TMNT #45 Review

Posted April 30, 2015 by Chris White in Comic Books

Written by: Kevin Eastman (Story), Bobby Curnow (Story) & Tom Waltz (Story & Script)

Art by: Mateus Santalouco & Charles Paul Wilson III

Publisher: IDW

TMNT #45 is a good entry into the current TMNT run of comics. It feels very much like a catalyst to something big and pulls no punches in its delivery; however, I do have my concerns with some of the story’s elements—more on that later. After the events of #44 and the final part of the story arc, ‘Attack on the Technodrome,’ our heroes in a half-shell are left in shock after their brother, Donatello is left in a pool of his own blood after an attack by lifelong villains Bebop and Rocksteady—seemingly dead. Yes, Kang is defeated and the Shredder is gone but this isn’t enough to take the turtles’ pain away. Karai plans to cull her ranks of ‘traitors and cowards,’ making it clear that her and the foot clan are far from ready to give up.

When I saw the iconic image of all the turtles stood around their brother at the end of #44, I got goose bumps. Could it be that the writers have actually gone and killed off one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Well, as we find out in #45, that isn’t the case. This discovery left me slightly annoyed and disappointed. I didn’t want Donatello to die—why would I? You might as well shave Mario’s moustache off or take away Doctor Who’s TARDIS in favour of a Ford Fiesta, circa 1985. My point is there are four turtles—no more, no less. So when such a bold move is decided upon, surely as a writer you should stand by it if you want the shock of such an incident to be felt around the world, making the decision a permanent one and leaving such a momentous event in the history books. Maybe I am on my own here but there have been countless times when superheroes and characters in comics are ‘killed off,’ only to return in the next issue or so. I’ve become cynical whenever this happens now and it completely takes the sting out of the reveal. Apologies for my disparagement but I find myself feeling cheated and taken for a bit of a fool.

As for the issue itself, there are some nice moments that keep me interested and help to remember why I love these guys. The dynamics of the brothers has always been a main draw for me. There is a moment when Raph is being his typically negative and surly self; he’s frustrated and upset just like the others but when he decides to launch into another one of his ‘woe is me/I’m sick of this crap’ rants, it is Mikey (who’s typically chilled and easy-going) that matches his rage and fights his brother’s anger with his own. It shows how vulnerable they all are after Donny’s ‘death’ and it hits home how much this has affected them. Another moment that I loved was when the resident badass and antihero, Casey Jones takes out a gang known as the Purple Dragons, using a baseball bat wrapped in chains to do so. Whenever Casey is involved, I’m in; hopefully the writers have something good planned for him as they approach the big finale in issue #50 but in this issue, he felt like an afterthought. The dream/limbo sequence felt a little cliché and I felt like it didn’t add anything to the story; it allowed Donny  a chance to be in the issue without making any kind of impact—an impact that would have been better if he had been left out altogether but I’ve already made my feelings known on that.

All in all, the issue was enjoyable and it is abundantly clear that the turtles haven’t seen the worst yet; they may have destroyed Krang but there are still many others out for their blood. The art direction was bold and beautiful and the writing was solid, albeit slightly floored in places. Hopefully, the next issue brings Donatello back without dragging it on too long and he’s stood beside his brothers as the oncoming onslaught awaits.

About the Author

Chris White

Rock n' Roll Nerd, Gamer, Writer, Lover and procrastinator.