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TMNT #75 Review: Dragging Second Half, But An Overall Good Read

The trial of General Krang on the planet Neutrino is soon to resume as soon as the Malignoid swarm has been defeated. All of the Neutrino's allies are present: the Triceratons, Ace and his fighters, Zak and Kala, and, of course, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo are facing off against the Malignoid swarm on the planet's surface while Donatello protects all of the witnesses to the trial against Krang.

The Malgnoids aren't the only threat the Turtles have to deal with, though, as Krang has hired the bounty hunter assassin Hakk-R to stir up more trouble.

TMNT #75 cover by Cory Smith and Ronda Pattison
TMNT #75 cover by Cory Smith and Ronda Pattison

This issue is the culmination to a long TMNT story revolving around Dimension Z and the trial of General Krang. A lot of the Turtles' friends have returned for the party, their enemies have lined up for the battle, and the story itself is a tense-back-to-back of the battle and the trial itself.

The battle is cool with a lot of good scenes drawn out on the page by artistic team of Cory Smith, Mateus Santolouco, Chris Johnson, and Damian Couceiro. The comic looks really good, and it has the cartoonish and high-octane feel which the TMNT deserve. Ronda Pattison keeps things bright and popping on the coloring end, and that is exactly how a TMNT comic should look.

The ending, without spoiling anything, is effectively shocking and unexpected. It's also pretty heavy and macabre for a Turtles story, but I'm not against it. It's appropriately cathartic and a good dramatic conclusion to this epic.

The trial sequence is, admittedly, an absolute pacing-killer. Paragraph after paragraph of lengthy sci-fi trial dialogue which drains all of the forward momentum had by the comic. I get it, the story is the "Trial of Krang," and there was going to be some courtroom drama (which does feel weird to say of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story). However, it could have been greatly abbreviated to keep the second half of the comic from becoming such a slog.

And a slog it is. While the first half has the action, and the second half has good moments of poignant drama and character development, that second half is just mired in unnecessary courtroom procedure. It's like you're watching the trial in real-time, and that just isn't necessary.

Krang does have some good moments and proves himself a skilled orator to the point where even I was thinking he had some good points. However, he's arguing for atrocities, so you know, deep down, he has to be wrong. He is the villain, after all, but there is something to be said about writing a villain who can get the reader on their side. Without that, books like Deathstroke and Thunderbolts could never exist.

The Turtles themselves are of course a lot of fun when written well, and they are written well here. These four characters are long-lived for a reason, and it's because they are fun relics of a different time who can still manage to fit whatever era their stories are told within.

Despite a terminally slow second half, TMNT #75 does bring the action and drama such a finale deserves. There is some good dialogue, a lot of great art, and, of course, the Turtles themselves at their best. Writers Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz do some great work here. I can recommend it, even if the $7.99 price tag makes it a daunting purchase. If you're really into the Turtles, then it is worth the high price though.

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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