TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: TURTLES IN TIME comes to an end with this chapter, and what better way to conclude it than by giving us a glimpse of a future, right? If you've read the preview, you know there's something terribly wrong with this future and this plot twist allows writer Paul Allor to focus on Donatello, the turtle who's always thinking about the odds. After all, it's only fair since Raphael took the lead in the first, Leonardo in the second, and Michelangelo in the third. I know many of you tend to avoid previews, so I'll do my best to dance around any and all possible spoilers. I will, however, say that Allor uses the time-traveling element to add more intrigue to the insight into Donnie (Also, I'm pretty sure I saw someone wearing Marty McFly's jacket?). It may not be as emotionally gripping as Leonardo's dilemma in the second chapter, but it's a detailed look into the turtle's mind and it opens the door to some gripping conversations with his brothers. How each of them respond to his thoughts on the scenario and the dialogue which ensues was easily the highlight for me. When all is said and done, this finale also offers a smooth transition back into the ongoing series and it feels like a perfect compliment to what happened in TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #37. It's worth noting Renet has yet to receive any real focus and her role was only quickly addressed, so I'll just assume they're saving that for later?
Aside from a few expressions feeling a little too exaggerated, it was nice to see Dan Duncan once again illustrating the heroes in a half shell and joining him is the consistently awesome colorist Ronda Pattison. His work with the characters appears to have changed slightly -- the seem a tad leaner -- but his role seems fitting. Duncan (and Pattison) provided the visuals for the very first IDW TMNT arc, so it seems more than appropriate to have the same art team give us a look at the beginning of the story and what can possibly be the end, too. Reading Change is Constant before this offers a nice contrast between the present New York and its (potential) vivid yet still dark future. While there isn't all that much action in this chapter, the little we do see still manages to excite because of Duncan's handling of swift strikes and how they impact targets. I couldn't help but really appreciate some of the mutant's expressions as well. A few felt over-the-top, but many of the close-ups were used effectively.
So far, this limited series has found multiple ways to make me fall in love with it. The first chapter? Adorable and had a nice nod to the creation of the Triceratons. The second? A more compelling look at the TMNT's origin and how their actions set terrible things in motion. The third? Hinted at a fan favorite and had a nice focus on Michelangelo. While this finale does make satisfying developments (and even bring back a less popular human), I found none of them to be as profound as the twists and turns in the previous chapters. Simply put, it's still an interesting look into the path this mythos can take and has some solid character beats, but it didn't feel as epic, fascinating or engaging as the other three issues.
IDW's latest limited series ends on a solid note and feels like an appropriate follow-up to what went down in TMNT #37. While that issue revealed the beginning of a major conflict, this chapter shows how it could possibly end and what it would mean for the entire world. It has a few laughs and a bit of fun action along the way, but this chapter succeeds because of the spotlight it places on Donatello and how it'll serve as inspiration for what's to come. It doesn't really seem mandatory, but it certainly is a great compliment to the bigger picture. Instead of swiftly wrapping everything up with some spectacle, TURTLES IN TIME closes on a note which offers a good dose of character depth. It doesn't go out with a bang or a stunning twist -- it focuses on their personalities and that's something we all love about the team. Hopefully this scene will flow into the primary series. After what they've been through and said, you'd certainly hope it's something that'll be brought up and not simply forgotten. TMNT: TURTLES IN TIME is a terrific ride through the franchise's interesting mythos and, if you're a TMNT fan, I absolutely recommend picking it up