Book Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual #2
Book Description: This book begins with the Rat King talking about giving the reader a proposition. Before he gets to that he gives us a brief family history. The Rat King is one of 8 immortal siblings. His sister found a way to kill two of them before being killed herself trying to bring their father back from the dead.
The Rat King then tells the reader how he reached out to his remaining siblings to revive a ”game” they used to play. All of them decline his invitation for various reasons.
Despite the rejections the Rat King got a takeaway from each of them on how to improve the ”game”. Now it’s just a matter of refining his sales pitch, which we see the finished product of upon the conclusion of the issue.
Book Author: Tom Waltz
Book Format: Paperback
Publisher - Orgnization: IDW Publishing
Illustrator: Casey Maloney
This issue took me by surprise. I was expecting the turtles to have a more prominent role in this issue. Instead they’re limited to some cameos and minimal speaking panels. That doesn’t translate into this being a bad story. From what I can see this is a beautiful setup for the next story arc.
As someone that doesn’t follow TMNT as avidly as other titles, I learned a lot from this book. Before today I didn’t realize that the Rat King was immortal. I’d assumed that the way he was depicted was just an upgrade over the cartoon version I was familiar with from back in the day.
I also learned that some of his siblings are bad asses. Jagwar is a ferocious fighter that is more than willing to fight for the right cause. Mammoth was my favorite. He’s powerful and will do whatever it takes to survive. Most importantly he just wants to be left alone.
I liked how the cover artwork was relevant to the story. Seeing the Rat King with all of the characters referenced in the story on a chess board is rather fitting considering he wants to play a game.
The interior artwork had some terrific panels. I loved the coloring on Kraang and detail on Mammoth. I’d have liked to see more detail on some of the panels with the Rat King. Even then I would consider the work as a whole to be rock solid.
There were a lot of editor’s notes telling the reader which issues the panels were referencing. I really appreciated that. Now I have some more reading to do so I can be sure I understood everything that was referenced.
If you are a hard core TMNT fan this is a must read because it lays the foundation for the story going forward.
As a geek on a budget I liked that this annual found a way to differentiate itself from its contemporaries. The story is relevant to what’s coming as opposed to a random one shot story. You do get a lot of bang for your buck. As someone that’s not as big on TMNT as other titles, I found the $6.99 cover price is a bit steep. The story did compel me to see where we’re going in the next issue though.
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