Having never really been a Ninja Turtles fan before this series, I only knew the very basics of the villains outside of Shredder. Bebop and Rocksteady were some of the villains I had heard the name of, but knew virtually nothing else. At least for the main series, today’s issue truly introduces them in an all-out fight with the duo against the Ninja Turtles and Hob’s growing mutant army. What an introduction this is.
This fight is a lot of fun, with everyone teaming up against two villains who are seemingly invincible. Gunshots simply bounce off their face and annoy them, being stabbed by Raphael’s sais don’t even draw blood and even electricity does little but stun them. Their cocky attitudes and mild intelligence only add to their fun as villains. This issue also shows off Hob’s army in action, with a militaristic lobster covered in guns, a gecko with a chill 90’s attitude and the adorably stupid Pete. The fight is intense, destructive and fun.
Besides the fight scene, there’s still room for a few moments of side-story development and character work. Casey Jones has a nice conversation with April O’Neil’s father; finally discovering a family he can get along with after all the problems he had with his own father. After being launched out of the fight and stuck in a wire fence together, Raphael and Alopex also have a nice little moment that shows their growing trust. It’s these little touches that help this issue become more than just straight action.
The art by Marcus Santolouco is great. The action always flows smooth and it’s easy to tell what’s going on, even with such a large cast of characters in the fight. So much debris is thrown around from all the environmental destruction, along with motion lines and lighting effects from explosions. Facial expressions are well-varied and always help convey emotions, whether the awkward smiles Raphael and Alopex give each other, the goofy smile that Pete gives pretty much everyone or the looks of shock when everyone starts realizing exactly how tough Bebop and Rocksteady are.
The writing team of Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman and Bobby Curnow continue to build a fantastic series. It’s not as good as their City Fall storyline (which is very hard to beat), but they’re obviously building up to something. In the meantime, if they keep treating us with fun issues like this while adding little character moments, it’ll be more than worth the wait for whatever plans they have in store. If you’re a Ninja Turtles fan, you’re making a huge mistake if you haven’t tried this series out yet.