Review: IDW TMNT Micro Series #4

IDW has been keeping us on our toes with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, and this month we got a few hitting the shelves.  Today there is the new Leonardo issue from the Micro Series.  This issue, I had to double check the cover to make sure it was the Micro Series when I saw it picked up from where issue 8 of the series left off.  Old Hob has taken Splinter and the Turtles need to find him.  The art work told me this was a Micro Series since Dan Duncan was clearly not the artist, but the story was a bit of a surprise, until I started to read.   Just like with the original Mirage Micro Series, Leonardo’s issue is a part of what is going on in the regular issue comics.

In this story, we start off with Leonardo telling the others they need to split up to find their Master Splinter and cover more ground.  He goes off on his own and is trying to retrace everywhere that they ever been, including wanting to check Stockman’s lab.  Though while thinking about it, Leo is attacked by a Foot Soldier.  He figures he could get some answers from this ninja.  Though to his surprise he is surrounded by more ninjas than he can handle.

I really do enjoy this beginning.  It gives a bit of depth to the new Leonardo as he shows how he is starting to get memories from this past life and glimpses of that family, including his mother. I also like how at first Leo wasn’t concerned about the fight and was just working at getting answers from the Foot.  My favorite line in the comic goes to “... This is a lot of people to interrogate.”

The fight goes on, as Leonardo realizes he can not take on all of these Foot Soldiers on his own.  He makes his exit, jumping and smashing into a building right next to where they were fighting.  Some of the Foot are able to follow him.  Leo realizes he needs to bring one of these ninjas home for questions.

The action is really good here. I am enjoying Leonardo’s personality in this book. Brian Lynch has Leonardo down really well and the detail to this old building in the artwork is really amazing.  We have some nice backgrounds.  Even before they smashed into the building, the backgrounds were really well done, with rain coming down and all.  The only thing with this Leonardo compared to the others is he is a lot more talkative than normal.  This could be from his fear of Splinter being gone and just so in need of information.

Leonardo is now trying to defend a lady that came in the room.  Though the Ninjas get a hold of her. As Leo sees this, he flashes back to his mother being killed by Foot Ninjas, which gets Leonardo into a mad rage as he goes around taking out the foot.  He realizes now he can’t focus on taking any of these warriors home, he’s just got to get out of there.  He runs up to the roof to find one warrior unlike any of the others, standing there waiting for a fight.

With this issue being so much action, there’s not much more I can add to the story without some real big spoilers.  I have to say that I really do like the story that Brian has put together for this issue with a lot of character growth for Leo.  It’s interesting to see Leo getting the memories, and wondering if the other Turtles are having any flashes at all.  If not, why is Leo the only one getting these?  Exciting new questions to ask ourselves as we learn the answers in future issues.

The artwork in this issue is done by Ross Campbell.  He does a great job in his style, and he does try to give the Turtles a style of his own.  Though they do somehow remind me of the turtles from Archie’s “May East Saga” April O’Neil comics which were drawn by Bob Fingerman.  I do like Ross’s art more than what Bob did though.  Ross has a very clean style for his backgrounds and humans.  I like how they come out. Some of my favorite drawings he did goes to the glimpse into the past with Tang Shen and kid Leo.  I also love the way he drew Leo after it comes back from his flashback of remembering how his mom died.  Overall, it's a thrilling book and he did catch the mood with this awesome art.

If I was to say one thing was wrong with this comic, it would go to the last few pages showing the others in the lair and having April awake with them.  While we know April was brought to the lair right at the ending of the last issue, she passed out and the Turtles left that area. I felt the Turtles should've met up somewhere else.  It was the only thing that felt left off to me, unless they’re going to take the beginning of Issue 9 to backtrack to April waking up and talking to the other three Turtles, which I really doubt.  So that is the only thing really wrong with the comic for me.

As I mentioned earlier, my favorite line comes from Leo near the beginning of the fighting.  Though overall my favorite thing about this comic is that it’s got that feel of the original Leonardo Micro Series issue.  It’s an issue where Leo is on his own fighting the Foot, in the original comic it was snow on the ground, here we had rainfall.  Leo does not fare well against his enemies in either book, though Mirage was a lot more mean when it came to the end of this battle than IDW.  It’s amusing that both the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Collection Volume 2 and this Leonardo comic is coming out two weeks in a row, so you can really get a fresh reminder of the original Leonardo Micro Series right before reading this one.

Brian Lynch did a great job at getting each of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro Series issues to match up to their old counterparts.  Raphael out with Casey, having some battles in the allies of NYC.  Michelangelo out for the holidays, still feel this issue was a bit off.  Donatello being around someone named Kirby.  Now Leonardo getting his shell kicked by the Foot.  Each one in their own right a new story and for the most part nicely told, while they each give their own nods to the original Mirage run.

In my recent interview with David Petersen, one of the cover artist for these Micro Series comics, he spoke of something different from the original Micro Series.  There is going to be eight issues.  Splinter, Casey and April will each have an issue in this run of comics as well as one other surprise guest.  Who is the surprise character?  That is for us to keep guessing at.  Though I am excited to see Brian enter an area where it is now up to his own creative flow.  There are no more Micro Series to give a nod back to from the original Mirage run.  Where he goes now will be all new.

IDW TMNT Micro Series #4 is a wonderful new Leonardo story, with nice new twist and turns.  Have you got the chance to buy it?  Have you been keeping up with the IDW series?  Do you buy more than one cover of the book?  Tell us your reviews, comments or questions in the comment area below.  Remember all email addresses are kept private.

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