Review: IDW TMNT #50 *SPOILER*

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has so many different origins, stories, character growth and character designs.  A lot of people always try to compare them to each other, at the same time they’re so different.  IDW Publishing has been releasing their own version of the Turtles which is not like any other out there.  With their own history for the characters, their own plots that don’t match up to any other series and their own way of handling very intense moments.  Recently IDW made a lot of news with Donatello, that was only the build up for what is coming in issue 50.  Here is a spoiler filled review of issue 50 from IDW TMNT.

I know it’s been a bit since I did a review of the IDW comics, though I do promise to go back and fill in all the issues I’ve missed.  I do blame this on my always busy life lately.  I am trying to catch up with all the areas I’ve fallen behind, sadly this is one of those areas.  But I could not WAIT to do a review for issue 50, after seeing what happened my jaw was on the floor for a few hours.  What an incredible team Tom Waltz, Bobby Curnow and Kevin Eastman make on bringing this one together. 

In Ninja Turtle history we have seen both Splinter and Shredder die before.  So no matter which way they went, it would not be new to the fans in losing either of those characters.  The only thing they could make new for us, is the style in which they took that character from the story.   In issue 49, we learn that Splinter and Shredder are going to battle.  The fight is to the death.  And could go either way.  Once the fight is over, the feud between the two clans will be over as well.  To Splinter this means a chance to free his family from this war.  To Shredder, he can rid the world of Splinter and that is what he wants.

This issue starts with the end of the fight between the chosen warriors from issue 49, the Turtles vs the Foot.  I loved how they showed the Turtles realizing that they needed to do teamwork.  I laughed at how hard Raphael and Michelangelo were trying to bring down Bebop and Rocksteady.  It was amusing to realize they’re that much of a fight.  It did surprise me when Donatello let Metalhead’s body go that way though.  I knew he was coming back in this issue, but that was really a nice entrance.  Not something I saw coming till the very moment before it happened.

I find it interesting that they’re keeping Leatherhead out of sight still.  He does seem very smart on what he’s working on, as he was able to help Fugitoid with Donatello.  The big questions about the gator will hopefully come together in issue 51.  For those who don’t know, the reason I know we got Leatherhead is because of a spoiler released in at Comic Con International during the IDW BIG TMNT Panel.  I am excited to see him in this series, and can not wait for his story to be explained.

The Turtles win their fight against the Foot.  Which brings us to the Turtles vs. Shredder.  This whole time Splinter is thinking back to his history with Oroku Saki, going backwards through his memories.  From right before his family was killed in the past all the way to being a child.  He asks his sons to fight the Shredder at first without him as he’s still getting ready for this battle.  The Turtles put up their best fight.  Saki even offers Raphael to join the Foot once this is all over!  Michelangelo shows some attitude as he takes on the Shredder, as he just wants this war over.  Shredder is sure of himself, feeling he’s going to win.

Splinter’s turn comes and the fight begins.  This is how it should have been from the start.  Splinter vs. Shredder… Hamato Yoshi vs. Oroku Saki.   Friends… who grew up close enough to be brothers.  One will live.  One will die.  Both are not holding back.  Though Splinter has some things to say to Saki as they fight.  He shares the lessons from his childhood and much they’ve changed and how he has learned his lesson.   Splinter uses each of the Turtles fallen weapons during the fight, the bo, the chucks, the sai…  The talk is deep.  And while they’re fighting, both were  engage in this conversation, till Splinter is taking lead on it, not giving Saki a chance to respond to his words. 

I am going to give the spoiler here on who won the fight.  So this is your last warning to look away if you have not read this comic.  As this is one that should be seen, not spoiled for those who truly follow the books.  Go… pick up the comic then come back.  Don’t spoil this for yourself!

In mid conversation Splinter makes his move, fast.  Using Leonardo’s sword, the Shredder falls.  He’s taken by surprised.  This was not the way he saw the fight ending.  Words are exchanged as Saki gets to say goodbye to those he cares about, and even helps make the choice of how he’s to go.  Then Splinter using the sword in hand, removes Shredder’s head from his body.

The shock was around.  More surprises were to come, enough to get Michelangelo to take off from the scene of the fight.  Upset and confused over the news that follows.  That is stuff I’ll leave for the comic to share.  As the passion that is poured into this story, the words that keep you hanging onto every line, and the build up through the pacing.  This is a work of art.  While my mind is still spinning on the issue, the excitement within me can only say ‘It’s not over! There’s still more to come!”

The artwork through the comic is done by Mateus Santolouco, while all the flashback art is from Cory Smith.  Both of which do an outstanding job of keeping the art fluid and just as impacting as the words written in the comic.  One of my favorite panels that just jumps out at me is when Donatello returns, Raphael is the one to be giving Donatello the tight hug for being back.  Michelangelo and Leonardo are both there and smiling.  But the smile on Raphael’s face. I also love how you can see each of the weapons flying from the Turtles during their fight with Shredder. 

My favorite art with the flashbacks is when Yoshi and Saki are in the forest.  Seeing the two happy and playing together.  It shows two kids, loving life, not knowing what’s ahead.  And matches right up to the current artwork of Splinter holding Shredder’s helmet.  As we can see he’s in the memory of who is now gone.  This was not a fight done with no feelings, and the art is where the feeling really can be seen right here.

The color was done by Ronda Pattison, and she did a wonderful job.  The colors were just right through the book at keeping not just everything in the right lighting and shades, but keeping the mood of the story where it needed to be.  I really loved the blues she used around the panels during the fight scenes and Saki’s death.  It was a theme that brought out how intense those pages were meant to be and it worked well!

The team worked so well together at making this book a masterpiece.  I normally try to find a problem, a flaw in what ever I review so it’s not all praise, but with this I do not have one negative thing to say about it, because of how well it all flowed together with this powerful story.  For me, this has been the best fight to the finish I’ve seen in Ninja Turtle history.  I do not know how one can top this.  It should have always been Splinter vs. Shredder, for that is where the heart of the feud was born.

Thank you Tom Waltz, Bobby Curnow and Kevin Eastman for bringing such an amazing story to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles History.  Yes I did read that Saki said he will try to find away back, though if he does.  The big question will be, will he honor this fight as it was meant to be.  The end of the feud?  That is a question I hope to see answered in time, as I do believe from what we’ve seen, that if anyone could find away back to the living.  It will be Oroku Saki.  And thank you towards hinting as to why the Hamato Clan still lives.

Issue 51 can not come fast enough for me.  If you’re not reading this series, you’re missing out.  I will recommend it for all TMNT fans for the heart that this series has is one that will touch many!

Have you read issue 50 of IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?  If so, what is your favorite part?  How do you feel about Splinter winning?  Please share your thoughts here!  All reviews, comments and questions welcomed below!

Entertainment Earth