The Triceratons are waging war on humanity in the streets of Manhattan. Meanwhile, the Ninja Turtles are in a standoff with their father, Master Splinter, and the elite members of the Foot Clan on one side and the Triceratons and their leader, Commander Zom on the other. Can they find a peaceful end to this war? Or will it result in more bloodshed?
In hindsight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #80 offers the only logical conclusion to the “Invasion of the Triceratons” arc. I don’t know that it needed to last a full five issues, however what we did get from that is further tension between the Turtles and Splinter. It’s tough to see how they can ever go back to being a real family again after the events of this storyline. They’re pushed further apart as Splinter tries to kill Zom. His Foot Clan soldiers are fighting his sons right in front of him. To his credit, he did make sure to tell them not to kill the Turtles.
Splinter’s view of the world has become so distorted over time. He sees this path as the only way to protect his family and New York. This has caused him to ally himself and the Foot Clan with Agent Bishop and the Earth Protection Force which is seen as a slap in the face to his children. Bishop was hunting them not that long ago.
The battle between the Turtles and the Foot Clan is big. Although these soldiers are essentially faceless and nameless, they put up a good fight and it’s interesting to see how they hold their own against the Turtles. There are panels full of crazy action as weapons are swung and punches are thrown. It borders on chaos.
Artist Brahm Revel has a knack for these action sequences, but the forms of the characters themselves lack detail. They look more like sketches or thumbnails instead of fully realized figures. This is particularly true for the characters’ legs, appearing more like long sticks. The Turtles’ heads are all perfect ovals, adding to the sketch-like feel.
The showdown comes to a climax, not with a dramatic fight between father and sons, but with a non-violent protest. Splinter gets close enough to Zom to deliver a killing blow only to find Michelangelo standing in his way. The party dude’s weapons are down and he tries to reason with Splinter, appealing to the rat’s humanity. It’s a great sequence with some top quality dialogue from writer Tom Waltz. This is something that could only come from Mikey, the most innocent of the Turtles. He still holds out hope that they can be a family again.
Although a solution has been found to allow the Triceratons to live peacefully on Earth, the aftershocks of their arrival will be felt for some time. Manhattan is a war zone with tons of property damage and destroyed weaponry lying around. It’s going to take awhile to clean all this up and I’m sure having a bunch of anthropomorphic dinosaurs wreaking havoc is not going to help public relations for the mutant population of the city. The epilogue for this issue shows how some of the characters are reacting to this carnage and it looks like it could be a big deal down the line.