Review: IDW TMNT Micro Series #2

Welcome to my review of IDW TMNT Micro Series #2, 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.

This issue starts off with Michelangelo at the movies.  He’s been at the theater all day for one low price, and learning a lot about things.  His lesson here is about New Years eve and how it’s very important to do something to set the mode for the full year.  As Mike leaves the theater he wants to go and do something for the New Year, though he knows his family won’t be interested in this event.  So he decides to go and find a party he can crash.

For the start of the comic, it’s nice to see Mike getting out and doing something.  Though the art looks like a lot of details were put into some things like the backgrounds, or even the sign for the movie theater has a nice look to it.  The character design threw me off at first, I had to get use to Andy Kuhn’s art work.  It was also disappointing to see Mike generalizing his brothers, while he knows they each have their own thing Raph is still new to the family for him to think of ‘temper first.  Just seems early in their relationship for that to be Mike’s thoughts of him.  Leo was the only one I understood, from how he’s acted in issue 3 about the training.  Though I know this was just to move the story along, with an excuse for him not to have the others with him.

While trying to find a party to go into, he finds a costume party where there’s a guy in a lizard costume chickening out from going into the party.  He drops his wrist band and leaves, so Michelangelo swings in and takes it.   He gets into the party which is at a Museum, even finds himself some min-pizza pockets before someone taps on his shoulder asking if he’s Carl.

What I did find funny was that Michelangelo was at a party and the name that he’s given for this is Carl.  A joke for anyone who likes the TMNT 2007 movie, Cowabunga Carl.  These two pages are easy to follow, though the art is still very distracting.  You see a great T-Rex in the middle of the Museum, showing that the artist can really put detail into something if they want.  But the character designs of the humans and Mike are sketchy and just feel really off to be seen as a final project.  I do realize this is a style of art, it’s just never been one that I’m a fan of.

The lady who tapped on Mikey is dressed in a cat costume, she leads Mike thinking he is Carl up to a group of people who are clearly up to no good.  They take out the guards, as Mike learns that they are there to steal something and he’s suppose to be the Hacker of the group.  He uses something he over heard Donatello say to get out of having to hack the system while sounding smart.

Things seem to be moving along, but unlike the Raphael story in Micro Series #1 this fight scene and story is not holding me just yet.  The idea of Mike remembering word by word of what Donatello said, esp a name of a system where Mike clearly remembers he’s yawning in the background just does not feel right.

After sounded like a hacker Mike remembers training with Leo, goes off jumping through the laser beams which are between them and what they’re after.  He did this so that no one else gets hurt.  They still think he’s Carl, the cat girl seems happy with how he’s moving while the guy in charge is looking a little annoyed... questioning if Carl is the computer guy.  Mike gets to what they’re trying to steal, a green Diamond thing.   Mike breaks the glass, setting off the alarm and takes off with the Diamond using the excuse that he’s a cop in a fight.  He gets into a fight with the guy in charge of this group who pulls a gun saying that he will start to kill people of Mike leaves with the Diamond.   Mike remembers Raph trash talking him during sparring and trash talks the guy in the hat.  It works, getting the guy attack Mike, but Mike falls out the window.

I am not into this comic much, as I read it I find myself disappointed in the route that they’re going.  Mike does not have photo memory of word by word stuff with his family.  It would be better to see Mike using his own skills to win instead of relying on stuff he’s seen his brothers do.  Believe it or not, Mike does have his own skills... and these are not them.   I’m still not a fan of this art style either, half way through the comic and so far it’s my less favorite comic from IDW.

After Mike falls through the window the guy in charge sends the others down to the alley below to look for him.  He’s going to check some where else.  During this talk he also mentions something about “What HE’S going to do if we fail him?”

This here could be the reason for the comic, it all leads back to a boss over him.  Could be the Foot.. could be something new.  Just if they wanted to introduce this with Michelangelo, I wish they could of tapped more into Mike’s personality.  Right now it feels flat as if any super hero could be going through this.  It does not feel like the ways that Mike would handle things at all.  I’m not really sure what the Diamond is for, but it isn’t holding me enough to care.

When Mike gets to the roof things get more interesting as Mike has a talk to talk with the cat girl, she’s a cop. Mike and her have a discussion while Mike ends up stealing her gun away.  The lead bad guy shows back up now on the roof with them and has his real gang with him.  Mike breaks into a fight realizing he has to do this without thinking ‘what will my brothers do’, he goes through and kicks butt.

I’m glad they finally got off of Mike thinking of what others will do.  And we finally see Mike in more of a spot I could picture him in, but it’s near the end of the comic.  So much of this comic was fluff leading up to this part.  Mike is very skilled, so it is disappointing that they have him realize he has to be himself here.

The main bad guy gets a gun on the cat girl, though before he can do anything Mike comes to the rescue.  Mike takes a few hits, before delivering the final blow.

Basically a short page in a half battle.  Didn’t really get a feeling that made me care for the lead bad guy or feel that he could even be a match for Michelangelo.  So his down fall was ok, but was seen without question.

The last page and a half was Mike talking with the cat girl, he gives her the Diamond and lets her know his real name.  She tells him her name is Kara, and she starts to explain why the bad guys want the Diamond.  It has prolonged exposure to radiation and the big boss who we haven’t met yet is obsessed with that kind of stuff. She goes to tell him that the cops will be there soon, though by time she looks up he’s gone.

The story is over.  It didn’t really stand out too much to me as I’ve been saying through this full review.  I almost ashamed to review it, because I want to be able to share how much I love what’s coming out with Ninja Turtles.  After writing my review of IDW TMNT Micro Series #1 and how great I felt Brian Lynch did with it, I really hate to bring myself to saying the opposite about the comic based on my favorite Turtle.

Andy Kuhn showed through the comic that he does have skill, mainly with his background and layouts though his character design was something I never got over.  It was too simple and sketchy for me.  I do love most of the covers, David Petersen did a great job and I’m glad that they kept it for Cover A.   I really do enjoy seeing the cover art from the old Micro Series being used for the limited edition covers on these.

One more thing I think was neat about this is how it sort of relates to the old Michaelangelo issue from the original Micro Series.  In that issue it was Christmas and Mike was out enjoying the Holiday, here we have him enjoying New Years.  Two Holidays back to back.  A great nod to the original comic.

I hope to see more of Brian’s work come back like we saw in IDW TMNT Micro Series #1.  I really did like his work there a lot more.  This comic though may end up being picked up and reread only when I need to double check facts for future reviews or help answer questions for fellow fans.

There are two more things out from IDW that I am going to catch up on with reviewing.  The Infestation Ashcan and the IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Collected Hard Cover #1.  Please keep an eye here on Cowabunga Corner for these reviews!

Please do take time to press the like button and comment below on your thoughts about this comic.  There is no membership needed to comment here.

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Comments

Awww...I kinda felt you would be disappointed in this issue. From the onset I was wary, art style mainly, but I looked past it and i'm sad to know that alot of other people out there were so put off they just bashed the heck out of it[not you, but some people on IDW's page]. Anyway...

So I didn't even really think much about Mikey relying on the exact memory of his brothers' lines, but yea that is pretty weird. Then again[and this is probably me looking way too far into it and just trying to justify my loving of Mikey] but this may show that Mikey really does hear his brothers and respects them and thinks of them alot. Even though he was out at a party and stuff on NYE, he really wished his brothers were with him. *shrugs* Just my interpretation.

Oh wow yea his name being Carl is a nice little coincidence lol. Didn't notice that. As for the story of the issue and whatnot...yea it didn't really seem to tell us anything too important, but I suppose it may come back later. Although what I DID really love was Mikey's interior monologuing. I was literally laughing out lud at some of it. So Mikey. I felt his humor was spot on. In terms of story/action Raph's was more intriguing, but in terms of just a quick fun read I felt Mikey's was very neat.

All in all I feel your review is very fair and hits the main points, but it's nice to see how anothe rMikey fan felt about this issue. :D

Michele Ivey's picture

I have to agree with you about Mike's interior monologuing. That was the fun part of the issue. I do feel Mike wishes his brothers were there, but I still just couldn't get over him trying to do their things. And for him to know Raph as a Trash talker when he's only been in their family for a month. The Raph I've seen in issues 1 to 6, hasn't lost his temper like that in front of Mike to much, besides for trying to Kill Old Hob.

Sorry to hear people are attacking it on the IDW site, I feel everyone has their right to their own views on everything TMNT. While I find this my least favorite of the issues that came out, one person commented on our Facebook page saying this is his favorite. So we have different views, which is why the way Ninja Turtles is handled is so great. It reaches out to more than one type of fan. I hold a great respect for everyone who works in media, they can never please everyone, yet they give it their best in everything they do.

Yea Raph definitely hasn't been much of a temper tantrum guy as of yet[except like you said...against Hob]. Although i'm thinking the flashback Mikey was using was during their training so that was just probably inbetween issues[something we dont get to see]. And yes TMNT definitely reaches out to many different types of people and that is something very unique about TMNT. :D

I have to say I loved this issue. I was kind of wary of it at the start, as the art was loose on the characters but crisp on the background as you stated, and also because I wasn't sure whether or not the writer realized these Turtles didn't have the same origin as any of the other versions of the Turtles.

But I warmed up to it quickly thanks to Mikey's narrative, and what he does through the issue. Everything began to make sense: the sketchier approach to the characters means that once the action gets going, it's flying at the crazy pace one would expect from Mikey. His tendency to play, "What Would The Others Do?" could be seen as the fact that he still has the youngest mindset of his brothers and that he's kind of relied on them to make the important decisions and strategies, and now that he's by himself and completely in over his head, he finds himself trying out what they'd do. I even got the sense that he was utterly surprised as the tried those approaches that he was even able to pull them off. And then after a while of doing what his big brothers would do, he was finally like, "screw it, what would *I* do? And then he improvises, which is what Mikey does. This version of Mikey isn't very old (even with the reincarnated history behind him), so it was nice to see him become comfortable with being himself. He's spent his entire life around his brothers and father, so this is probably the first time he had the chance to improvise.

Also, notice that his quoting of Don's techbabble wasn't word-for-word. It started out that way, but within a sentence or two he was getting words wrong and just stringing stuff together that sounded similar. He couldn't remember exactly what Don had said, and he was barely paying attention at the time, so he just had to B.S. enough to come up with an excuse for the thieves. So even in that scene, he was improvising.

Heck, when he started acting like Raph, it was a bit exaggerated, almost as if he started out doing a Raph impression and ended up doing Robert DeNiro. More improvisation.

To me, these scenes showed that Mikey actually has a pretty good memory when he chooses to apply himself. I thought it was a nice touch to show he's not the idiot of the group, just lazy when dealing with things outside his area of interest.

And from a storytelling standpoint, it made Mikey's flashbacks into what he was doing with his brothers earlier in the day actually important. The writer could have any any old character defining moments in those flashbacks, but why not actually use those moments to set up Chekhov's Guns that Mikey could use throughout the story. They kept him alive juuuust enough for him to figure out the best way to handle it was to be himself.

Sorry if this turned out to be a long reply, but I wanted to explain what I thought of this issue, and why a lot of what happened worked for me. I started out reading this unsure whether or not it was going to be a worthwhile read; by the end of it I was cackling out loud and pumping my fist at the action. It was a fun ride with some smart storytelling choices made along the way.

I wouldn't say the issue is nearly as good as TMNT #5, but to me it's a great read on its own merits.

Michele Ivey's picture

I see where you're coming from there, though still think that Mike has had enough stories to show that he's not the 'idiot of the group'. Each of the other versions of Mike have had their grow up Mike episodes showing this. 4Kids did great with his character growth all the way up to "Fast Forward" then he some how fell backwards.

When I saw the shots of what his brothers were done back home, I had a feeling those would be used at some point in the issue. Kind of like when you start a show with a character learning a new fighting trick, that same trick will come up during a fight. It's a part of story writing that is a little predictable. Now if it's issues later that trick is used, or the flash backs come into play it's more of a surprise going... 'oh I remember that from this past issue'. So that part still doesn't hold me in that issue ;)

Glad you enjoyed the comic though, I hear a lot of different reviews. And don't worry if your reply is long... I encourage people to share their thoughts and reviews. We all see things differently and it's fun to see the other points of view.

wow!! I like all!!