It has been nearly 20 years sense the world has seen an issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles written and drawn by Kevin Eastman. Peter Laird kept at it and put out some good and not so good stuff over those years but Kevin had seemed to have moved on. When it was announced that Mr. Laird had sold TMNT to Viacom there was much talk about what would become of the franchise. No one really expected that one creators exit would harold in the return of the other.
For a little over a year now Mr. Eastman has been part of a team putting out a new monthly TMNT comic. It has been a fun ride for the most part. Sure there are aspects that some could do without, but over all it is a sound title and is doing really well.
When we got the announcement that Mr. Eastman would be doing an annual, both the writing and drawing duties, and that it would be a larger then normal issue the fan community was stoked. A lot of us felt like the wait was forever. But it is here now and there are not words to describe for me how awesome a read it was. That may be the nostalgia in me talking though, for this reads a lot like the old Mirage books of yesteryear.
The art work is very reminiscent of the first few issues which is to be expected, after all Mr. Eastman is one of the original artists. Like that old style it is left in black and white with ink shading to give shadow. It may be jaring for some new readers who are not used to the style of art or the fact that it is B&W. However it is very true to the origin of the characters, plus there is not talk about what color masks they are wearing if it is B&W.
Then comes the writing. It is a great tale told over the pages allotted to it, a nice self contained story for the most part. I don't want to say to much about the story and ruin it for anyone who hasn't read it yet. But it does remind me of the Unmentionables, #15 of the Mirage book if memory serves. It's a good detective/buddy/action story that focuses on Casey and Raph.
I'll do another writeup on this later where I dissect the story and go more in depth. A near death experience has me on edge. If you are on the fence about this, and why would you be, go get it. Don't wait for a reprint. Yeah the price is a little higher but you're getting a mini graphic novel. Suck it up as this is a true moment in TMNT history. Plus it is one hell of a story.