Review by: Walt Kneeland (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Quick Rating: Very Good
The TMNT find themselves facing a horror unlike anything they've seen before, as weirdness grips the city.
Written by: Tristan Jones
Art by: Mark Torres
Colors by: Jay Fotos
Lettering by: Shawn Lee
Edited by: Bobby Curnow
Covers by: menton3, Livio Ramondelli, Mark Torres
Published by: IDW
While people disappear and weird weather pounds the city, the Turtles find themselves drawn into things. Though the craziness seems to be topside, they know that as stuff heats up, events are bound to wind up in their laps as well. While they try to decide what to do, the power blows, and Splinter realizes they're not alone. Setting out to see what's causing this particular disturbance, the turtles soon find themselves dealing with a rather disgusting creature; once defeated they seek out where the creature came from, and face an even worse horror that threatens to tear the mutant family apart.
This is the first of the Infestation books that I've really had a vested interest in. I've been reading and greatly enjoying IDW's new TMNT-verse, and so had been curious about how an Infestation tie-in would come across, given this is smack in the middle of a series I've been following for more than half a year now.
Truth be told, this doesn't feel like part of that ongoing series. Which really, is a good thing: you can read and enjoy this as one of those "weird" TMNT stories with no need to have followed the ongoing. And if you're following the ongoing, this doesn't seem to be essential to that, does not "steal" any plot threads or seem to be setting in motion any huge plot point for the main series. Where the ongoing series features the turtles quite young and new to things, this story seems to pick up on a more experienced, established family. Additionally, this is such a short story--only two issues--that it's quite action-packed, focusing more on the action and showing us the turtles dealing with the Old Ones-based challenge than the generalized world-building of the ongoing series.
There's something to the art that I'm not entirely fond of in and of itself. It's not bad, by any means--and as I've often said, I'm used to seeing a lot of drastically different visual interpretations of these characters. But compared to the ongoing series and even the Micro Series, this has a grittier, rougher feel to it that sets it off. Come to think of it, if it weren't for the colors, if this were black and white it would simply appear to be a horror story. And I definitely like that. Where last year's Infestation was throwing the participating properties into zombie stories, this year's Infestation 2 throws the properties into Lovecraftian horror stories. So with that in mind, the art totally fits the story and lends itself to the feel of the book as a whole.
Story-wise, as touched on above, we find the turtles and Splinter as a strong group--comfortable with each other and seemingly well established, not still getting used to being a whole. This lends itself quite well to a TMNT issue that fits in the current continuity, but would not seem terribly out of place with bits of older continuity from the Mirage series.
I enjoyed this issue, and look forward to the next chapter. Whether you're a lapsed TMNT fan looking for a new story that's not going to require months of buying to invest in; or following the Infestation stuff, a fan of the ongoing series eager for anything to supplement the monthly dose of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles title, this is quite worth the look-see.