Written by Tom Waltz
Art by Kevin Eastman
Publisher – IDW Publishing
Pages – 48
Rating – 4 out of 5
“The Turtles are whisked away to another dimension by a stranger – Renet! Forced to fight for their survival in a tournament featuring the greatest warriors in the universe, the brothers will have to master new fighting techniques and forge new alliances. But with the deck stacked against them, their chance of survival is slim!”
I finally started reading my ever growing stack of new comics and decided to start doing a couple reviews. First up I had to discuss the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 Annual, which was a lot of fun to read. Eastman brings Renet, the time traveler, back to the TMNT universe. Renet’s first appearance was in TMNT #8 (the original series) and just like the original she is just as absent minded and goofy as ever!
He also introduces a new character/love interest for Renet named Baltizar, a barbarian clearly designed after Barry Windsor Smiths Conan (marvel Conan #1 1970). The turtles and Baltizar are imprisoned in a Roman style arena forced to fight to the death for the “Council”, a group of all powerful beings that have held these battles for a very long time. But most of the members dont agree with the contest and end up siding with Renet and her master.
There are a couple cool references: first Renet makes a time travel comment about weather or not the Turtles have met her yet and their adventure together. (I like the reference but it threw me off because I remember the original stories and got them mixed up with the current Turtles in time story line) The second references the Battle Nexus, which is a yearly event for warriors from around the galaxy to battle each other(and gamble). They basically replace the prison arena for a tournament.
The Pros & Cons
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Eastmans art is amazing as always and brought me back to the old days reading TMNT in my bed room as a kid. Eastman makes his “Baltizar” character a BWS Conan tribute, with horned helm and funky tribal necklace. Throw in the Triceraton “Zog” for another throwback to the old days and you get a really fun book to read. The story was kind of a rehash of the original, but the new addition of a couple characters mixed it up a bit. The only real drawback to this book was the price tag. $7.99 kind of hurt the wallet at the register, but the book had no ads and high quality paper to compensate for the price tag, not to mention 48 pages of Kevin Eastman art! My recommendation is to go out and buy this book. You wont be disappointed. =)