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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deviations One-Shot Review

by Ian Gaudreau

Today brought the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deviations One-Shot, showing an alternative reality in the TMNT universe. In a world where the Turtles obey Shredder, we see a dark and twisted alternative to the half-shelled heroes.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deviations One-Shot

Writers Note: Spoilers Ahead

Before we get into too much detail, we have to set the stage for this issue. First off, this is a “one-shot” issue, which means it is an individual, stand-alone comic. In this case, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deviations One-Shot has no effect on the regular IDW plot. It is merely a solo story that investigates a “world that could have been”.

To fully understand this story, we have to think back to the City at War arc. In Issue #22, Shredder stabs Casey in the stomach, causing Raphael to go berserk, and Leonardo is captured, becoming Shredder’s chunin. With this one-shot, Casey is killed during this incident (not just stabbed) and the remaining Turtles are captured, causing them to become a Foot Clan mercenary squad.

We open with one of the Turtles beating and interrogating Old Hob. The Turtles are searching for Splinter. Hob reveals how to find him and the Turtles begin their hunt. Splinter is absolutely crushed that his sons have turned on him. He tries to protect himself, but he is no match for the power of the Turtles. They bring Splinter to Shredder, but Shredder wants to keep his nemesis alive to witness his greatness.

Karai and Alopex, who stand with Shredder have an interesting private conversation. Karai believes the Turtles’ actions dishonor the Foot Clan. Something is coming, and Karai wants to know whose side Alopex will take. In another scene, we seen Hun at a bar clutching Casey’s mask. Disturbed by his son’s death, Hun wants payback.

The Turtles have wiped out the heads of every organization that could possibly threaten the Foot Clan’s power. In an ironic twist from Issue #50, Shredder raises his sword to decapitate Splinter, his final enemy. But, just before Shredders trikes, Slash and Hob burst through the wall. A giant fight ensues, and Splinter ends up battling Kitsune in a spirit world. During the commotion, it appears the Foot are too strong for Hob, but out of nowhere, Hun and the Purple Dragons pour through the wall to provide support.

This is where things get pretty intense. In the heat of battle, Karai and Alopex turn on Shredder, who ends up stabbing and killing both of them. Raphael then throws his sai, which impales and kills Hob. In the spirit world, Shen (Splinter’s deceased human wife), helps Splinter defeat Kitsune, who also perishes. Once Kitsune dies, the spell on the Turtles is broken (this was what controlled Leonardo in the regular story). Just when the story could not get more intense, Hun smacks Shredder over the face with a hockey stick and blows head with a shotgun. In a sad final moment, likely from all of the stress and exhaustion, Splinter also passes .

I had a lot of fun with this issue. If you were a fan of Zulli’s Soul’s Winter, this issue is right up your alley. The artwork is really dark and gritty, adding a unique style to the expanding IDW universe. The story has taken one of the darkest turns in Turtle history. There is little dialogue, which leaves this issue driven by action and emotion. Personally, I wish this was a miniseries instead of just one issue…but this is the only story in IDW that has been this gruesome and filled with character death.

The story for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deviations One-Shot was done by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz, with artwork by Zach Howard and Cory Smith. Other contributors included Joylon Yates (ink), Ronda Pattison (color), and Shawn Lee (lettering).

The 40-page, $4.99 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deviations One-Shot is stores today (March 30th, 2016)

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