Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #34
Trying to figure out a way to thwart Krang’s Earth-ravaging monstrosity, the Technodrome, Don seeks the help of his genius (but cranky) friend, Harold. Unfortunately Harold has his hands full with his newest invention— the robotic turtle Metalhead!
The Turtles try to tackle part of the looming Technodrome threat this month in the pages of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #34. The story was devised by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz with Waltz handling the script. Mateus Santolouco handles art with Ronda Pattison providing colors. Shawn Lee rounds things out with lettering. The Turtles have had a string of great stories outside of the Big Apple, but how are things going now that they’re home again?
Donnie has continued to work on the notes Fugitoid gave him about the Technodrome. With the help of April, the duo have figured out there are blueprints for a teleportation device. Hoping it can help in the upcoming battle with Krang, Donnie, April, and Angel take a trip to Harold’s lab. Harold doesn’t like visitors, and he’s extra cranky when Donnie brings back the now damaged tech he borrowed during their last big battle with Shredder to save Leo. In the time the Turtles have been gone, Harold has been very busy. He has a few new inventions and a rather interesting robot who looks a lot like Donnie. Can the trio stop Harold’s invention from going completely haywire? What other surprises has Harold invented while they were away?
Waltz writes another solid issue. The Technodrome has largely taken a backseat the last little while since Shredder is posing the more imminent threat. There is some headway made, but we do get a good explanation regarding why that story isn’t as important right now. The Turtles and Splinter recognize it as a threat, but they have bigger fish to fry right now. This is largely a fast-paced and fun issue that takes a small break from the recent run of story and plot heavy issues. Metalhead is set up as something new and exciting we may or may not see in the future, but it’s largely a fun issue that updates us on the current state of a lot of things. Santolouco’s art is great as always. This issue is packed to the gills with action, and the artist does a wonderful job of presenting it all in a really clear and exciting way. The panel layouts and shifts from single page to double page spreads ramp up the intensity of the battle and gives it a real sense of urgency. The character work is clean and there is some amazing detail when it comes to Metalhead and his weaponry. Santolouco also does great work when it comes to TMNT, but this one may be the most action-packed and fun issue yet. Pattison’s colors compliment things greatly and helps sell the intensity of the action with the colors used to accentuate movement and punches landing.
Bottom Line: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues to be one of the most consistently impressive books out there. While this one doesn’t get as plot heavy as some of the latest entries, seeing Metalhead introduced in such a big and explosive way makes this another can’t miss issue. 4/5
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