Tales of the TMNT Review #56

Greetings, one and all…

tales-of-the-tmnt-56-cover1I will be the first to admit that I am not as able to keep up to date with the current TMNT comics as I should be. I tend to check out the official TMNT website for summaries and glimpses of a few pages. But what I can say about this most recent issue from the Jones/Harmon powerhouse is definitely going to be a memorable one for TMNT fans.

I know the idea of putting a cartoon character into the Mirage universe caused some to hesitate. But Tristan’s own interpretation of Hun – Hunter Mason – is a solid character that you can really love to hate.

If you are not one for plot spoilers, I will warn you now. You can skip the next Three paragraphs, and go straight to the art itself.

The timeline for this story takes place a month after Tristan/Harmon’s previous conglomerate, Tales #36 “To Protect and Serve”. Nearly as year has passed since the City at War arc of Vol. 1, Donatello and Splinter are back home from Northampton, and busily helping April and Casey set up the apartment for their new family. Shadow is almost a year old at this point. The continuation of the City At War Plotline is very exciting for those familiar with that story. We see a couple returning characters from #36, and I’m getting a strong feeling that we’ll be seeing some further build-up to this storyline in the very near future…

Tristan’s story introduces us to a darker, more threatening version of Hun than we’ve seen in the animated series.  It opens with a young, beaten up Casey staring defiantly at a late-teens(?) Hun, who’s got a knife in his side. The mountain of a man removes the knife and literally beats the life out of Casey while his family is forced to look on in horror. It’s this attack that most likely spurs Casey into becoming a hockeystick-wielding vigilante. You can easily understand how these two lives become so inexplicably intertwined…

More than just the lumbering brute that utters ‘Oh Crud’ whenever something happens, he is a fierce enemy who’s bound to become a favorite among the official Rogues Gallery – and leave you hungry for more…
Okay, no more spoilers, I promise…

tales-of-the-tmnt-56-sampleThe Art itself is something to behold. If the horrified eyes peering out of a shattered hockey mask isn’t enough to catch your attention, the sneering face of Hun should be enough to make you wonder what the heck is going on.  Dooney’s frontispiece alone could be good enough as a pin-up poster like they used to have back then.

I’ve always been fond of B&W artwork, just because I tend to see color sometimes taking away from the tiniest details of shading and textures.

Harmon is a master of this gritty, Vol. 1 style of artwork. I would say it was done with charcoal – Heck, maybe even Gunshot Residue for all the action taking place. The lighting is smooth, almost milky, which in contrast makes the strong lines almost too dark, but overall it just screams the perfect amount of Atmosphere. Once you get an eye for Harmon’s artwork, it’s almost addictive in nature not to stop examining for the little details.

Even the way the turtles are drawn is something to notice. What I’ve noticed about Harmon’s turtles is that they seem very much inspired by the character designs of the very first Turtles movie. I noticed this a lot with Tales #36, and more so here.
Overall, this is a fantastic addition to the history of Tales of the TMNT, and I’m sure it will become a fast favorite for your collection.

Thanks for reading!
~MachiasB

Author: Hero_777

UK-Based, longterm TMNT enthusiast, proud parent and professional Santa Claus.

0 thoughts on “Tales of the TMNT Review #56”

  1. From the reactions I’ve seen on some other websites, I think this issue’s gonna be a big hit. Hopefully Trist can tell us how they do with this issue sales-wise…

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