Reviews

Review – TMNT: The Last Ronin #2 (IDW Publishing)

TMNT: The Last Ronin #2 (IDW Publishing) cover (detail) by Esau and Issac Escorza
  • Writing - 8.6/10
    8.6/10
  • Art - 8.4/10
    8.4/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

TMNT: The Last Ronin #2

Story: Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman
Layouts: Kevin Eastman
Pencils/Inks: Esau & Isaac Escorza, Ben Bishop
Colorist: Luis Antonio Delgado, with color assist by Samuel Plata
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Maturity Rating: Teen+
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 17, 2021

Mikey is the last of his brothers and the last of his kind. On a revenge-filled mission, he will stop at nothing to avenge his family, but plans may have changed.

 

Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10
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No Laughing Matter in TMNT: The Last Ronin #2

Well, if ya had money on Michelangelo being the last Ronin, then you won some money. Okay, so I don’t know what the actual odds were, but I am sure Vegas had a line on it! Anyway, the bombastic first issue of The Last Ronin propelled us into this wild future, where NYC is a walled-off wasteland. It seems Karai’s son has taken over the Foot Clan, and that is who Mikey is seeking his revenge on in TMNT: The Last Ronin #2.

TMNT: The Last Ronin #2 (IDW Publishing) cover by Esau and Issac Escorza
TMNT: The Last Ronin #2 (IDW Publishing) cover by Esau and Issac Escorza

Things only start to heat up in this second issue. As April O’Neil catches Michelangelo up to speed on NYC, we learn what happened to Splinter and his brothers. Plus, we also learn where Mikey has been all this time. Michelangelo is not the fun-loving, pizza-scarfing Turtle we all know and love. Hard times have turned him into something different; in TMNT: The Last Ronin #2 he continues on his path for revenge!

Writing

I was not too sure what to expect heading into TMNT: The Last Ronin #2. I enjoyed the first issue, but the little longer layoff between that issue and this one kind of toned down the hype. But the crew—Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and Tom Waltz—does a good job of picking right back up where we left off. Now that the whole “who is the last ronin?” thing is out of the way, we can get to the “meat” of the story.

We are starting to get into the head of Mikey in this issue. He has been through a lot of trauma and the writing team does a good job of detailing that throughout this issue. 

TMNT: The Last Ronin #2‘s only downfall maybe the story pacing. It just felt like they should have switched some parts. Nothing terrible, but just some parts felt like they could have been switched to make the larger issue format work a little better.

The writing team does build up the next few issues well, though. They give us little details and information through flashbacks and setting up the other stories to come. Plus, as a Raphael fan, we get an excellent little send-off for his character. They also deliver some more surprises in this issue, as well.

Art

The art stays pretty strong and consistent with the array of artists on TMNT: The Last Ronin #2. The present-day story, I guess, is continued to be done by Esau and Isaac Escorza (there are no page credits here). It feels pulled right out of TMNT’s Image Comics days. There is a rough, textured feel to the art. It encapsulates that “seriousness” or grit that the story displays, for better or worse. I do continue to love how the older, weathered Michelangelo looks. You can see the hard times he has been through. 

Ben Bishop (again, guessing, since he did the flashback in issue #1) shows us what happened to the Hamato Clan in an exciting flashback. Bishop’s style is a little more delicate and it does a good job of bringing us back to what the Turtles were before everything went down. I do also enjoy the color change-up between the main story and the flashback by Luis Antonio Delgado with assist by Samuel Plata. It is a little more subtle change, but it sets up everything happening well, and helps sets the scene for what is happening.

Along with overall layouts, Kevin Eastman also gets to detail another flashback in TMNT: The Last Ronin #2. It is a bit shocking as it flashes back to that “OG” TMNT style. I think this is where, maybe, this part of the story should have been presented in the beginning, as the big change in art style is somewhat shocking, story-wise.

Conclusion

TMNT: The Last Ronin #2 is a great second issue in this 5-issue mini-series. It is a little sad we had to wait this long, but it is well worth it. We get more into the head of Michelangelo in this issue and start to piece together what exactly happened. While some mysteries are solved, more are presented to keep you excited for the next issue.


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