The Game Of War: Reviewing ‘TMNT: The Armageddon Game’ #6
by Scott Redmond
The game heats up as ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Armageddon Game’ #6 dives deep into the various battles, machinations, and behind-the-scenes goings-on that lead directly to the upcoming event conclusion. A rapid-fire well-paced and delivered issue that gives the audience just enough to keep them enticed without dipping into an overload.
War rages through the streets of Mutant Town as pure chaos erupts, providing the best situation for Rat King’s game. With only two issues left for this event series, things ramp up considerably as every single piece that was being gathered is on the board moving in rapid-fire ways.
This issue picks up both from the pervious The Armageddon Game issue as well as the start of the Utrom invasion that was shown in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #137. We’ve seen some amazing coordination from Tom Waltz, Sophie Campbell, and the variety of writers handling the TMNT: The Armageddon Game – The Alliance issues. Things are moving through the various books right into each other, but also supporting one another and making sure this is a fully fleshed out and epic feeling story. It means one has to read each of these books to really get the fullest picture but anyone that is a TMNT fan is surely reading all three anyway.
We’re given a ton of action in this one as things all sort of hit together and don’t slow down even by the time the issue ends, because we’re on the path to the end of the story. There is no time for pitstops or rest now, there is still a whole lot of elements to handle, put to rest, and explain. Despite the fast pace and tons that is thrown at both the characters and the reader, it never feels like too much. Waltz controls it precisely and gives us just what is needed to keep us intrigued and keep the story moving toward the conclusion.
Keeping the Rat King at arm’s length for most of this event, despite his orchestration of it all, was the right choice. As he states, here is basically the gamemaster and the others are the players actually doing things, making it much more impactful that he now engages in things here to help his players begin to realize the opportunity born out of the chaos of Krang not being in charge of the Utroms presents (Krang’s death and return was also a great moment, someone’s got revenge to hand out with what life is left).
Also quite masterful is the work that Vincenzo Federici has been doing through this event, providing artwork that is both smooth but also sharp and rough at the same time. The action flows so well through the pages as the layout choices for panels really highlights emotions and kinetic moments in the best way. Each page feels unique and has the same but also different energy behind it. Having the little Ch’Rell lording over panels as they basically recap the events of the previous issues got a chuckle out of me because it just works.
All of the choices are done in a way that keeps us basically down in the world with the characters, right there in the middle of the action. Sometimes we’re a further away observer but more often than not we might as well be right there fighting alongside the Splinter Clan from how in the moment Federici allows us to be.
Colors are all on Heather Breckel for this issue and they carry on the same tone that we’ve been getting in the issues where darkness is present in all aspects but there are still plenty of bright shiny popping types of color. Mixing that shadowy darkness, and some very accurate feeling night scenes still, with more toned-down but still warmer colors is a winning combination. It allows us to feel the weight of this story, it is a darker one in many respects, while the more realistic elements at play and the fantastical elements play so well together.
Speaking of feeling, we can always do even more of that when Shawn Lee is tackling the lettering duties of an issue. Personality, volume, tone, emotion, etc. can be seen as well as heard in the way that Lee presents the dialogue and the captions within any given issue. He knows just what changes to make at any given point to achieve a particular feeling for the audience, allowing us to accurately hear the voices of these characters within our head as we read along.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Armageddon Game #6 is now available from IDW Publishing.