Please be advised this article contains major spoilers for this ongoing series.
IDW continues to give us a remarkable ongoing series. The Last Ronin is one of those comic series that will discussed long after its conclusion.
The first issue left us with a cliffhanger, leaving us anticipating what’s to come next. Fans have waited a lengthy period before being able to indulge in this issue. The second issue’s release date was postponed as many comics have been plagued with during these current times. But, the day has finally arrived and we must dive into issue two.
A Look Back On Issue #1
We embark on the journey with the sole turtle, our last ronin. At the end of the first issue, we were stunned to find the last remaining turtle is Michelangelo. He battled his way through robot ninja soldiers within the Foot Clan led by Shredder’s grandson Oroku Hiroto. In the last issue, Michelangelo suffered some serious defeat and was awakened by April who had come to his aid.
This issue takes a bit of a step back when it comes to the action sequences that we saw last issue. In the first comic, we were thrown into the thirst of Michelangelo’s revenge, and eagerness to bring down the head of the Foot Clan immediately. However, while he’s in recovery accompanied by April O’Neil and her daughter, we’re given the opportunity to reflect on a bit of what has happened. Although we are still left with questions, we have a better understanding of the backstory that occurred.
A Chilling Past
We begin the issue as Michelangelo is accompanied by the ghost of his brothers, conversating about how April is still alive. They mention an explosion that should’ve killed her and state how it’s astonishing anyone could have survived that. April is haunted by the traumas of the night the Foot Clan broke their treaty, attacking the mutants. We get an entire page dedicated to showing us the eerie condition April has been left in. Casey Jones and April prepare an appetizing spread for everyone as they plan to tell the gang they are getting married. Mid-conservation in their discussion, Michelangelo busts through the door followed by Donatello and Raphael with Splinter slumped in their arms who appears to be fatally wounded. Leonardo arrives a bit after, after fighting off soldiers. Shortly after, Splinter succumbs to his injuries and dies. Raphael being the hothead he is, runs off wounded in a rage of vengeance to Shredder’s daughter Karai. He slaughters what seems to be dozens of Foot Clan soldiers until he is met with his final fight. Karai and Raphael end up fighting and being submerged into the water whilst fighting. While underwater Karai stabs Raphael under his jaw, killing him immediately. And devastatingly, this is the first mutant to fall.
Casey (April’s daughter) is excited to be presented with the opportunity to meet Michelangelo as she’s heard many stories about the mutants. She begins to fill Michelangelo in that they are part of a Resistance movement against the Foot Clan. April however, tells Casey that they will fill him in at a later time. Casey continues to follow and question Michelangelo about himself and what’s happened to him in the previous years. She’s marveling at the fact that she might be able to stand side by side with the one and only Michelangelo.
“You guys were practically like storybook heroes to me.”
He reveals how he lost all hope and left the city awaiting his death. But he rose above all his failures and mastered himself like never before with the determination of bringing honor to his family name.
“The real-world found me again, and I almost let it take me.”
And, as we near the end of this issue we see Hiroto preparing for a sweep of the city inside and out until Michelangelo is found and killed.
Once again, the art is exceptional and eye-catching. The artwork continues to speak for itself.
We are given this amazing story by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and Tom Waltz. Esau & Isaac Escorza, Ben Bishop, and Kevin Eastman stand as our pencilers/inkers. With, colors assistance done by Samuel Plata and Luis Delgado. This team truly bring this series to life. There is tons of detail that speak volumes in each panel. The artwork brings out emotion and plays nicely off of the story. This is the dream team behind this comic series. The lettering and the artwork are easy to follow and don’t become busy. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the artwork just as much as the story.
Although a good majority of our questions were answered in this issue, there’s still some lingering questions that will be revealed in time. The anticipation remains on the events that led us to April and Michelangelo’s current state.
And what will be the outcome of this series? Will it be a triumph for them or a gloomy conclusion?