Michelangelo is the last ninja turtle alive and travels through Japan without purpose. Find out the stories that put him on the path of revenge in TMNT The Last Ronin: Lost Years #1 by IDW Publishing!
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES THE LAST RONIN: LOST YEARS #1
Writer: Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Artist: SL Gallant, Maria Keane, Ben Bishop
Colorist: Luis Antonio Delgado
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: Charles Beacham
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 25th, 2023
Previously The Last Ronin: The Last Ronin comic showed us the death of the Heroes in a Half Shell. Only Michelangelo survived and had a journey across the world administering justice. This series provides context about what happened in his travels and what lessons he learned.
TMNT The Last Ronin: Lost Years #1 shows Michelangelo in Japan reflecting on the death of his family. He struggles with his will to live and travels until he wastes away. He is suddenly attacked by a group of thugs and allows himself to be hurt. However, the memory of his family and a reminder from Splinter’s journal has him rising up to defend himself. He beats his assailants and heads back to a village. When he arrives, the town is on fire from the same group of thugs he beat up. He is warned to run before the Death Worm comes.
Meanwhile, April and Casey are in New York training the next generation of Ninja Mutant Turtles but having their own self-doubts.
First and foremost, the book incorporates multiple art styles and artists to represent different periods. And it feels a little weird because some of these pages are so visually stunning, and others seem cramped with many words and details. However, the comic’s last page, with the ghosts of the other turtles encouraging Michelangelo, is stunning! So this relationship between different artists and the imbalance in the quality of the pages strikes me as very odd.
The themes of TMNT The Last Ronin: Lost Years #1 are well-defined. Watching Michelangelo mentally monologue within this story provides excellent insight into the character, and the conflict between this Great Worm has a ton of promise. I’m mixed about the aggressive use of flashbacks that are implemented in the story. It provides excellent commentary on Michelangelo’s decisions but is highly distracting from the main plot. I think it was unneeded for my personal preference, but that is up to the readers’ tastes.
I am intrigued by the ideas in TMNT The Last Ronin: Lost Years #1. There is a ton of complex ideas here for a darker-themed story. And now that the exposition is complete, I want to know more about what happens next. With that in mind, this comic is a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.