More is Too Much in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dimension X 4

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Before the Turtles land in Palmadise City (presumably where the grass is green and the girls are pretty), Michelangelo and Leonardo share their first impressions of the all-city planet:

The city is an overwhelming stimulant — there’s so much to see and to do, that our heroes just might end up losing sight of their goal. This almost ends up being a thesis statement for the creative team of Ryan Ferrier and Chris Johnson, who arguably have more narrative toys than they know what to do with.

No single character personifies this more-is-more storytelling philosophy like the witness the Turtles are trying to protect this week: Ace. Ace is an anthropomorphic duck who flew fighter jets against Krang’s armies and has spent the remainder of his life working the back channels to gum up the gears of war. In Palmadise City, that means stealing crime boss’ huge shipment of weapons and destroying them. Johnson seems to be more committed to the idea of Ace’s saintliness than Ferrier, even going so far as to draw him in a classic angel pose — bare-chested and wings outstretched.

He’s a fucking hero, right? Yeah, maybe. He’s also kind of a dick, quick to assume the worst of our heroes, even when they just rescued him from a bounty hunter. Ace has got a little bit of that cool-guy-from-the-1950s attitude too, which lends him a totally off-putting air of arrogance. It makes the character a mess of contradictions that we couldn’t possibly drill down into over the course of 20 pages.

And that’s what the whole of the Turtles’ experience on Palmadise ends up being. All the individual character beats are here — Mikey’s overly enthusiastic, Raph’s pissy, Donny’s a dork, Leonardo is level headed — but in no way does this story ever cohere into one singular concept. It’s too much, “like my eyes don’t know where to go!”

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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