Objections to the Drama in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 74

by Taylor Anderson

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

There’s a reason courtroom scenes are commonplace in stories these days. With a plaintiff’s life sometimes literally on the line, stakes are high and the margin for error is low. Additionally, in a lot of fictionalized courtroom stories, shocking truths are exposed and justice is served (or terribly undermined). Thus it comes as no surprise that the “Trail of Krang” is being labeled as the trial of the century, but does it actually pack the drama that we expect from a courtroom scene?

The short answer is no. After a huge buildup to this very scene in the Dimension X mini-series (which saw the turtles battle to bring witnesses to court), it simply falls flat. Writers Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz make an attempt at drama by having each witness fail to incriminate Krang soundly, but the possible failure to prosecute Krang isn’t enough to make the trial interesting. For example, when Anemon is called to the stand his argument against Krang is quickly struck down by a contract he signed years ago.

Basically it says that in the event Krang is taken to trial, Anemon can’t testify against him. It’s such a deus ex machina moment that it makes me wonder why Anemon was even given an entire issue in the Dimension X series. If, in the end, Anemon’s character is simply a tool to create drama in the courtroom, it’s hard to fathom why I should care about his testimony at all. More than this, his failure on the stand doesn’t make the issue any more suspenseful.

This same event plays out similarly with all of the witnesses called in this issue and each time their failure on the stand never makes the issue more engaging. No doubt a good courtroom scene is hard to write, but this issue has me wondering if maybe Krang deserves to be declared innocent if for any other reason than at least it would make things more interesting.

For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to Comixology and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?

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