TMNT: Macro-Series Raphael #4
Writing - 5/10
Art - 6/10
Overall - 5.5/10
User Review( votes)
Story: Kevin Eastman
Script: Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz
Breakdowns: Kevin Eastman
Pencils and Inks: Ben Bishop
Colorist: Tomi Varga
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release: December 12, 2018
Raph is separated from his family once again. Agent Bishop wants something from the sai-wielding, red mask earing Turtle. But he makes Raphael angry and that is never a good idea!
Raphael has always been my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, obviously, I am excited for his story in this Macro-Series stories from IDW. Agent Bishop wants Raphael for some reason and he has brought a whole force of EPF agents to capture him. Once again separated from his family and friends Raphael will have to dig deep to survive and the anger that he has struggled to keep under control may be the only thing that can save him in TMNT: Macro-Series Raphael #4.
All of the previous TMNT: Macro-Series issues have been excellent so this one had a lot to live up to and Raph being my favorite Turtle I might judge this issue a little more harshly. That being said the story for me wasn’t as great as I was hoping. Kevin Eastman wrote the issue with Tom Waltz helping on the script. They are both regular writers and scripters on the ongoing series and I think that might have been the problem with the issue.
It seems TMNT: Macro-Series Raphael #4 was a little too focused on setting up ongoing plot points in the regular series and not on Raphael as much until the end. The other Macro series set up further plot points also but seemed a little more focused on the character at hand. This issue also felt a little disjointed to me at the beginning. It played with a time jumps were we would see bits from the middle of the issue then jump to the beginning and then see stuff at the end of the issue. It was back and forth like that and it didn’t help the reading experience
That was a bit disappointing as I was hoping for a good Raphael story and we did not get hat until the last part of the issue, and the last part of the issue saved the book for me. Casey Jones is my second pick for TMNT characters and his friendship with Raphael is one of my favorite things. This issue touches on that a little bit and those story points and the final page really saved this issue for me.
The art in TMNT: Macro-Series Raphael #4 was not as solid as the previous entries either. Kevin Eastman provides the layouts while Ben Bishop does the pencils and inks with Tomi Varga on colors. You can feel Eastman’s influence throughout the issue on the layouts. His style is very unique with tight angles and bold lines. I am not sure how well it works with Ben Bishop’s pencils and inks. In some parts it looks more like Eastmans style then it seems to switch more toward Bishop’s style at other parts. It is not terrible it is just a little off-putting at times. Like Casey Jones, face structure seems to change between the beginning and end of the issue. There are some just awkward looking panels as well.
There are some good layouts in the issue and I really liked some of the art sequences when Raph is trapped by Agent Bishop. They give Raphael a cool Wolverine Weapon X look. I also love the “cold weather” suit they give Angel AKA “Nobody” it looks great with the white and purple and the added hood. The disrupted timeline of the story doesn’t help either as we flash from present to past, to mid story, it seems the art doesn’t help this time jumps during the story.
I do love the coloring by Tomi Varga in TMNT: Macro-Series Raphael #4. Varga catches that winter feeling with his white tones and enhances the mood of the story with his darker colorations. The art is by no means terrible either. There are some great scenes in this issue, but some not so great ones as well.
I may be being too tough on this issue. It is not a bad comic book but the other Macro-Series being so good and Raphael being my favorite Turtle since I knew what a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was, meant I had very high standards for the issue. Unfortunately for me, the story was just too disjointed and unfocused. It seemed to focus too much on pushing a further story down the line instead of Raphael until the end. The different time jumps in the story also did not feel necessary. The art also suffered from some disjointedness, I don’t think having Eastman on layouts and Bishop on inks totally worked out.
There are some fantastic art scenes in TMNT: Macro-Series Raphael #4 but as a whole, I don’t think it works well. Really the last part saved this issue for me. It was more focused on Raphael. I love, love, love the final page. I won’t spoil it for you but it is already one of my favorite things in TMNT media ever!
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