Ever since the new TMNT show aired on Nickelodeon, the character Karai has gained massive popularity. Bringing back old fans of her original appearance back in 1992, to new fans who fell in love with her right away. This issue, tying into IDW’s TMNT series and current story arc, just makes Karai that much more interesting.
Writer: Erik Burnham
Penciler: Cory Smith
This issue starts off with Karai seeking counsel with the trainer of the Foot Clans soldiers, Toshiro. This came as a surprise not only to Toshiro, but to me as a reader as well. Karai normally knows what to do, and if not, rather figure it out herself. But you can’t overlook the wiseness of a Master. Karai proceeds to tell Yoshiro about her rise to a Kunoichi, from the very beginning. Karai flashbacks to the moment she decided to become take the road of a Kunoichi. The coloring by Ian Herring is great, he did a great job in showing the present and a flashback through the use of opaque coloring in the flashbacks. Karai, as a child no less, knew that her father was being persuaded to make the Foot Clan nothing but lawyers and accountants who wanted nothing but money. Karai knew this wasn’t the way of the Foot Clan, and when she was sent to the library after being caught eavesdropping on her father, she then found the Ashi No Himitsu, a book containing the detailed history of the Foot Clan and its methods. The next page was sort of the selling point to me. It shows Karai living two separate lives on adjacent panels. A proper girl by day, and a self training Kunoichi by night. It was almost rebellious superhero -esque the way she went about it, training and then taking it to the streets. To her though, there seemed to be a bit of heroism to it, because she’s doing it to save the Foot Clan from forgetting its roots. The importance of this character is massive. Not only is she the granddaughter of Shredder, but she’s a girl with a vision, a goal. A goal that may invoke a Clan civil war. What they can do with Karai is limitless. But the only thing standing in her way, is her grandfather, and his new Chunin: Leonardo. Recently brainwashed by Shredder in the TMNT main title, Leonardo has taken the spot of Chunin away from Karai. In this issue, he approaches her, in the nastiest of ways. And though she fights back and could have killed him, the plan to take back the spot of Chunin is a slow and meticulous. Erik Burnham is a fantastic storyteller, and understands these characters spot on. His work on the various micro series that tie into the TMNT universe have been some of the best stories I’ve read in a while, helping mature my childhood love for the Turtles.
Cory Smith, when it comes to the visuals of Japan and ninjutsu, is perfect for a title like this. Not only does he draw a good Karai and other human characters, he draws a fantastic Turtle. With such nice shading and pencil strokes, he rely captures the feel of Japan and Karai’s past. The panels are perfect, they help carry the story along, making it a smooth read. And the fight scenes are just beautiful. Though he’s not on the main TMNT title, he damn sure should be.
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Rating: GreatCool Posts Around The Web: