Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paul's Picks! - April 25, 2012

Well, it's that time again folks: Wednesday! And you know what Wednesday is?... Well, of course you do, you're reading a blog about comics, so you obviously know it's New Comics Day, a.k.a. Paul's favorite weekly holiday! And now for his much-anticipated pick-of-the-week...

Hello all! This was a big week for comics, with a slew of AvX tie-ins hitting the shelves, along with many of your typical favorites from DC, Marvel, IDW, Image, etc. I left my shop with a nice bag just full of books this week, anxiously waiting to dive in to some of my usual favorites from this week in comics. Since I'm certain that many of you are sitting there wondering which books are these "usual favorites," here's a short list: from DC, Flash and Aquaman, TMNT from IDW, not to mention my recent taking to New Avengers (although I'm not sure that one counts, as it's currently all about AvX, but who's judging?). Any way you look at it though, this is a big week for books. And so, with no more blabbering on, the definitive winner of this week's pick is...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #9 by Eastman, Waltz, and Duncan.

Note: SPOILERS WILL BE PRESENT! I typically try to avoid them for the most part, but the key component to this issue can't be addressed well without them, so if you haven't read it yet and you're going to, WAIT TO READ THIS UNTIL AFTER! Thank you.

Gotta love some of these variants.
This is one of those books that manages to steal away the pick on an almost regular basis. If you've been following this column for any amount of time, or if you've listened to any given episode of the Ancillary Characters Podcast, then I'm sure you're keenly aware of my absolute adoration for the Heroes in a Half Shell. However, don't let my bias fool you; this is a blog where I go simply to talk about all of the different things that I love about comics in general, so no one bias takes precedence over any other. Well, not typically at least. The fact of the matter is, this is one of the few series that I am reading monthly that has managed to come out and do something to impress me almost every week, without exception. Sure, there have been some really great issues of other books, and this isn't even the best book I'm reading. Eastman and Waltz have delivered every month so far in creating a world that is not only reverent and understanding of the huge fan-base but is also fresh and unique enough to set it apart from anything that has come before, good or bad. Nine issues in, I can tell you that for many months (and hopefully years) to come, I will be pulling this title and loving every second of it.

Now that I've sufficiently gushed over the series, let's move onto the pick-worthiness of #9. This issue essentially begins what is looking to be the best and most exciting arc yet. The first fiveissues of the series had to deal with things like origins for the Turtles and Splinter, as well as introductions for a couple of new (and old) villains. Now that they've gotten that behind them, this A-list team of creators has taken it upon themselves to finally reveal the one that we have all been waiting for since issue one rolled out. That's right turtle fans, it's the big kahuna, the villain of all villains, the master of cutting himself... The Shredder. The foot were mentioned early on in the issue, not to mention the full on tease of the man himself in the Leonardo Micro Series issue, but fans must look no farther than issue #9 for the final reveal of the staple enemy of the Turtles. The issue culminates with a big splash page of Oroku Saki in all of his glory. I'm not gonna lie, I got chills.

I can't say enough about Duncan's art. This is one of those books that is just singing on every note possible. When I picked this issue up, I had just finished the Leonardo Micro Series issue, which was drawn by Ross Campbell. Campbell has recently won be over on the series Glory over at Image, and I found myself absolutely loving his version of Leonardo and the others. I was sitting there thinking how I'd love to see him on the series regularly, when I delved into issue #9 and all of those thoughts just disappeared. Campbell's art would undoubtedly be amazing, but Dan Duncan is working up a masterpiece with this book. His version of the Turtles perfectly captures the grittiness and the playfulness that these characters have been balancing for years now, and I can't imagine anyone else in the industry doing a better job. And man alive, did Shredder ever look awesome!

I recently read a short review on one of the major comic news sights for this issue, and they awarded it a 6/10, claiming that this issue was unbalanced between the four turtles and that this series has yet to get off the ground... I totally disagree! I'll admit, the first couple of issues were very Raph heavy, but at this point I feel that the book has finally found that perfect balance between the four brothers. Where the Micro-Series has given us a nice burst of character from them all individually, the Eastman and Waltz have found just the middle ground that they needed to make this book sing.

With issue #9, IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has started on the path that all of us fans have been anxiously awaiting since the beginning of the new series. As a long-time fan of the TMNT, and an avid supporter and lover of all things comic-related, believe me when I say that this is something that you don't want to miss. Don't believe me, Turtle fans? Just take a look at the cover for issue #10:
That's what I thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment