Heroes & Villains – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin

Since this didn’t quite fit under the 31 Days of Horror banner and it’s a book I desperately wanted to cover I’m bringing you…SON OF HEROES & VILLAINS.

Or Heroes & Villains Mini. Haven’t decided which is better.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin
Kevin Eastman (W/A)
Peter Laird (W)
Tom Waltz (W)
IDW Publishing

It’s the TMNT event of 2020! Springing from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird comes an epic like you’ve never seen before! In a future NYC far different than the one we know today, a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. Kinetic layouts from Eastman, inks from Esau and Isaac Escorza and a thrilling script full of surprises from longtime TMNT scribe Tom Waltz all combine to make this one of the most memorable TMNT stories you will ever read!

Toot-toot! All aboard the Hype Train!

Like I mentioned above, I was positively stoked to get a chance to read an advanced copy of The Last Ronin. The concept from the blurb above is based on a “lost” 1987 storyline from Eastman and Laird, which to a longtime TMNT fan is like finding out there’s a lost Beatles record or uncovering some of the missing Doctor Who episodes. This is a BIG DEAL.

Grim and dystopian futures have been a sci-fi trope for almost as long as the genre has been around and ever since Old Man Logan made a big splash several years ago comics companies could not help but tack “Old Man/Woman” in front of any given character name in hopes of catching a similar buzz. This book, however, is so much more than Old Man Turtle.

I’m VERY curious to see where this book is going to go and it does a great job of setting the stage for the issues to follow. Since the title was announced speculation on which of the turtles The Last Ronin is has run rampant across the internet. Who exactly is the last turtle standing? The Last Ronin wears a black mask and carries weapons from all four of the turtles with no other clues to his true identity and I have to say that when the reveal came late in the book I was not prepared for it.

The Last Ronin feels very much like a continuation of the original Mirage Comics TMNT books in that it’s a natural continuation of the story, albeit in the far future. Sure, you can remove “Teenage” from the equation but you’re still left with “Mutant,” “Ninja,” and “Turtle” and that’s pretty damn cool.

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