TMNT #79 Invasion of the Triceratons Part Four
TMNT #79 brings Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman's subplots all to a head, a story almost 30 issues in the making. The Earth Protection Force's hunting of Mutants and mind control of Slash, Splinters descent into darkness and the secret betrayal of the Neutrinos, sending the Triceratons to earth, and the Turtles becoming their own clan has all led to this.
While the battle between the EFP and the Triceraton forces rages on in Manhattan, the Turtles (namely Raphael) confront their father/sensei about the ethics of his methods. Splinter retorts hypocritically, using his role as a father and as Master of the Foot against his children. He intends to lock the Turtles away until he has stopped the Triceraton threat in his own way. Things don't go as he has planned as Jennika is convinced to let the Turtles escape to prevent an all-out war.
Baxter Stockman continues to evacuate the city, and line his own pockets. After "Ninja-ing" their way through the crossfire of the war in Manhattan, the Turtles arrive just as Splinter prepare to strike the stronghold of the Triceratons, hoping to stop their father from committing yet another murder, this time from the blood of the innocent.
Brahm Revel does a stellar job on pencils as a fill-in; the Turtles look best when done in a sleek, minimalist style. Bits of the background art are a bit rushed but the close-up and action scenes look vintage turtle. His art is complemented by colorist Ronda Pattison, who really knows how to bring out the best in each artist the title goes through.
The confrontation with Splinter and the action make this issue great. Tom Waltz is a wizard at balancing the four opposing forces within the issue. The disgusting tactics of Agent Bishop and the EFP and the Dialogue between Splinter and his sons is great, but Jennika's betrayal of Splinter seemed quite out of character for a Ninja so dedicated to the Foot Clan. The scenes with the human cast also felt unnecessarily shoehorned in, as if just to remind you that those characters were still existed. Overall, this issue is still VERY solid and brings us to a confrontation that's been anticipated ever since the Turtles left the Foot. Leo makes comments about there always being friendly fire in the fog of war, and friendly fire there shall be: Issue 80 will be GROUNDBREAKING.