I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Friday, March 1, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret History of the Foot Clan #2

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Shredder find themselves after the same thing, the man who knows the "secret history of the foot clan," the one who has the ability to grant the Shredder secret power that could allow him to defeat his ancient enemies once and for all and have the most powerful ninja force on the planet at the tips of his fingers (or perhaps the tips of his toes, because they're called the Foot Clan, not the Hand Clan).

Much like in the first issue, the art is great when we're looking at people and not so great when we're looking at turtle-people, the narrative is strong, and the climax is interesting. It is hard to say much past that without either giving away the plot of the mini-series or being entirely redundant. Instead, I'd like to do something that I don't normally do, a digression on the character of Alopex.

Alopex is a mutant fox who was introduced in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series issue about Raphael's solo mission. As far as I know, she is an entirely new character, not present in the original comics, the Archie comics, or the cartoon. She's popped up here and there, but it is not entirely clear why she was introduced. Prior to the introduction of Alopex, a mutant alley cat named Old Hob was brought into the origin story of the Turtles and Splinter. It is pretty clear what his future is for the series, but Alopex remains a mystery.

Meanwhile, in the first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret History of the Foot Clan, we learn the story of an ancient witch who made contact with a magical force from beyond the stars and sold that power to the ninja clan. This figure is surrounded with much of the same mystery as Alopex. My thought is that Alopex, who keeps popping her head up in this mini-series despite not being pivotal to the plot in any way, is the reincarnated witch. If Splinter can be the reincarnated Hamato Yoshi and the Turtles his children returned from the dead, then there is certainly room for more rebirths. I'm sure Splinter wishes he could see his own wife again, but maybe not until after the threat of the Shredder is defeated. Why would Alopex be a reincarnated figure and not others like Old Hob or Slash? I can't answer that question, but I can mention that Alopex had latent ninja fighting abilities that neither of the other mutants possessed.

Originally, I mentioned that this second issue is exactly the same as the first issue in terms of quality, but after this tangential discussion I think this one might be better. After all, one quality of great art is that you think about it for some time afterwards.

I've syndicated this review at Examiner. You can read it here. If you click on it a few times, spend some time there, or navigate to a new page, I might get some money. But I'm only asking that of you if you liked reading the article here and want to show your appreciation.

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