A while ago I suggested that as good as this series was, I was never really a ninja turtles fan, and that I was considering dropping it. And yet I’m still here – it turns out this series is good enough for a non-fan to stick around, and that this issue is better than usual.
The bulk of TMNT 22 shows the Ninja Turtles trying to rescue Casey, Ralph’s closest friend and fellow vigilante, from the foot clan. This not only allows for a fight scene that lasts most of the issue, but it really highlights the differences between Splinter, Leonardo and Raphael while giving each of them a bit of development. Raphael has his chance to go completely ballistic, which is simply awesome, and there’s a lot of tactical thinking on both sides of the fight scene. The initial story that starts in this issue is concluded, which leads to what will probably be a longer story arc. It’s a satisfying issue with a clear beginning and ending, which is rare in monthly titles these days.
This is also a very good introduction to the Ninja Turtles. The important characters in this issue are explained well for the total newcomer, without being intrusive in any way. Reasons are given to care about all the characters important to the plot, and some minor characters are introduced without feeling like they’re shoehorned in. The art is also fairly good, both with the environmental detail and with Raphael’s berserker rage.
If you’ve been on the fence over trying the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this is a great issue to check out. If you’re a fan of the franchise, then why aren’t you reading this already? If they keep up this level of quality, I may become a fan myself.