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Comic Review: TMNT Urban Legends #3

Donnie’s paralyzed! Leo’s stuck in an astral plane! Mikey and Ralph are overwhelmed by an army of femme fatales! And Splinter… gets to enjoy a day the spa. It’s not all bad for our heroes in the latest chapter of TMNT Urban Legends!

Comic Review: TMNT Urban Legends #3

(w) Gary Carlson (a) Frank Fosco (i) Andrew Pepoy (c) Adam Guzowski

Say what you will about TMNT Urban Legends, but the series certainly keeps readers guessing. While the creative team took a couple issues to find their footing, they nevertheless forged ahead in bringing drastic changes to the titular heroes. The twists and turns keep coming in the series’ third issue, but the quality of the storytelling has improved, making this the best issue of the series thus far.

The issue opens with an almost full page splash of Raphael and Michaelangelo standing off against an army of ninja warriors. It’s big, bold, and sets the tone for the remainder of the issue. Not only do they have to face overwhelming odds, but they also must protect their older brother, Leonardo, who is off in the astral plane. This seamless leads into seeing where Leonardo is and what he is dealing with. This gets to the heart as to why this issue is better than the previous two. The creators have managed to find their footing in juggling a large cast of characters, transitioning from one plot thread to the next without it muddying the storytelling.

Not only do Carlson and Fosco excel in juggling their large cast, but they do so without sacrificing the shocking elements of the first two issues. That aspect of their storytelling is actually enhanced thanks to their refined technique. This is perhaps best exemplified throughout the issue as the creators check in with Donatello and his unfortunate predicament. When first shown, he is visited by Leonardo (in an astral form) and it is confirmed that his fall from a helicopter in the previous issue has left him completely paralyzed. A couple pages later, we return and the creators do an exemplary job in portraying the fear and loneliness the character experiences. This is a brutal and unfortunate situation, the the duo manages to capture its true horror. The third time… well, let’s not spoil things. Let’s just say it is chilling, leaving the reader aching for the next issue.

TMNT Urban Legends #3 is arguably the most enjoyable TMNT comic to be released in several months – and it’s a full color reprint of a 20-year-old issue. While it still possesses its share of flaws, the are far less pronounced than in the first two issues, resulting a thrilling and enjoyable issue. The envelope-pushing ’90s sensibilities work in this issue’s favor, leaving the reader wanting more upon reaching the final page.


Editor's Rating

Gnarly 9.0

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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