Written By: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow & Tom Waltz
Art By: Dave Wachter
Colors By: Ronda Pattison
Letters By: Shawn Lee
Release Date: May 16th, 2018
The war in New York between the Triceratons and the EPF is over, for now. Leonardo, while meditating to refocus himself, has a vision of the Rat King returning to New York. The Turtles decide to try and get ahead of this possible threat. At the end of issue 81, they are transported to Toad Baron’s Den of Delight. Issue 82 picks up right where 81 left off, the turtles are about to be attacked by the Baron’s servants. Unfortunately for the Toad Baron, his servants aren’t exactly up to the task. They come at the Turtles with weapons like an umbrella and nunchucks made out of bananas. Fortunately for the servants, Leo is able to calmly and peacefully incapacitate all of them without anyone getting hurt.
The Turtles have come to discuss the Toad Baron’s brother, the Rat King, and they want to strike up a deal with him.
While the Turtles are on this mission, Baxter Stockman “The Hero of New York” has been summoned by of the Agent Bishop of the EPF. He wants information on how Baxter Stockman was able to get rid of the Triceratons, and where exactly he sent them. Baxter is reluctant to give up the information, but Agent Bishop tends to be… well, very persuasive.
One of the things I love about TMNT is how it works with so many tones. It can be serious, deep and meaningful, or it can be silly, fun and somewhat psychedelic. This issue does a great job of balancing all of those different tones. The interactions between Baxter, someone we already know is pretty despicable, and Agent Bishop are pretty revealing. Baxter being outmatched by someone like Agent Bishop can really elevate a character like Bishop. He already seems like someone who will go to any lengths to do what he thinks is right, and that can be terrifying. Now he has the resources to actually make it happen. The Rat King is truly a character straight out of a terrifying child’s nightmare. I don’t know if his plan is just straight up evil, or if there is a long game that no one is seeing. He is horrifyingly capable of either. And the Toad Baron’s Den of Delights is just the right amount of bizarre and cartoony to take your mind off of the other horrible things that are being set up. This balance makes for such a pleasurable experience the turn of each page.
The artist and colorist are able to keep up with each theme flawlessly. Each part is completely separated with different, beautiful, and tonally defining color palettes. It really helps to transition you into each of these different story arcs, sets the moods, and really co-operates in defining the tones of the different stories. There is really nothing better than when an artist can get in a groove with the writer, it really elevates the stories being told, and that is exactly what is happening in this book!
Does the Toad Baron keep his word? What is Agent Bishop up to? What is the Rat King up to? What is Splinter up to? There really are a lot of people up to things in this book, but it’s pretty exciting.
If you haven’t jumped on the TMNT bandwagon by now, I truly don’t know why. Trust me when I say that this comic is always completely solid, and deserves to be on your pull list! It’s exciting each and every month! Even though this issue is mostly setting up things to come, and there isn’t a ton of action in it, it’s all executed so well that it doesn’t even matter!