Review: IDW TMNT #4

Welcome to my review of TMNT #4, still in the midst of catching up with comics that came out during the time of my surgery and while healing.  If you’d like to know more about the surgery and why I fell behind here on Cowabunga Corner, please read RSD Update.

We pick up in this issue with Raph and Casey surrounded by Old Hob and his gang.  Old Hob is insulted that Raphael doesn’t remember him.  As Raph thinks about it, he starts to remember everything from when they were kidnapped from the lab.  Old Hob yells at Raphael for his lost of memory and orders his men to attack without guns.

This is a fun scene as it shows Hob getting worked up about being forgotten, gives a little bit more to his character.  I’ve always been interested in villains and feel the more character growth and history for them, the better.  I also like how with Raph’s memory they pick up right at the point where Splinter and Old Hob fight as Raph gets split up from the group.

Now we get thrown into another flash back, this time of Baxter Stockman going over the damage of the robbery... realizing that to save his research he needs to get his hands on the Turtles and rat that were lost.  Mr. Allen suggest that they find the rat, but Baxter just laughs at this realizing that there’s millions of rats in New York City, how are they to find just one?  Just as this question comes up, Old Hob comes in asking if he could kill the rat, showing that Old Hob is connected to the lab that original had the lair. This was an interesting twist.  I had a feeling the lab would be after the lost animals, knowing something may have happened to them.  But I didn’t really know if Old Hob would be connected to them or a stand alone.  This also helps with Hobs background.  I like that this scene also gave us some time with Baxter, since I’ve always liked Baxter Stockman.

Now we move onto April’s reaction after the robbery, she’s trying to tell the police officers how things went down.  Of course it did make sure sound a bit crazy to say that Splinter set off the fire alarm.  This was a nice, short one page update on where April was.  Would of been cool if they did the two police men like the 4Kids series did, I always enjoyed the Eastman and Laird cops.

Of course with each flashback we get to see what’s going on with Splinter and the Turtles.  It shows Splinter leading the Turtles away from where they dropped into the sewer.  Telling them that they need to get a new home, then find their brother.  He hints that they have been together before, and now they have new names.

This scene I found very interesting, to have Splinter mentioning that they got new names.  This meant there’s more to their backstory than what we’ve been show.  Since I was not happy with the lack of time they had together, and Splinter having those strange emotional attachments with the Turtles, it wasn’t adding up.  I only hoped that this new story would help fill in the blanks so I could see them as a family again.

Now we’re back to Raphael and Casey fighting Old Hob’s crew and holding up very well for themselves while doing so.  Though Raph starts to get taken down by page two of this battle, being hit on the back by a crow bar, he’s still on his feet to fight though.  Old Hob’s crew is not playing nice as they end up taking out both Casey and Raph from behind.   He has his men hold Raph and Casey down, as Hob goes to shoot Raph, only to get a nasty attack to his arm with throwing stars.  The other Turtles have arrived and stopped the fight.

This was a nice build up, the Turtles find and save Raph from Old Hob just in time.  Though again, I didn’t feel like they really had to do that scene in the last issue about them getting more proactive, because even if they bumped into this without that extra scene in there, it was still their job to find and get Raphael back, so they would of been joining into the fight.  I really do like the art of Mike, Leo and Don as Leo says “...you’re done.” to Old Hob.

The fight is now at full swing with the other Turtles jumping in.  Old Hob is angry as he starts to remove the throwing stars from his arm.  Raph stands confused by three more of his kind. He’s still not fully sure on who he is and this is a lot to take in.  Old Hob uses this chance to attack him, though Raph is able to handle himself going into a hand to hand fight with Old Hob.  The fight is dirty as Raph is not a trained Ninja at this point, he’s fighting the best he can, even getting a chance to bite down on Hob’s bad arm.  While the others are still fighting thugs, Raph takes the lead, swearing he’s going to kill Hob. Though just as he’s going in to really nail on the passed out cat, Leonardo stops him.

At this point I was surprised that Donatello was siding with the idea of killing Old Hob.  While Donny doesn’t like Hob, he’s not the first one of the Turtles that I see jumping at the idea of killing. It was good to see Raph’s temper kick in, Old Hob is lucky to still be alive.  Very well layout and art through this area to show the fight.   Showing what’s going on with the other Turtles, and just how Raph was fighting at this time.

The Turtles tell Raph he’s their brother, as Casey wakes up to see four Turtles now.  It doesn’t show them splitting up from Casey, as our next page has the Turtles bringing Raphael home to Splinter.  A touching scene as Splinter gives Raph a welcome home hug, saying how their circle is complete.

This is wrapping up the first four issue story arc which is when I said I would share how I really feel about the IDW comics.  Overall of the first four issues I have been sitting waiting from issue to issue, my biggest problem is with how many stories were pushed into each issue making it seem shorter.  I was not a fan of the wait for what seems to be a very simple story. It took four issues to learn that the Turtles were lab turtles named by April, only to be stolen then lost, mutated and split up from their brother by a cat who is now also mutated.  They have searched one year for their brother with no luck, but now one night when the Turtles decide to go off course of what Splinter told them to do they find him and bring him home.

True there’s a little more to it than that, but it really felt slowed down and spread thin so that it could be a four comic story arc.  The original Mirage #1 had three stories in it, a beginning, middle and end with big battles, their history, along with the life and death of the Shredder.  This made the first issue of the Mirage comic the powerful punch that it was and helped spin the Turtles from an underground comic into the multimedia franchise it became.  To pick up a new series to try and hold not just the old readers but the new as well, this beginning was slow and surprising, though not horrible.

While I dislike the pacing of the story line that we started off with, I do like that we’re getting something that none of us can sit down and predict where it’s going.  It’s fresh and new.  It’s not something we can all say “seen that, and that, and that” because none of us know where they’re going to be taking this new look at the Turtles.

I do enjoy the IDW Comic story line, to where I will keep picking it up and reading.  I am a fan of it being a solid story line and the art is really good.  Now that they got their introduction arc done, it’s time to learn their real history and see new and old faces introduced through this comic book series.  I can’t wait to see what ever Tom Waltz throws our way!

My review of IDW TMNT #5 will be posted soon!  Please feel free to comment on how you feel about issue #4 below!

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Comments

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