Law & Order: Dimension X.
This series recently became the longest continuously running comic in the history of the TMNT franchise. Now TMNT reaches another milestone as it hits the issue #75 mark and wraps up the “Trial of Krang” storyline. But whole eventful, this oversized issue is also badly disjointed and poorly paced. In short, not the best way to ring in this milestone.
It’s possible that some of TMNT #75’s problems could be solved merely by splitting the book into two separate issues. The first half of Tom Waltz’s script focuses mainly on an epic space battle with the Malignoid Swarm, with the second transitioning back to Krang’s trial and the ensuing legal drama. It makes for a very jarring transition. The clashing art styles at work here don’t exactly help. Worse, the sudden transition from space battles to courtroom drama only serves to make the former feel all the more superfluous. The resolution is so simple and easy that it robs the conflict of drama.
This issue’s problems run deeper than structural and organizational mistakes, however. The entire courtroom sequence quickly becomes a massive slog to read thanks to the heavy exposition dump. There’s really no need for a TMNT comic to be saddled with this much superfluous dialogue. Nor does the art do much to bring life to these scenes, as the presentation boils down to a series of talking heads set against stark, white backgrounds. Compared to the sheer detail and energy oozing out of Mateus Santolouco’s pages earlier in the issue, the issue loses all its excitement even as the tension should be heating up.
I do credit the creative team for taking risks with this arc as a whole and this issue in particular. Courtroom drama and space battles are not things one would normally associate with the TMNT franchise, and there’s a sense that Waltz and his artists were striving to move the series out of its familiar comfort zone. This issue also delivers two major twists that both promise to have a major impact on the series in the build-up to issue #100. It’s just unfortunate that the execution falls so flat.