cover image Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin

Kevin Eastman, et al. IDW, $29.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-68405-841-9

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series creators Eastman and Peter Laird reunite for their first full-length comics collaboration in more than three decades, in this gritty tale set in a toxic, nightmarish New York City of the near future. This final adventure of the turtles finds that the years have not been kind to the heroic adventurers, as all but one of them have fallen in battle, leaving only the Last Ronin to carry on in his brothers’ stead—armed with their signature ninja weapons and haunted by their ghosts. After years of keeping a low profile, the Last Ronin emerges from the shadows as he vows to end the war arising from the brothers’ master’s conflict with the Foot Clan and the Oroku family, whose unholy union of the ancient arts and advanced technology have left New York at their mercy. He also encounters the daughter of the turtles’ old friend April O’Neil. Readers familiar with the animated incarnation of the winsome reptiles may be surprised by this darker lens on the half-shell heroes, but longtime fans will appreciate how art and story are throwback evocative of the earliest TMNT comic adventures, featuring several pages illustrated by Eastman himself. The plot treads familiar ground and invites direct comparisons to Frank Miller’s classic epic The Dark Knight Returns, with its central element of a hero returning from exile to take care of unfinished business. For retro fans, it’s a satisfying tale and a worthy companion piece to the original comics. (July)