyed that he never told her as they have a serious conversation.  The three Turtles are right there.  I think I finally realize why this design of the Turtles trouble me so much.  They look old. I mean not old like in their 30’s or 40’s... but old as if they’re in their 60’s.  They look very frail with a lot of age to them.  Sorry Andy, but that is how I’m viewing this design.  Though I still love the humans and backgrounds.

Meanwhile, Baxter Stockman has found himself waking up in a lab.  As he explores the lab, he learns Krang’s secrets.  Krang has now revealed himself and says the two of them have a lot to talk about.  This could be interesting to watch how it grows into a story.  This sort of reminds me of how the 4Kids series went.  Baxter working for Shredder and later learning he’s an alien.  I can’t wait to see what more Tom has in store for us.

The last scene of this comic is the biggest shock and surprise for me in the full book as Raphael goes in to attack Casey’s father.  The fight goes into motion, though the cliff hanger we’re left at could go either way right now.  To find out what this cliff hanger is, go pick up issue 13 of TMNT!

Overall, the writing is wonderful and this issue has a lot of great information, character growth, and action.  Though I’m not so sure about Andy taking on the main IDW series, not because he’s not a good artist as I see the scenes with his human characters I almost forget he’s the same person who draws those Turtles.  It’s these designs of the turtles that’s throwing me off.  If I was to ever meet Andy and ask for a sketch I would ask for Karai, Shredder, April, Splinter or Casey as they look great to me.

Have you read issue 13 of IDW TMNT yet?  If so please feel free to share a review here.  All Comments, Reviews and questions are welcomed below!

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