The Battle For Manhattan Rages On In TMNT #79

by James Ferguson

The Triceratons are waging war in the streets of Manhattan against the Earth Protection Force. The city is cut off from the outside world as all major bridges and tunnels have been destroyed. Caught in the middle are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, pleading with their father, Master Splinter, now head of the Foot Clan. Splinter has made a deal with the EPF to stop the Triceraton threat and keep his clan and his family safe. The Turtles see the dinosaur warriors as misunderstood allies and they realize that killing them is not the answer. Needless to say, next Thanksgiving is going to be a little awkward.

The scenes of warfare in New York City are harrowing. This is a devastating battle. Jets are flying over the city shooting at the Triceratons, who are carrying advanced space-age weaponry firing lasers at the EPF. Buildings are being torn apart. Vehicles are flipped over and destroyed in the streets. Agent Bishop is at the center of the chaos, reveling in the violence, especially since he’s controlling Slash. If you needed another example of why he’s a horrible person, this is it.

This is why Splinter’s decision to ally the Foot Clan with Bishop and the EPF is so shocking. You can almost see where he’s coming from, but he’s definitely painted as the villain in this case. The Turtles want to do what’s right and they have the full story. Splinter won’t hear any of it and that is only going to deepen the rift between them.

Brahm Revel picks up the art duties for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #79. I’m bummed that regular artist Damian Courceiro had to leave the book, especially in the middle of an arc. Revel’s artwork takes a little getting used to. It’s more angular and occasionally looks sketch-like. There are often shots where limbs appear way too skinny and hands and feet look almost miniature, not in proportion with the rest of the character.

Revel has a talent for fight choreography. There’s a great scene where the Turtles are using their Ninja skills to sneak up on an EPF sniper. This is shown with a number of panels broken up over a two-page spread. Each one focuses on a different detail, such as the sniper’s trigger finger or Leonardo preparing to throw some ninja stars. It makes for a very tense scene that has some high stakes. If the Turtles don’t stop this sniper, more Triceratons will be killed.

The Turtles are covered in scratches and bandages. You can see how this war has affected them. They definitely haven’t sat this one out. Despite all the obstacles – both physical and emotional – they’ve faced and the violence they’ve endured, they still soldier on. That’s what makes them heroes.

I don’t know how the Turtles and Splinter can come back from the events of “Invasion of the Triceratons.” How do you make amends after your father sided with an evil government agent that has tried to kill you on numerous occasions? This issue leaves off on a stellar cliffhanger that is sure to make the final chapter in this story arc explosive to say the least.  Writer Tom Waltz has crafted some teenage mutant family drama.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #79 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.