Story By: Mateus Santolouco
Script By: Mateus Santolouco and Erik Burnham
Art By: Mateus Santolouco
Ever wonder what a comic looks like before it is rolled off the presses, before it is completely colored, or how the writer conveys what they want from each and every panel? Well this deluxe work print is that work of beauty. Mateus offers us a look at his script that helps define what is illustrated in the panels of each page, from the captions, to the sound effects and even the surprise look on faces. This particular comic is different from most comic editors cut versions though, as the artist and the writer are one in the same person. That makes it easier for Mateus to write down exactly what he wants to see, and as the illustrator he knows exactly what the writer was thinking for a scene. I’m a huge fan of taking a peek behind the scenes into how comics are made. From the unfinished artwork down to the script in its initial concept.
The story that Mateus is bringing us, is a lecture that someone is showing a room full of people, detailing how the Foot have been a part of Feudal Japanese culture for a very long time, and how The Shredder may be more than just a living person. Of course the turtles are in attendance from the rafters as they listen in on how The Foot is ingrained into the mythology and history of Japan. The story jumps back and forth from Feudal Japan and the current time where the turtles are discussing the current Foot and how the similarities between the lecture and modern Foot are one in the same.
This comic gives The Shredder a dark and mysterious background that is rooted deep in the past. If you have been reading and staying current with the ongoing TMNT series, this book is a must read (in work print form or in normal volume collection). This tale of Saki builds up his backstory and actually makes you root for the villain, after all evil is only a point of view. This book is where we find out why The Shredder is the way he is, we find out who The Shredder was before being the ultimate villain for the turtles, and we find out just what drives The Shredder on now in the current ongoing series.
Without the work print views of the script, this comic is amazing and highly recommended. However, if you are a fan of the turtles, The Shredder and how comics looks before they hit the presses, this comic is a must own. I have read other director’s cut comics and they are all very well done, this one hits home for me as it is by one of my favorite TMNT writers and artists. If you want a jumping on point into the chaos that is happening in TMNT #44 and on, then you will want to take the time to stop and read the past. Mateus Santolouco has written the one of the best arcs in current TMNT history in his City Fall arc, but this story, this version, is a highlight for any comic book enthusiast.