The GeeksverseTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5
Published on Friday, December 23, 2011 by

Happy Holidays from IDW and Nickelodeon. While I’m not convinced how regularly the Turtles title will hit the retailer shelves, this issue was out the week before Christmas when it should be. I picked up the snow man cover, by Eastman, and did not miss the timelessness of the cover, the Christmas tree in the lair, and the gift giving story between.

There is no yes in yesterday, but we are finally finding out what tomorrow brings for the Ninja Turtles that so many fans have grown up loving.

This comic was a peek at how the back story will be handled in this on-going IDW universe. I usually rail against comic continuity as unneeded baggage that trap superheroes into vicious cycles and reboots. However, I do like it when a creative team can handle the direction of continuity to capitalize on the serial format of the genre. Here, we have a definite revision of earlier versions of TMNT, but it is still unclear how different or similar this series will ultimately become. The continuity itself, now only six issues old, is more definite than the mirage comics Turtle run vignettes. Thus far this seems to be more similar to the Image or Dreamwave comic runs.

While I respect the original all red mask version of the turtles, I grew up with the multicolor head band version of the four brothers to help make them distinct. It was especially helpful when they were not brandishing their weapons. I like that this series started with the all red, for a reason, and in this issue moves into the four colors that are more familiar. The best part is that it has a reason.

This story has an interesting parallel between Splinter’s journey home and a feudal Japanese story. How those two stories are connected is not completely transparent, but the answer seems to be on the horizon. Mateus Santolouco’s designs and interior art seems more akin to Lone Wolf and Cub than Usagi Yojimbo in this issue showing a brutal feudal japan full of action and menace.

Also on the horizon are two college students finally meeting up. Casey Jones is finally shown watching the college hockey training that his failing grades will not let him participate in. April, having witnessed ninjas that no one believes existed, is looking to learn how to protect herself. It seems like a matter of time before the tough guy and the geek get together as two odd ball college friends.

Besides some stellar story points: Splinter takes out a few guys on his walk home. I always love Splinter getting in on the action. This series started with Splinter attacking, and has quickly returned to it five issues later.

This is a great jumping on point even if you haven’t picked up the previous issues in this run. Christmas is a great time to give the gift of Ninja Turtles. Join the on-going Turtles discussion on the Pryde Forum.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ongoing #5

Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman (w) • Dan Duncan, Mateus Santolouco (a) •Duncan, Santolouco (c)
The Turtles are reunited, although distance still remains between the brothers. Fortunately nothing brings people together like the holiday season! It’s Christmas in New York City, and the aftermath of the battle with Old Hob allows for more mysteries to be revealed… and new dangers to be uncovered. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles begin their journey as a true team of brothers in this exciting issue!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

*Variant covers:
Variant cover by Kevin Eastman!

Bullet points:
• Stand-alone story acts a great jumping-on point!

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