Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends #2
Writer: Gary Carlson
Artist: Frank Fosco
Cover: Frank Fosco, Erik Larson
Publication Date: June 20, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “This is it! The entire TMNT Volume 3, reproduced for the first time ever in full four-color glory! Join creators Gary Carlson and Frank Fosco as they take the Heroes in a Half-Shell on some of their most amazing and dangerous and bizarre adventures ever. In this issue, the TMNT find their family in disarray as Master Splinter is being held hostage, Donatello is missing, Raphael is badly wounded… and to top it all off, they’ve lost their home!”
Things aren’t looking up for the Turtles this issue. After escaping the sewers, the group moves to higher ground and sets up shop in an abandoned mausoleum. And if their new digs weren’t depressing enough, the team is still fractured. Splinter is trapped in a cell, Raphael is missing half his face, Donatello fell from a helicopter, and they’ve been tracked by a group of female ninjas working with Pimko. What’s a turtle to do?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends #2 is possibly bleaker than its predecessor. The Turtles cannot seem to keep themselves out of danger, and their missing members are potentially irrevocably injured. Carlson adds a bit of an upside when Leo reaches the astro plane, but that achievement is quickly dwarfed by the sudden appearance of the female ninjas. Though I appreciate a hero’s struggle, it’s hard to see where or when the Turtles might catch a break and regroup. Carlson continues to pack on the heat, raising the threat level another notch. Working right along with Carlson’s bleak and hopeless vibe is Frank Fosco’s artwork, which is now in color. The art is intensely gritty, and the colors take the issue to the next level.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends #2 continues to explore the idea of animal/machine, weaving in dark science fiction tones. In this issue we learn a bit more about the Dragonlord and his purpose, but we are also given new questions. It’s hard to tell if or when the Turtles’ luck will change, for now I’m interested in who the Dragonlord is and why he is interested in the Turtles and Master Splinter.
The Bottom Line:
Intense. Gritty. Full of anguish. This series is shaping up to be a real rollercoaster, where each issue brings you a little closer to finding out the truth, then the breaks pull up and you free falling into another cliffhanger. Carlson and Fosco are doing a terrific job keeping the tension and suspense high, revealing just enough to keep you interested, but not enough to reveal what’s coming next.