Again Stephan threw caution to the wind and handed me the heady responsibility to review a TMNT comic book. The book this time is….well you read the title. So lets get on with it! This review, unlike my last may be spoilerific, so those of you who are faint of heart, skip ahead a paragraph or two.
Hey! Why are you still reading this. Do you want to be spoiled? HUH!? DO YA!?
And now to our regularly scheduled spoilers already in progress…omic opens with the Turtles and Casey besting Robo-Baxter (TMNT Vol 2 Issue 9. Thanks ninjaturtles.com.) Donatello, sneaky scamp that he is, decides that he will take the brain of the Stock-bot to a secret undisclosed location and attempt to bring some of it’s basic subroutines online. (Wow, all that Star Trek: TNG paid off.) Once Baxter-bot (I got a million of them…or at least 4) is back on-line, Donnie asks him what he knows about the whereabouts of a certain moody and broody brother of his. Meanwhile, some strange bio-mechanical ooze assimilates a cockroach, and wanders the sewers in it’s new form. While picking up and collecting Robo-Stockman’s (see…I knew I had one more.) pieces, Don encounters not only the polymorphic techno-sludge (hooray thesauruses!!) and even it’s brand spanking new host. Will Donatello escape this new threat alive? Will he pry info about Raph out of Baxter-Bot 5000? (I know I used it before, but 5000 makes it fresh!) Is this whole “ask a handful of questions” ending totally cliched? FIND OUT NEXT ISSUE!
Ok, the big bad spoilers are gone, you can come out now.
Now to the critical analysis of this comic in the grand scheme of the ever expanding universe….nah, I’m playing let’s discuss the art a minute though. I’ve never been a huge fan of Jim Lawson’s work (Though to be fair, I couldn’t do it any better. If I drew it, it’d be stick figures. But for the sake of this review, think of me as Michelangelo…the actual Renaissance artist, and not the lovable anthropomorphic Turtle), and this is no exception. I’m not sure what it is. It may be the ultra-stilization. It has a weird way of cartooning things, but also having bizarre attention to detail. Case and point this panel:
I mean, it’s very stylized. Incredibly cartoony. But you can still see that dog’s anus. Yikes! It’s also very black and white. There’s little shading, which I loved in Tales 61, but we are talking about 2 totally different artist here. All in all I give the art a 3 out of 5. Good…not great.
The story itself is simple, but then again it’s also the first part of a 4 part story, so it’s supposed to be vague at this point. 4 out of 5 for the story thus far.
So there it is, Donatello: The Brain Thief #1, written and drawn by Jim Lawson. To be honest, I can’t wait to read the other issues. You got me Mr. Lawson. I gotta know how this ends. Just don’t disappoint. 😉