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Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #75

It’s the 75th issue of IDW’s main TMNT book, and with that comes an inflated price ($7.99!), extra pages, a ton of variants, and the conclusion to the “Trial of Krang.” Can the creative team end this subpar arc on a high note? Perhaps they can…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #75

(W) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, (A) Corey Smith, Chris Johnson, Mateus Santolouco, and Damian Couceiro, (C) Ronda Pattison

If my reviews of TMNT #73, TMNT #74, and the whole Dimension X miniseries are any indication, “The Trial of Krang” as been a major misstep for a series that, up until this point, had delivered great issue after great issue. Issue #75 sees the creative team turn things around with an enjoyable concluding chapter. There’s action. There’s drama. There’s a shocking death to a major character. And, the wheels are set in motion for the Turtles’ next big adventure.

As alluded to, there is one major character who is killed off. Certainly, it’ll be the moment most will remember this issue for, thanks to near-flawless execution. The scene builds with an increased sense of tension and dread, but the death itself still comes as a surprise. With that said, there’s a reason the execution is “near-flawless” instead of “flawless.” When the actual deed is done, it’s not entirely clear what happens until the subsequent panels confirm it.

Of course, there is a lot more to this oversized issue than this one, singular moment. There’s a big space battle that is pulled straight out of Star Wars. It may not seem proper for a TMNT comic, but it is awesome nonetheless. Furthermore, seeing the Turtles engage in a cosmic-scale battle while using their traditional weapons is a blast. There’s also the reveal about the Triceritons’ origins, which is sure to set up an explosive conflict in the future. There’s also Hakk-R’s comeuppance, which is one of the most satisfying elements of this entire arc. However, the story itself gets bogged down once again by the courtroom drama. Yes, the story is titled “Trial of Krang,” but the surprise twists which result in a favorable outcome for our heroes is as forced as it is ham-fisted.

Throughout this arc, the artwork by Corey Smith has been a standout highlight. That continues here, as he is joined by Chris Johnson, Mateus Santolouco, and Damian Couceiro who help make sure this issue lives up to its “oversized” billing. All four artists do a great job, and the transitions from one to the next is seamless. This is largely due to the unifying colors of Ronda Pattison. Time and again, I have touted Pattison’s coloring as among the best in the industry – and this might be her defining work (okay, maybe after that 2008 Eisner nomination). If there is any one reason to pick up this $8 single issue, it’s the artwork. Seriously good stuff from all involved.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #75 sees the series begin to rebound after a rough stretch of issues. While far from perfect, the spectacular artwork elevates the uneven script into an overall enjoyable tale. My fingers are crossed that the creative team will be able to harness this newfound momentum and carry it over into the next arc – as well as the upcoming crossover with the Ghostbusters!

Editor's Rating

Scores on the Rebound! 7.5

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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