Reviewing this comic will require at least a bit of backstory explanation. I’ll try to make this short and simple. The previous issue seems to have ended a long conflict with General Krang that began fairly early on in this series, with a trial in Dimension X. A part of that story involved an army of mutant Triceratopses, captured millions of years ago from Earth. As part of TMNT 75’s conclusion, the Triceratopses were sent back to our dimension and given Earth’s co-ordinates, hoping that they could return home and get along with humanity.
Meanwhile, the Earth Protection Force has already proven itself to be a big problem for not only the Ninja Turtles, but the hidden community of mutants living in New York City in general. EPF doesn’t like mutants, and Earth is about to get a whole bunch more of them. That’s about where this issue begins, with a situation that the residents of Dimension X could not have seen coming, but things are pretty much guaranteed to get bad really fast.
Written by Tom Waltz with story credits to Kevin Eastman and Bobby Curnow, this issue starts with a flash forward to a point where there’s already been a serious situation involving the mutant dinosaurs. The Ninja Turtles are about to join the fight. Micnealangelo, being himself, tries to convince the others to stop for pizza on the way. It’s an intense teaser with the right amount of humour to balance it out. The comic then moves to the triceratopses teleporting into New York City, where they try to introduce themselves to humanity in a civil fashion. They’re clearly excited about landing on Earth. As expected, it causes a panic when they drop down onto the streets. Then the EPF shows up.
The EPF pretends to be welcoming and civil at first, while they’re simply preparing to attack. The situation goes sour very quickly, with apparent deaths on both sides. It’s a gripping tale where you spend most of the comic waiting for the inevitable to begin, and it’s just as intense as you hope it would be. It’s a great example of how untrusting people can be sometimes, and how spending more time in dialogue might just prevent a situation like this. Considering these triceratopses are technologically advanced, the EPF just picked a fight they probably can’t win, possibly even risking all of humanity in the process. That makes for an exciting opening issue for this story arc.
The art by Damian Courceiro is good. It’s mostly a simple look, sometimes with slightly exaggerated angles, but in a way that works. The environmental detail in establishing shots is always great, like the old sewers with damaged railings and exposed bricks that the turtles use as their base, the various street signs and graffiti in New York, and the variety of buildings in the background. The rhinos have great outfits that not only fit their biology, but it looks advanced, focusing more on functionality than making them look good. The one even has a metal horn, possibly to replace a horn she lost in battle. The colouring by Ronda Pattison is great as always. With frequent use of lighting from various forms of energy, smart use of shadows and the lines along the TVs in the background of the turtles lair, it enhances the art on almost every page.
This is an exciting comic. It’s an intense start to a story that I didn’t see coming before reading issue 75, but I immediately started looking forward to it. TNMT is a consistently great series, and while I enjoyed the Ninja Turtles growing up, I never quite became a fan. This series changed that. Even though the turtles aren’t in this issue all that much, it’s still a decent starting point for new readers, and I’d recommend this series to any Ninja Turtles fan, whether you normally read comics or not.