TMNT: The Last Ronin #1
Words by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird & Tom Waltz
Art by Kevin Eastman, Esau and Isaac Escorza
Colors by Luis Antonio Delgado
Letters by Shawn Lee
Who is the Last Ronin and what happened to the Turtles? So many questions going into the issue and none of them answered. This is a good thing, as it allows us to explore the journey and get a sense of how much has changed from the current time period to the one in this issue. With the original creators back together, it’s great to see how they want to end the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The story opens up with the last remaining turtle on a mission to get his revenge. They need to infiltrate a closed off city and find the head of the Foot Clan for his revenge. Things get crazy and don’t go as planned, resulting in a retreat to the sewers; to regroup and begin a new plan.
The story starts with a natural feeling and development. With the different versions and stories that have come out over the years, this issue feels like the perfect ending for all of them. As this was a collaborative effort between Eastman, Laird and Waltz, it’s hard to critique the style or flow of it. The narrative is well established along with the character dialog and keeping the ambiguity of who it is the last Turtle.
Unfortunately with a collaborative effort one area that suffered is the art. One of the biggest issues is panels feeling jumbled together without a sense of location or directions. During the action sequences it is most evident on how disproportionate it all feels. There is no spatial awareness or layout of what the city and buildings are. It is evident that some artists are working on backgrounds while the others are working on action and when put together, nothing matches up. This disjaring feeling takes you away from the story. When I was reading it I had to look to make sure I wasn’t missing something.
Last Ronin was created as an ending told by the original creators. The way it was constructed, any Turtle fan can join and have their version of Turtles be imposed as this is their ultimate ending. The art killed the story and at times could not be overlooked. Hopefully for the remaining issues the art can get worked out to match the story’s output.
Overall 6 out of 10