– Posted on January 26, 2012
It seems like a very long time ago since #5. I haven’t looked at the calendar so I can’t be sure if this is because #6 shipped later than expected, but I think it’s mostly due to the very strong place #5 left off at, leaving us — and me — wanting a great deal more.
The story begins with the Turtles chasing after some Foot ninja (we only know they’re Foot ninja because of some page notes from layouts in previous issues, though we could probably put it together anyway from the final foreshadowing page of the Raphael special, though they are named later in this issue) and having a little exchange. “It just takes a genius to constantly remind everyone he’s a genius” is remarked about Donatello at one point by Leonardo. “The tortoise in the story didn’t spend all his free time gorging on pizza and playing video games” Leo also remarks about Michelangelo. About character moments like these at this point in the series, I’d be a little bit more inclined to have more “show us” and less “tell us.” For example, if Donatello became a genius (and all of his brothers seem to agree) since his mutation 15 months ago, I’m interested in seeing how that came to pass and be so readily accepted by all the Turtles. Though he does have a special coming up, so maybe that particular story awaits in that one. The Foot incapacitate a “parkour” ninja who probably-not-too-coincidentally seems to be wearing the same mouth/collar guard that Krang does (I’m guessing he’s one of his men, or Krang’s equivalent of Foot of his own). The Turtles join the encounter just long enough for the parkour ninja to die, muttering about “war is coming.” It’s probably not too much of a stretch at this point for us to extrapolate that he speaks of a pretty massive war between General Krang with or without Baxter versus The Shredder and his Foot… with mutagenic advancement as the reward, or something much grander and cosmic we haven’t quite gotten to yet.
No lie, I’m excited to see where that goes though I have major trepidation with the IDW Shredder more than likely headed down a similarly cosmic/otherworldly route (to put the elephant in the room, it seems like he’s going to be revealed as the 4Kids cartoon Ch’rell alien). It’s a bit of a matter of personal taste, but even being objective about it I’ve always found it most sound to have the Turtles’ greatest nemesis and his Foot Soldiers be very down to Earth… you know, just normal human guys — with ninjitsu, of course — who are the thorn in the Turtles’ side, so as to be juxtaposed against all the other weird, larger-than-life, and cosmic threats out there. If it turns out Shredder is an alien, who does that even leave as a normal human in the Turtles’ rogues gallery? Baxter, until he’s turned into a cyborg or a mutant fly (and with the way the scales have been turning lately, odds are probably on the latter happening)? That’s really about it, isn’t it? That makes me a little sad. If everyone in the TMNT book is some kind of a mutant, alien, or monster, bad guys and main characters alike, then it becomes a bit of a harder sell.
Some nice character moments with Old Hob and Baxter. “What’s going on with Old Hob/what’s his story” is kind of the million dollar question right now, and this issue really dances with it a bit. There’s a scene with the Turtles and Splinter in which Donatello kind of steps in and, almost at the same time the reader does, questions the whole reincarnation thing displayed in the previous issue. Splinter answers it amicably enough, the moral of the story that we come out of with is more or less, once again, “The Turtles were absolutely, unequivocally not created by chance, or just a freak accident. They have a purpose and a destiny.”
There’s some nice Casey moments in #6, beginning with sharing the news that he has a new gig with his father (the news goes about exactly how you’d expect), and then goes off to meet his “client” for the first time: April O’Neil. The encounter, while mostly a serving as a quick introduction or perhaps really a teaser for what will come, is served up pretty effectively, even sweetly.
The final five pages are afforded on Old Hob being basically led into a trap by Baxter Stockman, who has been itching this whole issue to try out his new MOUSERs. He does so. It’s a bit of cat and mouse, and I’m sure there’s some kind of metaphors that could be reached about a mutant cat on the run from little robots traditionally designed to take out rodents (though in this book they’re indicated to be minefield sweepers with practical military application… that’s pretty intuitive, actually, and gives some real world believability to why Baxter would develop such things). I feel like these particular five pages could have probably been two, but I was never not entertained.
My honest opinion of the issue? I can’t find a lot in the way of fault in it… I guess it can best be described as a small but necessary cog in the overall massive story that’s swirling. Nothing notable really happens in it, there’s no big moments that will be talked about in 3 years… it’s just a barebones, honest-to-goodness solid bit of TMNT storytelling.