TMNT’s latest sci-fi adventure has offered the readers some fun characters and action. Now it comes to an end, but there are still many things to be resolved both in the alien courtroom and outside it before the green heroes get to go home. Check out our review to see how this issue wraps things up. Slight spoiler warning.
Written by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz and Bobby Curnow
Illustrated by Cory Smith, Mateus Santolouco, Chris Johnson and Damian Couceiro
Coloured by Ronda Pattison
Lettered by Shawn Lee
‘Trial of Krang,’ part 3 of 3. The oversized conclusion to the Turtles’ greatest extra-dimensional story arc is here! Both the prosecution and the defense have tricks up their sleeves as testimony gets emotional. Meanwhile, a war rages outside the courtroom as the Malignoid swarm engulfs Planet Neutrino! Bullet points: * An oversized epic that starts the road to TMNT #100! * Courtroom drama and extra-dimensional war action all in one issue!
When it comes to longetivity, IDW’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” has been a huge success. With issue #73 it became the franchise’s longest-running comic ever and with this issue we’re three quarters into a hundred. Plot-wise there’s a lot going on to celebrate this milestone. In addition to the courtroom tensions, there’s the monstrous Maligna’s attack on the whole planet. Maligna and her ship and swarm of Malignoid helpers are drawn looking really unpleasant and act like it, too. They’re the kind of aliens you definitely don’t want to see visit your home planet. The Maligna plotline maybe isn’t very original but it’s still well written and the trial scenes can offer the reader some surprises until the very end.
Cory Smith, Mateus Santolouco, Chris Johnson and Couceiro provide the illustrations for this issue together and none of them do a bad job, even though in the some parts the drawings are a bit static and not very detailed. The other sequences have much more detail and liveliness to them, so it’s nicer to let yourself focus on them for a longer time. The pages are often quite busy because there’s so much happening and it happens fast. The tilted and dynamic panels add to the fast-paced feeling, but there is often so much text that it halts the speed. This causes a jumble with the pacing. There are some interesting angles used that wonderfully convey the feeling of the Turtles flying around with jetpacks, but the action doesn’t look as great as it maybe could with the combined effort of four artists we have here. There are a lot of shots of the characters standing and explaining their opinions, sometimes it’s just talking heads for five panels. The varying angles make it a bit less tiring, but it’s not enough to prevent you from secretly wondering when these particular scenes will end. Colourist Ronda Pattison has made the issue really colourful in a way that fits this exciting extra-dimensional affair with some wacky character desings, but it can hardly be called harmonious. Letterer Shawn Lee has used sound effects sparingly which is a wise choice, as the panels might get very crowded otherwise.
Various types of hive-minds and symbiotic living have been explored during the ‘Trial of Krang’ arc and the accompanying “Dimension X” tie-in, and the topic is present in this conclusive part too in form of the Malignoid. With such a huge cast there can’t be too many individual characters who get special attention, but the plant creature Polly gets a heroic chance to shine, General Krang shows his true manipulativeness and Leatherhead gets his own type of revenge. The titular characters aren’t the focus here, it’s the funny array of side characters the creative team has gathered. The issue has the feeling of a big get-together, like final issues of arcs that follow multiple different characters should, and it’s fun to see their personalities bounce off each other.
The biggest flaw with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” #75 is that the large amounts of dialogue make this a laborious read. Of course in a trial certain manners of speech must be gone through, but maybe the text could’ve used some trimming to make it less dense. Thankfully the dialogue itself isn’t bad and stays true to the style of the series. A trial setting that diverts from Earth customs is also an opportunity to explore some ethical questions, and the writers do touch on that a little in an interesting way that might have unexpected consequences on the characters. The setup for the next arc is interesting, but maybe not for those who after this arc are tired of alien invasions in the series, since this issue had one of those happening too. Either way, this arc proved again that the TMNT universe can be a playing ground for creators’ most outlandish sci-fi ideas in addition to traditional street-level ninja action.Continued below
Final verdict: 7.2 – A satisfying conclusion to the story, but suffers from wordiness.