by Ryan Mogge
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Sometimes a log line is better than a story because it’s pure potential and isn’t weighed down by the details of execution. In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dimension X 3, the boys visit a professional wrestling planet. It’s not as great as whatever your brain just conjured.
The wrestling milieu is at first blush a fun world for the issue. Mikey is given the chance to get up close to the alien version of his favorite sport and the gang wears sillier costumes than usual. It sounds like a good time. The character designs are fun with our witness of the issue being a tree stump color commentator who also is a promoter and maybe has a stake in the planet. Unfortunately, the story gets muddled once we move beyond the set up.
The nature of the wrestling format offers two fights and neither is visually compelling. In the first match. Raphael is up against a champion with a move called “Antrax the Executioner’s Burning Axe.” Sound badass, no? I wish I could describe it to you in the breathless voice of a twelve year old the day after Wrestlemania, but I can’t. I can’t because we don’t get to see this move, only a monochrome image of Raph and Antrax in some kind of clinch.
While the red coloring does add a seediness to the endeavor, that atmospheric touch is not worth obscuring the action. It’s a frustration throughout the book. There are so many elements that are awesome but they don’t add up to an Uber-Awesome issue. The second battle exemplifies this in its own way. From a birds eye perspective, the idea of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a wrestling Tag Team against a huge Elvis-inspired dog man with six arms and an assassin is amazing. The execution is kind of confusing and only more confused by Stump’s duplicity. While not knowing Stump’s motives makes the issue’s plot move, it has very little to do with the larger arc. A future issue could make me eat my words, but this story feels like a diversion and an unsatisfying one at that.
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I thought this was a fun story, but I’m with Ryan in finding a lot of the color choices strange, unnecessary, and distracting. I was stuck on the first page for a while trying to figure out why Raph was red for quite a while before accepting that it was just a colorist quirk — but not a good one