City Fall continues as both Shredder and the Ninja Turtles prepare for their final move. Shredder and his foot clan are taking over the gang world of the city, along with his brainwashed Leonardo. The Ninja Turtles are gathering whatever allies and weapons they can to get their brother back. There’s so much going on in this issue, and yet it all flows organically.
It’s nice seeing each of the turtles finding time to catch up with old friends in the middle of their search. Mikey meets up with his pizza restaurant friend for the first time since he was attacked. Donnie meets up with a tech expert that I don’t really remember seeing before (I never read the micro series for the four turtles though). Raph meets up with both Angel and Casey Jones. Each of these scenes last two pages each, and yet they’re both dramatically effective and they add to the overall story. They also manage to explain the storyline to new readers without wasting time. And of course there’s Splinter’s scene with Hob, although describing it would be a spoiler so let’s just say there are some interesting developments involved.
Most of this issue’s action is dedicated to Shredder’s gang war, and those scenes are awesome. The action and dialogue shows how powerful the turtles’ biggest foe is, while simultaneously showing the cracks within the clan. This issue has the tightest writing I’ve seen in a comic in a long time. Not a single sentence is wasted. If there is a single complaint, it’s that Donnie’s tech contact isn’t introduced in the best way for anyone who didn’t read his micro issue. Even so, you won’t be lost with the scene – you just won’t get any references that he makes.
The art is also very good. The action scenes are easy to follow, and they give you a sense of different characters’ fighting styles. Although Angel’s brow piercings are strangely absent, every character is recognizable. There’s often an impressive amount of environmental detail, especially when it involves broken glass or establishing shots of New York at night.
While FF was the most enjoyable comic I read this week, this is the best overall. The middle act in a large storyline is often the hardest to nail, and yet City Fall seems to improve further with every issue. I was never a Ninja Turtles fan as a kid, but … I might be one now. At the least, I’ve become a fan of this series. Give it a chance if you haven’t yet, you may find it enjoyable too.