The original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series” one-shots back in the ’80s were four fun one-shots each focused on a different Ninja Turtle (and in one case, was a crucial part of a larger storyline). It’s nice to see IDW bringing the Micro-Series back, although I must admit three one-shots in, I find myself wishing for something a little more substantial.
Brian Lynch is plotting the Micro-Series, although regular writer Tom Waltz steps in here to co-script this issue’s focus on Donatello. His story here feels a little light; Donatello, craving a more technological/intellectual discussion than he can get with his fellow turtles, goes to a tech conference and gets pulled into a battle with two enemies. The idea of mixing an old and a new enemy (well, relatively speaking) is a nice one and the moment where Donatello figures out where he met Harold Lillja before is pretty funny.
On the other side, the switching from ally to enemy (and vice versa) felt rather contrived and in some ways helped illustrate that there isn’t much plot here. Remove the flip-flopping and you’ll see just how short this comic is. I wasn’t expecting a grand epic, but a little more meat on the bones of this issue would’ve been nice.
Valerio Schiti’s art here is the nicest we’ve had for the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series.” It’s clean and nicely exaggerated in places; Donatello’s eyes getting to the size of soup plates when Lillja’s anti-gravity glove is turned on, for example, is a lovely drawing. You can see the glee on Donatello’s face in that single panel and it’s a strong reminder of how important a good artist is to a script. When the fight breaks out, Schiti shows that he can draw easy-to-follow action, too; it flows from one panel to the next and there’s never any confusion as to what’s going on. Even small transitions like Lillja looking hesitant in one panel and peeved in the next are tiny shifts that tell the story perfectly.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series” #3 is a slightly fluffy comic, but it’s also the first one of these three one-shots that I also found myself enjoying the most. I’ve given up on there being a bit more of a punch to these (which is a shame), but as popcorn entertainment it’s fun. If you’re looking for an extra “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” helping this month, it’s worth your time.