Review: TMNT Villain Micro-Series #5: Karai
Karai, a deadly assassin, is the embodiment of the Foot Clan. But it was not always that way! Explore the shadowy history of this complicated character and see exactly how far her ambition takes her! Secrets from the past and present revealed!
The latest entry in IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villain micro-series hit this week. The fifth installment sees the spotlight being shone on Karai. The granddaughter of Shredder gets her own issue written by Erik Burnham with art by Cory Smith. Ian Herring provides colors and Shawn Lee tackles lettering. So how does this villains issue stack up against the previous entries?
Karai travels to the Foot Clan’s training center in Westchester County, New York to convene council with Toshiro-San. Karai’s elder is overseeing the training of the newest batch of recruits when he’s interrupted by the girl’s arrival. She has come to ask for the old man’s council. He finds it odd, having known her for so long and her propensity to keep to herself, but he obliges. While seeking advice on her role in the Foot Clan and what she should do next, Karai talks about her origins. We learn about her as a child and how she clashed with her father and the way he ran the Foot Clan. She trained herself in the Clan’s ways and became the ruthless, skilled warrior the Foot Clan needed to return to its former glory. The second half of the story features a surprise appearance by a character for the City Fall storyline and sets things up quite nicely for future battles.
Burnham writes a fantastic story. The micro-series give lapsed readers (like myself) a one-shot look at characters that are playing pivotal roles in the current storyline. The first few issues were just fantastic one-and-done stories looking at a character, but more and more now they’re tying into City Fall. This one is really two stories in one. You have Karai’s mysterious origins explained as well as an intense battle with the surprise guest. Burnham made this feel like a 30+ page story, and I mean that as a huge compliment. Smith’s art is brilliant. You see some slight changes as we shift from the past to the present. There is one dream sequence that is illustrated beautifully. Smith changes up his panel layouts and boarders to show the different times being explored as well as to get the most from the action sequences. Herring’s colors are phenomenal. The dream sequence mentioned earlier is visually stunning. The entire issue is great, but those pages are particularly eye-popping.
Bottom Line: This may just be the most important micro-series issue yet. The Turtle team has crafted an impressive story with City Fall that can stand on its own, but these micro-series issues are adding another layer that you really don’t want to miss. 4.5/5