Review: IDW Secret History of the Foot #4


IDW has come up with a super busy week for us with releasing four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics in one week.  All of which have their values of being picked up and enjoyed by fans.  Though for me, my excitements lay in the new stories.  Like IDW TMNT #20 and the issue I am about to review here “The Secret History of the Foot” #4.  Through the Secret History of the Foot we get the best background story I’ve ever seen given for the Foot Clan, all the way back to how this clan started.  More and more IDW is making this world so deep it’s hard not to be a fan clinging on for every issue.  Here is my thoughts on the last chapter of this awesome storyline.


Starting off in the past, Oroku Saki has killed his father and is taking control over the Foot Clan.  Hamato Yoshi is surprised that Saki is the new leader, as Saki informs him that all of the Chunn have agreed to him as the new leader besides for Yoshi, who was seeing to his family.  He asks Yoshi if he will challenge him.  Yoshi agrees to support Saki.

I love the way they did this.  As Saki was saying his lies, the art would show the truth of what happened.  The idea of seeing Yoshi’s reaction to Saki becoming the leader of the Foot Clan.  It just all fell together nicely.  A short scene with so much power to it.  One that will stand out as a big moment in Foot history.

The Turtles are in a bar with Professor Miller, as they are going over if the stuff in the Foot’s book is real or not.  The Professor is having a hard time believing that the Turtles are reincarnated Ninjas.  Though when Michelangelo reads a line from the book, translating it into English, the Professor is shocked that this may be proof of memories.  Mikey comes up with a video game theory about this reincarnation stuff which Don finds came dangerously close to being logical.  As the Professor is realizing this may be real, Splinter announces he’s going to destroy the book.  Before the conversation can go any further, Casey calls their attention outside as he see that the Foot is outside.  As Shredder calls them out to him.

This is a good spin around as to how to prove that there is some connection to the Turtle’s past.  I think it’s cool that Michelangelo is the Turtle that picks up reading Japanese.  That is a fun twist and not something I saw coming.   His reaction is great, as he shows his fanboy self wanting to read Manga.  While Donatello is lost and confused by this and even concerned that Mike’s video game theory makes sense to him.  This is a great scene showing the reactions to realization that something is going on here.  As the Professor and Splinter share different feelings towards this news.  Splinter wants the book destroyed, but the Professor wants to learn more.  This scene was nicely set up displaying their feelings with fun art work and very clever writing.

As Splinter hears them get called out he has a memory of how Saki worked back in the past.  He fastly calls the action that Shredder is about to do, the Foot is coming in through the back.  The Professor is shocked by this knowledge as more proof is shown to him.  The Professor makes up his mind on what he wants to do.  He goes for the book, having to fight April to try and get the book from her.  He does not want a treasure such as this to be destroyed.  April slugs the Professor down, as he realizes this is not his fight he goes to leave the battle.  Running straight to the Shredder pleading to work with him.  Saki is not pleased that he came out without the book.

This is a turning point, that reminds me a lot of Ninja Turtles : The Next Mutation.  Dr. Quease is caught by Dragon Lord and the Rank.  They want him to work for them, and by doing so he will get the lab of his dream to do his work in.  The Turtles come to save him, only to find that this great mind has a weakness.  The access to discovering more knowledge.  For me this gives the character some depths and reasons that they choose their path, showing just where they decided between the roads of good and evil.  Dr. Quease was one of my favorite villains in the Next Mutation.  Time will tell how I feel about Prof. Miller as we get more comics with him in them.

With the Foot going down to the Turtles fighting skills, it is time for an escape.  Splinter sends his family out the back door to protect the book from being stolen while he goes out the front to distract Oroku Saki.  As Saki goes into battle he realizes this is a distraction sends his remaining warriors to the back, with the goal of retrieving Saki’s book.  Splinter is glad he bought them some time and is doing well in his battle against Shredder.

I really do like this.  The idea of seeing Splinter and Shredder going against each other is one that fans have often thrived for.  We barely ever get to see this battle, in the Mirage Comics it never happened.  In the Original cartoon series we would see it from time to time, but it was not always the glory we would hope for in Ninja skills.  In the original movie, Splinter was the one to throw Shredder off of the rooftop.  And the 4Kids series we got to watch a great battle in Shredder Strikes Part 2 where Splinter got Shredder washed off of the roof.  Though the fights are long waited for and usually very brief.  This is our second battle between Shredder and Splinter in IDW and both of which were not a let down.  As you see these two rivals not holding back with their blows.

Out back Casey pulls up with April’s van, but before they can get in there is company lead by Karai.  Leonardo orders Donatello and Michelangelo to go with April and Casey to keep the book safe.  As Raphael and Leo stay behind to fight.  As April gets into the van she has an idea to try and help end this battle for the day.

This is the fight that decides where the book goes.  If the van can get away or if the Foot catches up with them and takes away what they feel belongs in their hands.  Leonardo has made a choice that is different from the order that Splinter has given him.  Donatello is questioning April’s idea.  And Shredder lands a powerful hit upon Splinter.  To find out how this battle turns out, just find and pick up “Secret History of The Foot” #4!

There is more to this issue even after the fight.  As we get to learn about how the Shredder came back.  We get a good long flashback which shows the end of Oroku Saki’s previous life.  This is a fun book filled with a ton of information that can be used through the IDW TMNT series.  I highly recommend it for any TMNT fan to pick up and read.  Now that we have learned this history, we look towards the future of IDW with a new view of who the Foot is, a deeper understanding.  As excitement fills the air we know that the next big story arch is City Fall where Shredder takes control over the crime with Leonardo by his side.

Have you read “Secret History of the Foot #4”?  If so what are your thoughts on this issue?  Please share reviews, comments, and questions below.

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