TMNT Ongoing #71
It is that time again in the TMNT Universe once every one-hundred years the “Pantheon” gather together at the Toad Baron’s Palace (last seen in TMNT Universe #9 and #10) to discuss current events and what has been happening for the past century. Kitsune is the most well known of the Pantheon to IDW’s TMNT ongoing series fans as she has been influencing Shredder since the beginning and been a pain in the shell to the Turtles, she has also has received a lot of backstory in the miniseries Secret History of the Foot Clan. We also get to see some familiar faces in The Rat King, AKA, and The Toad Baron. In this issue, we get introduced to the rest of The Pantheon (old school TMNT fans will recognize these names from various incarnations of the series!) Jagwar, ManMoth, Gathano and Chi-You. The whole crew arrives and the main topic of discussion is Kitsune’s recent fascination with Shredder and the mutants in Manhattan and what she is planning. Kitsune being young is not well respected but she has a plan that could alter everyone’s existence!
This issue is a little hard to judge, on one point it is something that needed to be explained. Kitsune has been around for a long time in this series and AKA has made several appearances along with the Rat King. Throughout the TMNT series there has been a lot of talk about The Pantheon with little explanation, well with this Issue we get all of their introductions and what they are about and that needed to be done and explained for the sake of the series and story, but it is a little boring. This Issue is mainly all dialogue and explanation of who these beings are, what they do etc… It is great to see all of these characters and get explanations about them, it is just a tad of a slow issue compared to what the series normally delivers. That is not saying it is bad it is very well written and there a few great comedy bits thrown in by the Toad Barons servants, it is just a lot of words and explanations for 32 pages. I do really like how the writers are keeping everything “connected” with all the mini-series, one-shots etc… with the editors notes boxes, I would have completely forgotten this one character, in particular, showed up in the TMNT/Ghostbusters crossover a few years ago without it being there (Marvel and DC comics should take notes from TMNT).
All of that being said about the story Dave Wachter and Ronda Pattison do make this Issue a marvel to look at. The designs for Jagwar and ManMoth are fantastic and really just great characters to look at. Wachter does a tremendous job of detailing each one of the characters; when each character of the Pantheon is “formally” introduced they each get a small panel showing a “flashback” as the word balloon describes who/what they are and Wachter does a fantastic job of catching the “essence” of each one of these characters in that small panel with his attention to detail to the character and backgrounds they are in. Ronda Pattison gives the drawings an almost painted feeling it. Going through the pages really makes you feel like you are looking at an old book which is the perfect feel for this meeting of the Pantheon group.
TMNT Ongoing #71 is what it is, while the story is not all that exciting it is necessary to push the ongoing narrative and give some background information to these Pantheon characters that have been popping up since almost the beginning of this series. The art is what really shines and holds the attention of the reader with great looking characters and a wonderful color palate. It is not a good jumping on point at all for a new reader, but fans of the series will enjoy learning about theses characters and what they have in store for our favorite turtles and the universe as a whole.
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