Please be advised this article contains major spoilers for the first issue.
The Last Ronin has been an anticipated comic since its announcement. I’d say it’s one of the most anticipated comics of 2020. You don’t have to read any previous TMNT comics in order to understand or appreciate this comic. Something fantastic is brewing and its a true gift to old time fans and new coming fans as well.
Out of all the villains the brothers have faced, we find out who was their maker, except for one lonesome turtle. And, he has a thirst for revenge. To avenge his family after their demise which took place about a decade before this first issue. On the very last page of this book, we find out who the last ronin is. Throughout the entire first issue, I found myself speculating, wondering, and asking myself “No way.. Could it be?”
The Team Behind The Dream
The best comparison to this series is that of ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, and ‘Old Man Logan.’ This series is backed by a very talented group of individuals. In the writer’s corner we have: Kevin B. Eastman, Peter Laird, and Tom Waltz. Eastman and Laird are the original creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in 1983, and published the first TMNT comic book in 1984. What a dream it has been to have the original creators providing us with an already amazing mini series. Tom Waltz is no stranger to the Ninja Turtles either, as he’s been the ongoing writer since 2011.
On the artwork side of things we have: Kevin B. Eastman, Esau Escorza, and Isaac Escorza. The art is original, yet a fresh, new look. It plays with the classic styled artwork as seen before, but has new touches in it. It fits nicely and makes for great artwork within each page.
The Last Ronin’s Lonesome Journey
This story is set in the future after New York City has been completely taken over by Shredder’s grandson Oroku Hiroto, the now Master of the Foot Clan. The city is overtaken by Robot Ninja soldiers, whom he commands. Outside the city walls, the bridges are destroyed and everything is completely tarnished due to years of global warming and pollution. The last surviving turtle breaks his way into the fortified city setting off alarms while slicing and dicing The Foot Clan soldiers. While he makes way on his vengeful mission he is accompanied by his brother’s ghosts. They exchange words as he plans his attacks and is attacking. He discussing his plans of attack with them, just like he used to in the good ol’ days. However, it’s not quite clear if these exchanges of words are all in his head, but it appears so.
He’s flying off of rooftops, jumping out of flying cars, and infiltrating Hiroto’s penthouse with the desire to avenge his family. Hiroto sits at the top of his penthouse whilst the Foot soldiers attack. Our sole turtle fights them off for as long as possible until he attacks a soldier and makes a small mistake which halts his revenge plans, as he falls from the penthouse. Badly injured, he hides out in the sewers. He then dreams he is met by his brothers by his side once again. Until, he is awoken by April, who then reveals to the readers that The Last Ronin, is Michelangelo.
“I quit believing in miracles a long time ago.”TMNT: The Last Ronin #1
What Makes It So Great?
This comic is packed with a punch. There’s tons of action-packed panels, with high intensity and high emotions. You can feel Michelangelo’s pain. He went from the goofiest turtle to the only survivor of his brothers. You can’t help but feel the survivor’s guilt with him. It’s very interesting to see what will continue in the next issue and the rest of this mini series. What I do know, is that this first issue came with an explosion of emotions, leaving us hanging on every last panel. It’s a much darker tone than seen before, and will leave an everlasting impression on the TMNT comics. The series does have an ‘R’ rating for violence, but there wasn’t anything too vulgar or too much gore.
“Lucks got nothing to do with it. Do or Do not.”TMNT: The Last Ronin #1
Issue one earns a solid 5 out of 5 rating from me, without question. This series will consist of 5 issues. And, issue two will make its way into our hearts December 16th.