I've been unrealistically excited for 'City Fall' and it's mainly due to the fact they did a beyond brilliant job reinventing Shredder with the recent limited-series TMNT: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOOT CLAN. Now the they're putting this awesome villain front and center and to top it off, they've teased some huge changes in this event (Dark Leo!). Well, I'm thrilled to say the story generated by Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman and Bobby Curnow has surpassed my ridiculous expectations and is off to one helluva good start.
The premise so far is super simple yet still engrossing and it's all because it's more than transparent we're only seeing the initial waves of a way bigger picture. It's almost as if you can feel the pressure of everything that's about to hit the team, and while that certainly sucks for them, it's oh-so-fun for us. This is clearly intended as a jumping on point, but the creative team has managed to only provide the bare basics when it comes to exposition, so I never found myself feeling bogged down when the essentials were repeated to me. If anything, it just built my anticipation for what's to come. There's just enough to introduce you to the key players and why they're important, and then we're rushed ahead at full speed and treated to plenty of great looking action and a real jaw-dropper.
This issue introduces Mateus Santolouco as the ongoing title's new artist and I've sang his praise plenty of times when I reviewed TMNT: SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOOT CLAN. The dude has a really fun and lively style which feels like a perfect fit for the new take on the franchise. He does an excellent job conveying each Turtles' unique personality, too. For example, Mikey always looks adorably innocent, even when he's smacking a Foot Ninja in the face. And his Raphael... oh man, there's some seriously badass panels of him in this one. Additionally Santolouco has a tight grip on combat and really nails it when it comes to the motion behind each and every attack. He's an awesome fit for the book and gives me confidence this story is going to look consistently solid.
Alright, looks like I need to dive into spoiler territory for this one. I obviously don't want Casey to die, but talking about his status really takes away the enormous amount of shock I should be feeling. That moment when Shredder stabs him? Brilliant and it left me speechless. But having everyone then say how he still has time to live if he reaches a hospital really reduces the impact for me. Maybe I'll eat my words and he won't make it, but right now I feel like the moment isn't as strong as it could be because they're implying he'll make it if they rush... and as of right now it seems clear that's what they're going to do, even if it means abandoning Leo.
This is IDW's first big Turtles event and I'm so pleased to say the publisher is off to a terrific start. This is an absolutely superb way to kick things off because it's crafted in a manner that's perfect for new readers and for fans who have been following along since the very first issue. So, if you're one of the people who has been saying, "I want to read this but I don't know where to start or how to get the back issues," do yourself a favor and pick up this issue. Worry about catching up when you have time later, but for right now, you definitely don't want to be left in the dust. As of right now, this has all the makings of a must read story. IDW, thank you for continuing to make me fall in love with my favorite childhood franchise. You can't hear it from over there, but I'm giving you the best slow clap I can give.