You think you know Shredder's history and the origin story of the Heroes in a Half Shell... but you have no idea. Really, you don't. That's just one of the many reasons why IDW's reboot of the popular franchise has been such a massive success, too. It's still giving off an overwhelming sense of familiarity and giving us plenty of what we want from the universe we know and love, but they're also throwing several alterations our way and making totally unexpected yet very awesome changes to the mythos. Given the title, it's obvious this four-issue limited-series dives into the lore and crafts huge changes, but the real reason you should read it is far more simple: because it's phenomenal.
Co-writers Erik Burnham and Mateus Santolouco do a stellar job handling this engrossing adventure which brings ginormous changes to the series. The story is able to flow seamlessly from the bloody and mystical events of Shredder's past to the current events between the villain and the Turtles. Be it the more abstract and dark elements in Shredder's past or the thoroughly cinematic events in the present, this series never fails to keep a super-strong grip on your focus and present a beyond sharp understanding of each and every character. It's a superb example of storytelling, constantly providing one immersive scene after another. When it comes to the overall narrative and comprehension of each character, this is without question one of the most satisfying TMNT stories you'll be able to find.
There's no doubt Kevin Eastman has established the signature look for the Turtles, but I wouldn't mind if Mateus Santolouco illustrated everything Turtles related until the end of time. The man is beyond talented and his work is nothing short of topnotch, providing a shockingly impressive amount of focus on each and every character and bringing their surroundings to life. There's just so much to be found and appreciated in every single panel. From the defining features on each Turtle to the creative inclusion of sound effects as swords clash or glass shatters, there's so much to love when it comes to Santolouco's art. Whether it's a vicious sword fight in snowy fields or fast-paced and frenetic car chases in the city, Santolouco delivers and then some.
If you're a regular here at our little corner of the internet, then odds are you've seen us praise IDW's current TMNT story 'City Fall' in all kinds of features. While 'City Fall' is indeed new reader friendly, it's worth noting that this limited-series connects right to it and will absolutely answer any and all questions you may have about the new continuity. Want the specifics on their new origin? Are you curious how this version of Shredder is different than the other takes on the foe you've seen before? Then yeah, this is a must read.
And yes, SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOOT CLAN is new reader friendly, too. This means if you have ANY interest in jumping into the nostalgic and rather excellent franchise, then there's quite literally zero reasons why you shouldn't read this one. Zero. Zilch. Nada. You can pick up this series without having read another Turtles comic before and odds are you'll exit wanting to read what comes next.
From the opening sequence to the final page, THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOOT CLAN is a TMNT story I simply cannot recommend enough. Burnham and Santolouco do a masterful job crafting a beyond entertaining story and to call Santolouco's visuals "great" would be a massive understatement. Whether you're a longtime Turtles fan or just someone curious about the franchise, this is without question the book you must read at least once.