REVIEW: Deviations – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (One-Shot) (IDW, 2016)

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-deviations-cvrDeviations – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (One-Shot) (IDW)

STORY : Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow(story) & Tom Waltz (story+script)

ART : Zach Howard with Cory Smith & Joylon Yates (art) & Ronda Pattison (colours)

I’m not going to lie – I was quite excited by this comic! One of five one-shots that take an existing IDW comic, pick a point and deviate from there to see, “what if..”

Under the old-hand of co-creator Kevin Eastman, the good folks at IDW have been utterly blowing me and (from online commentary) many Shell-heads away with their revival of the iconic TMNT franchise. The ongoing series has crossed 50 issues and is still as exciting as it was at the start and all the spin-off mini’s and micro’s have all been at least decent if not great – and so the idea of a one-shot that showed us what would happen if the awesome foursome were to have started working for The Shredder?

Well it had me more than curious when I saw this available. But as you know, one has to be careful with expectations, you never know what’ll turn out.

THE REVIEW:

So there’s something to note about this comic and that’s that it is set firmly and clearly in the IDW-TMNT universe, which is both a great thing and a great challenge to my mind for a singular reason – because of the massive world and cast that the team have built. In a one-shot, it is hard to keep it simple enough to be a done-in-one story, but if you have a massive enough world that the story takes place in and have a tale with extremely high stakes, how do you balance what goes in while keeping it from bloating?

Well I’m pleased to report that once again Eastman, Waltz and Curnow once again showed their skills, not just as writers but for this franchise. The story picks up after the acclaimed (by me for damn sure!) story called City Fall where Casey Jones is nearly killed and Leonardo is captured and brain-washed by The Foot to serve as Shredders enforcer – a turn of events that was played out remarkably well in the story-arc. Our present story however supposes that Casey was in fact killed and ALL the Turtles were captured and brain-washed – leaving their “father” Splinter alone and The Shredder seemingly unstoppable now.

It is masterfully crafted as we get slowly but violently re-introduced to the new present and thereafter it’s a pretty roller-coaster ride filled with enough references to the ongoing events in the parallel timeline of the actual ongoing series to please regular reader the state of the larger city and people, while at the same time it is not detail heavy in a way as to put off a casual reader should they happen to read it. The ending is just a tad abrupt, though it works well enough and contains just enough mysticism that it is in keeping with the source material it is deviating from here.

The art also is a BIG winner here, they bring in a nice grit and scratch to some of the line-art that hearkens back to Eastmans style, while maintaining mostly the look of the ongoing series – making it all feel the same, yet somehow… strange. In fact the darker colour palette that they’ve chosen really helps emphasise the brutal nature of the story and the well planned lettering (so it seems anyway) works well.

THE LAST WORD:

If you are a fan of the ongoing IDW series, there is no question you should check it out.

If you are a fan of the TMNT as a franchise – firstly yes, you should read this and secondly you really, really should give the ongoing a try. I avoided it for the first whole year and looking back I almost regret doing that.

STORY SCORE: 9 / 10

ART SCORE: 10 / 10

OVERALL SCORE: 9.5 / 10


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