Review: Nick TMNT #39 & #40 "The Manhattan Project"

The Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series has held a few specials for the fans where it’s two episodes of epic action and animation.  For season 2 the first of these is “The Manhattan Project”, while the TV station gave it a different title in the promotions this is the intended title.  With introductions to new characters, and a reveal of some classics.  Here is my review of “The Manhattan Project”.

Two episodes brought together to give us fans a handful of story lines.  We start off with the Foot hunting the Turtles.  Leonardo wants to inform Karai about Splinter being her father.  Though an earthquake breaks up the fight where he tries to tell Karai.  Donatello realizes that the earthquake is not natural and is looking into it.

Shredder returns from Japan with Tiger Claw.  He sends Karai out with Tiger Claw to catch the Turtles and Splinter.  While April and Casey make a discovery on their own, of a Kraang portal.  They take out the last of the Kraang that was going into the portal, as April turns off the portal and tells Casey they’re bringing it to Donatello.  This is where the plot thickens.  April, Casey and the Turtles go through the portal once it’s in Don’s lab.

The Turtles find themselves in Grand Central Station of interdimensional travel.  With a lot of doors into different dimensions.  As they’re looking around, they find one of which that shows them looking very different.  We see the classic toon Turtles, Casey and April walking down a street.  Donatello really like April’s jumpsuit.  It doesn’t take long for the fun to end, as they spot Kraang in another portal with a giant worm, forcing it through a portal.  The Kraang notices the Turtles, their portal closed.  Making it so they have to stay and fight. 

During this fight the group is split into two teams.  Donatello, April and Casey are split from Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo.  Bringing this episode on two different missions.  Mike, Leo, and Raph appear back on Earth.  Before they could even start to search for away to get back, they’re attacked by Tiger Claw.  He wins the battle, and forces them to call Splinter to the rescue.  While Don, April and Casey get caught by some Kraang.  They’re brought back to Earth to be food for the giant worms.

Splinter comes to save his sons, finding himself in a huge fight.  Tiger Claw is good, but Splinter is better.  The fight is just about finished when Tiger Claw gives Karai the sign and she shoots Splinter with a poison dart.  Splinter has enough strength to save the Turtles.  They escape, knowing they must save Splinter.  While Donatello, Casey and April escape and find that the giant worms are the cause of the Earthquakes in New York City.  The Kraang realize they’re there and sends one of the Giant Worms after them.  They run till Donatello finds a way out of the sewer, Casey is not fast enough as he swallowed whole by the worm. 

Splinter is placed in front of the Shredder, as Karai convinces Shredder that he has to fight Splinter.  Not just kill him while he’s drugged and tied up.  How will the Turtles save Splinter?  Casey was eaten by a worm?  The worms are milked like cows for mutagen?  Oh yeah, that’s one of the things Don, April and Casey learned.  So much going on this episode is full of adventure, though to learn how they get out of their messes just watch the episode.  Sometimes can be found under the title “Wormquake”

I really enjoyed this episode, beginning to end.  Of course I would’ve love to have seen interaction between the Nick and Classic Turtles, I just hope that’s coming in a future episode.  I like the team ups, giving Casey and Don more of a chance to work together.  While having the other three there for Splinter.  Tiger Claw is an awesome new character.  And now Karai is starting to finally learn the truth about Splinter!  So much wrapped all up into one story arc. 

I really do love when the Turtles see their classic selfs.  That must be one of my favorite parts, as I just see it foreshadowing something great.  I also really love Tiger Claw’s entrance into the Foot, how the other characters react to him coming all the way up to him drinking his milk, skim milk.  Tiger Claw is voiced by Eric Bauza  and he really does bring this part to life.

I am trying to think if there’s anything about this episode that I did not like, and so far the answer is no.  Close thing to being… eh okay with, would go to the cheese phone.  But I know that was done for humor, just see Splinter having a t phone like the rest of them.  It was fun, and a nod to many other comic and cartoon heroes.  It was also something nice to help break up the tension of this episode.

I do find it funny that Karai and Tiger Claw just happen to be at the right alley for the Turtles to fall out of the portal into.  Not like they knew the Turtles were coming or anything.  Of course written to help keep the episode into it’s time frame, but it makes New York feel small, when really that is a large city.  Lots of different areas where the Foot could be searching, other than right where the guys appear after traveling off of Earth.

Another thing that makes me happy that they did have Splinter tell the Turtles about Karai in the episode.  Instead of Mike, Don and Raph already knowing from off scene.  It still annoys me that April’s introduction to Splinter was not done in an episode.  While it’s been done before, over and over, every April is different and there could be a new reaction.  Like April being informed about Splinter being a rat before meeting him.  Just wish we saw it.  This just makes me really like these details being shared on screen even more when we do see it.

“The Manhattan Project” is a great name for this episode, in which it does reflect to the episode without giving any details away.  People are left guessing what’s going to happen next.  Though the network doesn’t like surprises.  As it is the first time I’ve ever seen them change the name of an episode for the ads and even on itunes!  Got Wormquake.  This title is not great, I hate it because it gives away the worms before we even see them.  We know the quakes are coming.  Yes there’s a lot of other surprises in this episode, but I like the built up to each one.  I pick on friends if they spoil it for me.. so now time to pick on Nickelodeon…

I don’t read spoilers for a reason dear Nickelodeon staff, to who ever decided to call the episode “Wormquake” in the ads, that was a spoiler.  A big spoiler for the episode.  If the title doesn’t spoil it, please try to refrain from coming up with a new way to spoil a show.  Most other episodes Nickelodeon has been doing a great job with giving us teasers that would not spoil a major plot point.  Like watching the Turtles compete over food.  Or talk about their ranks.  We’ve seen clips from episodes, without having a plot point spoiled.  I can’t speak for other TMNT fans, though I do hope that this kind of spoiler doesn’t happen again with the series.

I really do love this episode and have talked about it a lot with fellow fans.  The look at the classic Turtles remains a high topic wherever I go.  Great job to the writers, animators and voices for pulling off another fantastic adventure!  Can’t wait to show it to more friends.

Have you seen “The Manhattan Project”?  What did you think of the ads calling it “Wormquake”?  Please share reviews, comments and questions below.

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