Review: IDW Micro Series #3 Donatello

IDW is still taking us for a ride with all these great comic books coming out, with Tom Waltz leading the way with the main series and Brian Lynch bringing us these Micro issues. It’s no wonder we’re all excited every month waiting for the next comic to hit the shelves.  And this time is no different as we just had issue 7 of the normal series last week, this week we’re getting the Donatello issue from the Micro series.

We start off with Donatello’s view of life of how he and his brothers fight together so great, though home life is different. He likes computers, though how his family views computers are so different from his.  Mike uses the computer to surf the Internet for videos, Raph using them for weight lifting, and Leo just not understanding what Don is talking about.  Don will stay up late and talk with his friends online.

This is a nice scene showing Don’s point of view of being with his family.  It is a bit of a surprise that Don has not dug more computers out of the trash to make it so he has his own for Internet reasons instead of sharing the same computer that Michelangelo is using.  I find it amusing that Raph was able to disconnect all the wires from the computer to turn it into weights. I figured that would seem like to much work for him.  And it’s nice to see Leo trying to get along with Don on something in this series.  The other issues seem to have Leo butting heads with Don, though I’ve always seen the two of them as getting along more.  So I do like this touch.

Donatello getting online to talk with his friends seems to be his favorite thing to do on there.  He talks about a few of the different people he talks to on this forum, FAC.  He mentions how one of these members annoys him, under the name Kirby_Fan01.  Though while chatting with his friends here, he learns of a Science Expo for only $10/day.  He decides not to pass up this chance.

The online friends really caught my attention. Check out those user names; Prof.J.Perry. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II : The Secret of the Ooze lead character, Prof. Jordan Perry  played by David Warner!  How awesome is that?!  Nice touch, totally can dig that!  And Kirby!  Don’s friend in the original Micro series who did the drawings, that was nod to the famous Jack Kirby.  That was one of the 4Kids episodes titled “The King” in Season 1!  These are great things for us fans to see.

Though the best one is Don’s personal nick name Duz Machines 84.   A nod to the original cartoon series!  Right in the theme song “Donatello does machines ‘That’s a fact Jack!’”.  What an awesome touch being added in there.  And of course the number 84, a famous number in TMNT history since the original comic book came out in 1984.  Well thought out, very cool, and totally not excepted.  This page here has some of the most cool nods to us fans that I’ve seen in the IDW comics so far.  And we’ve barely even started in the book!

Now I’m also excited cause Don is going to an expo.  Personally, I spend a lot of time at different types of conventions.  So this is something cool to see, normally I would think of Michelangelo to be the Turtle to sneak off to an event like this.  But this one fits right up Donatello’s alley.

The following pages shows Don starting off as he’s going through the Science Expo checking things out.  As he’s going, there’s judges looking at the different booths.  Don sees as one guy, Harold Lillja, who seems a bit nuts show off his project which makes things float.  Though something goes wrong and he causes property damage, which made a lot of people turn away from him now showing a lack of interest.  The lady judge calls security to come.  Though Don was still some what interested in that project, as the device also made the man disappear.  Don was very impressed.

These pages flowed very nicely as it shows the beginning of the plot while keeping to the story we already know.  Don is enjoying the stuff that he is known for enjoying.  Another huge nod to the fans is the device being worked on.  If people look at it, it looks a lot like the thing that Kirby gave Donatello in the original Donatello Micro series issue that Mirage did back in the day.  And it makes things float, just like the “Gravitic equalizer”.  Also the way the effects are drawn resembles that of the art in that Micro issue as well.  A great nod to Peter Laird.  One of my favorite thing though through these pages is the expressions on Donatello’s face.  It’s fun to follow his thoughts and emotions through the panels. Valerio Schiti did a great job with his art work here!

Security came down and took Harold away. Donatello figured this was worth checking into, so he follows to find out what’s going on, figuring this is scientific investigation.  To his surprise, Harold was taken to Baxter Stockman who seems to know a lot about Harold.  After explaining just how much he knows about Harold, he turns around and offers Harold a job to search for Mutant Turtles, giving him a device to help him find the Turtles.  Saying how he wants their blood.

I do have a little bit of a problem with this, Harold is a creator.  Not a hunter.  He build things, why would Stockman want to hire him to use a device already made instead of hiring him to create something for them to track the Turtles.  This is the biggest problem in the plot of the comic.  Though I love the detail of Harold’s history.  How in-depth of a character he can be in this series.  It is also interesting to see how open Stockman is to people he just met to just openly mention the Mutant Turtles.  Baxter brought this up before even knowing if Harold would take the job.  So was he planning to kill Harold if the job offer was turned down?

Now Harold tries a button on the tracker which right away points out Don.  Baxter is impressed right away.  Though Don is found and he tries to talk Harold out of working for Baxter as he takes out two security guards.  Though in doing so he realizes that Harold is Kirby_Fan01.  Realizing who Donatello is, Kirby and Don stand at odds.  Don tries to convince Kirby that this is the real world and it’s the Internet where they’re not getting along. The security is calling for back up, though Harold says the back up is already there and attacks Donatello with pocket Grenades.  The fight breaks out as Harold tries to use the tracker, but Don breaks it right away which gets Harold to pull out the Gravitic equalizer as he starts to use that against Donatello.  Baxter is forced out of the room as back up is on the way to take out Donatello.

This is an interesting fight scene as Don spends most of it trying to get Harold to change his mind about working with Baxter Stockman.  The action is nice and again, expressions are dead on for both Harold and Don.  I like that Baxter does not want to leave, he wants to stay and watch this fight.

The following pages are Don of starting to get through to Harold about what is going.  Though he does make some mistakes in his talks, which gets him blasted again.  This time it’s clear that Harold is going down too, even though he should be winning.  Don realizes that the Gravitic equalizer is being powered off of Harold’s own energy.  He points this out to Harold, which is when Harold starts to listen to Don.  Though as soon as Don is starting to make this break through with Harold, the back up arrives to take Don out.

I enjoyed seeing Don work his way through this, as the art was such eye candy it was easy to go with the flow. The expressions again, including when Don gets blasted, is great!  The exchanges of looks between Harold is Don is so well played out.  I love how Don has to talk him down, that it’s not just an easy “They’re the bad guys help me”, it’s working with him as much as he can to find away to get Harold to stop fighting him.  Overall a moment of wonderful character growth for both Harold and Don!

Now the real fight begins as the back up come in ready to kill.  Donatello goes straight into the fight as Harold makes the decision that he’s going to work with Don on getting away.  Though the fight is not going the best for them.  Harold goes into his stealth mode just as he’s blasted at, Don gets scared that he’s hurt, when he realizes that Harold is ok he gets an idea and asks to use the ‘Anti-Grav Gauntlet’ to see how it works with Turtle power.

They finally gave a name to the device that I’ve been calling the Gravitic equalizer because of the old Micro Series.  It is the Anti-Grav Gauntlet.  I was happy to see Harold start working with Don on this, and that all of Don’s talking was not on a deaf ear.  They make an interesting team up.

Don and Harold get away using the Anti-Grav Gauntlet and Don’s Turtle power to boost themselves out of there.  Baxter watches as they escape from a window.  He’s really angry about this mess up.  Don went with Harold to his car, as Harold is angry about all of this realizing that he’s gotta go into hiding now from Baxter.  Change his name and address.  He tells Don how Don doesn’t know anything about people and drives off, leaving a rather depressed Donatello.

This is the main wrap up of the outing itself.  While it was great seeing them get away from Baxter, and how pissed Baxter is, the page with Don and Harold at the car is a rather depressing one. Just all the sad looks on Don as Harold seemed so upset.  At this point I was disappointed, because I liked Harold and was hoping to see him again.

Which leads us to the last page where Don is home.  He shares his story with his family. Splinter is disappointed in him for doing what he did, though he was happy that Don is okay and about the information that Donatello was able to get.   Later Leo is trying to help Don by looking into the game, Don was trying to explain to him earlier. Though Don is lost in his own thoughts as he gets an invite to the game from someone else. Read the comic to find out why this invite is cool.

Overall, I LOVE THIS ISSUE!  Brian Lynch did GREAT with the writing!  Really brought Donatello to life in thought and action!  Valerio Schiti is now one of my favorite artist with IDW!  I HOPE they use him for more Ninja Turtle comics down the road!  He really did pull this off, giving us a great feel that anyone who reads could enjoy!  The expressions, the story, the action, the character growth are all wonderful!   This is by far my favorite of the Micro Comic issues!

Thanks IDW for giving me this thrill in comics again!  I cannot WAIT for the Leonardo issue!  Please feel free to comment below (emails are kept private) and let us know what you think of this issue?  Did you love it as much as I did?  If you haven’t bought it yet, what’s keeping you?  If you need help finding a place to order I know just the place “Comics & More”!

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