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RETRO REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #10 (VOLUME 2)

Raphael is still missing, and his brothers seem to have lost their only lead. But is Baxter Stockman really gone for good? And what’s with this shadowy government organization? This chapter of Mirage Volume 2 has a lot to unpack, and after the previous issue, it has a lot to live up to as well…

RETRO REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #10 (VOLUME 2)

(W/A) Jim Lawson, (I) Eric Talbot, (C) Eric Vincent, (CA) Peter Laird & Kevin Eastman

If you came into this issue of Mirage Volume 2 expecting the same amount of high-stakes action found in the last few installments, you’d be disappointed. However, those of you expecting a natural progression of the story (with a twist or two thrown in) are likely to walk away in a relatively pleasant mood. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #10 does a lot of heavy lifting to set the stage for a grand, 3-issue finale.

The issue opens with a conversation between Casey and April, and it’s a welcome if rarely seen slice-of-life vignette. Granted, it’s still out of the ordinary. Casey and April are talking about ways to increase security since their apartment was broken into and the fact that one of their turtle friends is missing, but it still offers a peek into what these characters’ everyday lives are like. The conversation continues when Casey goes out for a walk with Lou, his Mr. Clean-esque neighbor who is just full of revelations.

These two sequences are simultaneously the best and most frustrating parts about this issue. When Lawson is playing within the sandbox that is the Jones/O’Neil household, its genuinely enjoyable. However, it’s only a brief 3 pages with April cast aside in favor of a new character readers have very little connection to. A common complaint is that April is useless character, and outside of the early canon established by Eastman and Laird in Volume One it’s true. Lawson has shown throughout the series that he is not comfortable writing the character, and only uses her as an accessory to move the plot forward. She has no agency of her own.

Likewise, Casey’s conversation with Lou is full of reveals and factoids which serve to build the world these characters inhabit. However, it is also a clunky exposition dump. The creative team had spent so much building up Baxter Stockman as the main antagonist, that using a shadowy government agency as the real baddies comes out of left field. There’s no sense of pacing, and while this does provide the necessary set up for the remaining issues, an info dump in issue #10 of a 13 issue series could have been resolved by dropping in little nuggets throughout the preceding chapters.

Now, this issue isn’t all bad. It actually does a lot more right than wrong. Lawson delivers artwork which is once again up to his standards of quality and consistency, accented by the thick inks of Eric Talbot. The colors by the other Eric – Vincent this time – are flat (not to be confused with “fall flat”) and give the book a distinctly indie aesthetic. There’s also the bit with Raphael which sees the book dip its toes into the horror genre. However, the flaws found here cannot be overlooked, and as a result Issue #10 of TMNT Vol.2 is a stunningly mediocre installment.

Editor's Rating

5.5
Do Me a Solid, Bro. Please? 5.5

The Author

Dan Gehen

Dan Gehen

Dan Gehen is a lot of things, but one thing he's been for his entire life is a TMNT fan (this has been verified by watching embarrassing home videos of his formative years). Though the classic 1980s cartoon caused his 3-year-old version to drive his parents insane via the constant repetition of "cowabunga dude", his true appreciation for the heroes in a half-shell came from the 1990 feature film as well as the comics by Mirage Studios. Today, he continues to enjoy comics from a variety of publishers, including the current TMNT series from IDW Publishing.

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