Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin – The Lost Years #1 (IDW Publishing)

IDW Publishing brings you a lone wolf turtle who lost his family and became a wanderer in a different world in TMNT The Last Ronin Lost Years the first issue. […]

IDW Publishing brings you a lone wolf turtle who lost his family and became a wanderer in a different world in TMNT The Last Ronin Lost Years the first issue.

So I didn’t expect to read another ninja turtles comic where Michelangelo was all alone and blamed himself for the loss of his family. I never read any other ninja turtles comic that is becoming darker and sad than the other Image comics that I’ve read. So the comic is written by both Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz, and illustrated by various artists who have done this spinoff before. I do know Kevin Eastman, the one who created the Ninja Turtles all the way back in 1984, but let’s talk about Tom Waltz. He’s the co-writer of the TMNT series in IDW, and he also produced every other turtle franchise which is video games, spinoffs, and crossovers such as TMNT/Ghostbusters.

The front cover of the comic is illustrated by SL Gallant, and somehow, the village is thrown into chaos, and looking at Michelangelo, he looks very upset. The only thing that I know that he’s the last turtle is that he’s using his brothers’ weapons as a memento. And obviously, in the background, it seems that this single turtle went back in time to medieval Japan just like in the third live-action movie. Except that right now, the village is on fire out of the blue.

The story does not have much to tell, it starts with some gangs beating up Michelangelo, while the next pages give you the background training, and somehow Casey Jones turned into a woman and have them trained. But it’s weird enough that you see Casey training the turtles in the present day and April O’Neil as his grandmother. From the time when Michelangelo was separated from his family, he kept his brother’s weapons and Master Splinter’s journal as his guidebook of the true way of the ninja. Right until spring, he copes up his life, following the late master’s guidance, right until he was attacked by some gangs, and Michelangelo massacred one of them.

What makes this harder to believe is that in the turtles series, Michelangelo actually fights well along with his brothers, but in this comic, he’s a coward who is almost going to give up his life for his family. He then comes to the point that he would make things right for his late family and departs to change his destiny, by saving everyone from evil.

I’d say that this story is way more complicated than it seems and that last battle that the turtles and Master Splinter fought left them in a heartbreaking situation for Michelangelo. Because there’s a fact that this turtle almost gave up on fighting, but there’s something in him that sparkled up just to take action. I don’t know why, but that makes a warrior spirit cry so loud that he can go and act like Raphael, beating up bad guys. This comic, though, I never expected that Michelangelo was a coward, how should I know? But there’s only one thing I do know, which is that no matter how hard he tries, failing is not a thing to say that you’re giving up. Failing himself is the best way to learn from his mistakes, and have his own redemption for his family, just to make things right for him. So year, this mini-series is really epic to read, if you rather want to read a tragic life of a turtle who sparks up into action, then this is for you.

About Kevin Bermeo

I'm a New Yorker Artist, and I traveled a lot. I enjoy making comics, illustrations, paintings, and digital art. Besides drawing, I'm also a writer, I used to be a Gamer, and I love adventures, food, and dragons.