Fans were lucky enough to not get just one, but two TMNT comics for the month of October. In the wake of issue #50, the Turtles encounter their next villain and try to strengthen broken bonds:
Writer’s Note: Spoilers Ahead
For those that may have not a had a chance to read issue #50, Shredder has perished at the hand of Splinter, Splinter has become the Leader of the Foot Clan (a force for good…for now), and Michelangelo, angry about his family’s new association with the Foot has fled in an attempt to digest all of these changes.
We start the issue with Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo scoping out some baddies on the docks, but some of the individuals are exhibiting odd characteristics on Donatello’s technology. Leonardo summons The Foot to their aid, and they easily take out the enemies. A general theme throughout the issue is that word has broke that The Foot is no longer a serious force, so Leonardo is trying to reconcile the reputation that the Turtles and Foot have teamed up and should be taken seriously.
We then get our first glimpse a new set of villains, ones who wear cloaks and masks, and possess the ability to phase through walls/ground. The so-called Street Phantoms, are actually wearing cloaks that were designed by Harold Lillja, who had his designs stolen from him from his female ex-partner. At the end of the issue, we see that the Street Phantoms are receiving their equipment and funding from Darius Dun, who is a new character to IDW, but not new to the TMNT canon. Dun’s role is still yet to be determined. In the last few panels, a Foot Clan assassin approaches Dun, unhappy with Splinter’s new leadership and clearly looking to team up.
On the side, we receive glimpses of Splinter learning how to lead the Foot Clan. He is visibly reminiscing of Shredder throughout the issue, often holding his infamous helmet. Koya and Bludgeon appear to have stayed loyal to the Foot (i.e., now Splinter), but it is still unknown which side of the board we will see Bebop and Rocksteady. Raphael also pays a visit to Michelangelo, who has been hanging out with Mondo Gecko. Currently, Michelangelo, and probably the rest of the Mutanimals, are unknowingly being observed by a soldier named Winter. April mentions to Kitsune that she and Casey met her siblings, and explains that she assumes Kitsune’s good behavior is all “part of the game”. Realizing that April knows something big, Kitsune telepathically connects with Alopex to “accelerate things”, which was foreshadowed in the issue #50 brawl.
After such an amazing issue #50, I was really interested to see where this issue was going. Issues #1-50 definitely feel like “Act I” of the series, so it will be fun to see what else Eastman, Curnow, and Waltz have up their sleeves. We featured a new artist in this issue, Ken Garing, and I may have to wait another issue to give a fair critique of the work. At first glance, the main thing that negatively caught my eye were there are a lot of single-color background with very little detail, which is something that really distracts me from the story. However, I am excited to experience a new artist to the series, so I will wait another issue to ensure I am not just comparing to Santolouco’s detail in issue #50. Gariny’s Turtles, themselves, are reminiscent of some of the old-school TMNT art, which I really like.
All in all, issue #51 showed a variety of miniature storylines, proving that the TMNT ongoing still has many interesting stories to tell.