Tales of the TMNT #43

Hello, I’m a unicorn. Since today is Valentines day, I thought I’d look at one of my all time favorite comic book couples, Casey Jones and April O’Neal in a very special engagement issue.

Casey and April, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g–

There you are Textbox, where have you been?

Different places. You’ll see…You’ll all see…

Okay, ominous. Anyway, the issue opens with Casey’s good-for-nothing cousin Sid, who has now joined the Foot Clan. He’s washing the floors of the headquarters when two other ninjas overhear his complaints and taunt him. As Sid snivels and begs them not to hurt him, the ninjas start to brag about a new mission that Karai has given them. The Foot Mystics have foreseen that an ancient and powerful ring may be in the city. The heart shaped ruby in the ring can grant immortality, and it’s their chance to win Karai’s favor, but Sid needs to stay away.

So, let me get this straight. These two guys just randomly decide to brag to an underling, give him an idea of what this super-duper-chocolaty ring looks like and tell him that the ninja who finds the ring will be rewarded, just so they can tell him it’s none of his concern?  If it wasn’t his concern, why bring it  up in the first place?

Beats me, but, of course, Sid has seen the ring before. It belonged to his grandmother and was bequeathed to Casey. We cut to Casey, who is in the lair with the Turtles. He’s showing the Turtles the ring and is nervous about proposing to April. We get some funny dialogue with the TMNT trying unsuccessfully to give their friend support. Sid calls Casey to ask if he still has the ring and Casey yells that Sid can’t have it because he’s “gonna give it to my girl this weekend at the Farmhouse,” so Sid had better stay away. Smooth move Casey, now Sid knows exactly when and where he’ll be with the ring. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

We move on to Casey and April, as Casey not so subtly hints at his plans and they banter a bit. I like this dialogue because it isn’t mushy or gag-worthy, it’s just a couple who are talking like normal human beings who happen to be in love. We cut to the Turtles, who are preparing to leave and support their friends. They say their goodbyes to Casey’s daughter, Shadow, who is left in the care of Splinter. There is a silent page showing the Turtles hitching a ride on a train, Casey and April sitting in comfortable silence, and Karai looking determined while riding in a helicopter. Casey and April arrive at the Farmhouse and head inside to pack for a picnic as the Foot and the Turtles arrive. The Turtles discuss their excitement over Casey’s proposal, and hide when Leo hears the lovebirds coming.

The couple eats lunch as Casey works up the courage to pop the question. April suspects what’s going on and tries to put Casey at ease, but he panics and runs off to use the little vigilante’s room. The Turtles pop out of the bushes and give him the tuxedo that they had brought along and a pep talk. He returns to April and pulls out the ring. Just before April can say yes, Sid, Karai, and the Foot attack and take the ring. The Turtles intervene and Leo asks her why the clan has gone back on their truce. Karai explains that they only want the ring, and they retreat in a puff of smoke just as the Turtles attack. Casey apologizes about losing the ring and, in one of the sweetest moments of the issue, April says that she doesn’t care about the ring, she cares about him. She makes a ring out of some nearby flowers and Casey finishes his proposal. April, of course, says yes, and they kiss to the cheers of the Turtles.

Elsewhere, Karai realizes that the gem was worthless, and has the Foot Mystics punish Sid. The Mystics mutilate Sid until he looks like the the Cryptkeeper in Tales From the Crypt. Sid realizes that he should have died but didn’t, because the ruby wasn’t the source of immortality, it was the ring itself.

Overall, this issue is recommended. While there are a few head-scratchers, most noticeably with people randomly blurting out things most people would keep to themselves, the art isn’t that great, and the ending being sort of anticlimactic, the rest of the issue is pretty solid. It’s less focused on action and more on the interactions between Casey and April and the dialogue reflects that. It’s witty and realistic when it doesn’t involve cousin Sid. So what are you waiting for? Read it now, and may you have a happy Valentines doing what you love with whoever you love, whether it’s a romantic love, a love between family, or a love between friends.

“Hey Kirin, have Scully and Mulder called back yet?” Textbox asked. Kirin put the communicator in her pocket and headed to the basement.

“Nope, and I’m beginning to get worried. You think they could have gotten in trouble?” she replied. She took a sheet off an old bookcase in the corner of the room.

“I dunno, maybe they’re just busy or stopped for a bite of chimichanga. Man, I could go for some chimichanga right now, or a coookie, or a chimichanga cookie.” Kirin grunted as she pushed the bookcase along the wall.

“I hope you’re right.” She pushed it next to the fusebox and began to pile boxes of old junk in front of the case.

 “What’cha doing?”

“It just occurred to me, why am I leaving this portal to Odin knows where open for creatures to sneak through? I’d originally wanted to leave it unblocked for Lilly and Eli, but since it’s been a few hours and they haven’t called back, I should probably make sure our house is at least a little secure from invaders,” she explained. She felt her communicator buzz in her pocket and chuckled. “Typical. I should have barricaded the portal two hours ago,” she muttered as she read the message from her allies, “Uh-oh.”

“Uh-oh? What do you mean “uh-oh”?” Textbox asked.

“I mean that they’re in deep trouble, and we’re the only ones who can help,” Kirin replied.

“Oh, that kind of uh-oh.”

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