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Comic Review: TMNT Urban Legends #2

The Image Turtles continue their fight against cyborgs and ninjas in a schlocky, action-filled adventure!

Comic Review: TMNT Urban Legends #2

(W) Gary Carlson (A) Frank Fosco (I) Chance Wolf & Andrew Pepoy (C) Adam Guzowski

If you’re curious which characters in TMNT Urban Legends are ninjas, all you have to do is wait for them to declare it virtually unprompted. On the first page of the issue, Donatello, bloodied and in a free-fall, feels the need to announce “I am Ninja!” This is done in an internal monologue, in a book with “TMNT” on the cover. There really is no purpose to this other than inform readers that subtlety will be at a premium here, a rare commodity in a book where loud, in-your-face intensity has run amok.

TMNT Urban Legends #1 hit the ground running with action that didn’t let up from start to finish. Frank Fosco and Gary Carlson’s second effort is more of the same, with action or 1990s x-tremes in every nook and cranny. And there’s blood. Lots of blood. As mentioned previously, Donnie’s bleeding from a massive head wound. One of the cyborg lackeys is dismembered and eaten alive by what is essentially a Street Shark. There is even a Wolverine knock-off called “the Weasel” who is swiftly decapitated. A lot of this is shocking and effective, assuming the reader already has an emotional investment in these characters. For all their attempts to make changes to the Turtles, Fosco and Carlson put little work into developing the characters.

What does work is the pervasive feeling of dread. Throughout the issue, there is never a time when the reader feels that things are going to be okay – almost like in a horror film. There is always a threat to deal with, whether it’s present or biding its time for the perfect moment. When combined with the schlocky dialogue and over-the-top visuals, it actually is comparable to some cult classic horror films, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 or Army of Darkness. Unfortunately, that is not what the book is going for. In the aim of being a superhero book, it misses the mark.

There is fun to be had within the pages of TMNT Urban Legends #2. Sure, the book is heavily, heavily flawed. But if you get yourself in the right frame of mind, there is enjoyment to be had. Hopefully with the next issue, the book does not force the reader to alter their frame of mind to find positives.

Editor's Rating

Meh-ticulously Crafted 6.5

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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