“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-series #8: Fugitoid” delivers the backstory of a fugitive android — Fugitoid — and binds the character into the history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles irrevocably. In focusing on the backstory of the Fugitoid, the best this issue can do for hardcore Turtle fans is offer up a few cameo appearances, but those appearances really don’t do much to drive the narrative here.
Paul Allor writes the protagonist of Dr. Honeycutt into a situation where he has to take a long, hard look at what he does and why. In doing so, the writer drops some philosophical questions on the character, threatens his family and makes good on the threat in a manner that changes Honeycutt forever. “Fugitoid” starts out as a tale about a man doing his job. Allor’s narrative is based in the speculative situations fans all over the world pose to one another, like Dante and Randall discussing the loss of contractors during the destruction of the second Death Star.
The story itself, regardless of the connections to the Turtles, is one about a man choosing right over wrong. This is the story of a man who has lost everything and has nothing left to lose. In short, it is the type of hero’s journey comic books were invented to tell. The Fugitoid is not unlike Batman or Superman, in his quest for justice, but he’s just different enough and placed in the right context to become a character that is not as clearly defined as Krypton’s Last Son or Gotham’s Dark Knight. Fugitoid is trying to survive and perhaps find revenge or at least deliver resistance to the cause of Krang.
John-Paul Bove’s colors breathe life into the fully detailed artwork from Paul McCaffrey. Busy with scratches, dings and details that adhere to objects throughout their existence while being more than a little reminiscent of David Petersen’s artwork (which is interesting to me given that Petersen delivers the cover for this issue) McCaffrey’s work is fun, lively and exaggerated as comic art featuring mutated turtles should be. Some spots the art could use a little more action as the figures appear frozen or stiff, but McCaffrey’s use of camera angle and page composition keeps things from stalling. I’m not intimately familiar with McCaffrey’s work, but I’ll be certain to look inside the next book with his name on the cover.
The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-series” is an interesting concept that offers readers a chance to learn more about the characters in the comics’ universe of their favorite hard-shell heroes without sidetracking the main title. I like what IDW is offering here, and think other companies could find some success with this model, especially as it allows readers to selectively consume stories they want to see about characters they care about. Fugitoid isn’t a character I would have ever thought twice about, but on the recommendation from a friend and further enticed by David Petersen’s cover work, I gave it a whirl and I’m glad I did. It might not bring me fully into the world of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but it gave me enough of an idea to enjoy the story and discover some new creators worth checking in on in the future.