Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Bebop and Rocksteady Hit the Road #5 – Comic Review

‘Bebop and Rocksteady’s road trip reaches its crazed conclusion as old enemies from their trip catch up and a brand new unbeatable foe stands between them and their home!’

The final issue of the Bebop and Rocksteady Hit The Road mini series is not a satisfying conclusion. The series has been all over the place in overall quality, with random and strange events interspersed with awful dialogue and messy art, and this may end up being the worst of the bunch.

Forced into a final confrontation with Agent Ravenwood of the Earth Protection Force, the two bumbling mutants end up not only fighting the grotesque Ravenwood, but also robot versions of themselves. Why fight robot versions of themselves that add nothing to the story or build anything? I have no idea, but it helped to stretch out the already paper-thin plot even more, so perhaps it was put in to beef up an initial script that came in too short.

Having fought their robot counterparts for no real reason – seriously, this sequence could be removed and you wouldn’t even realise it – the two ‘heroes’ go up against Ravenwood. Up to this point we’d seen that she was a hulking antagonist with enhanced strength, and some Plastic Man style stretchy powers, but during the final battle we discover that she’s actually a collection of five heads with tentacles attached to them.

The one good thing in this issue is this reveal, and the subsequent shock that Ravenwood is actually much more disturbing that we were led to believe across the previous issues. It also goes a way to explaining just why Agent Bishop seemed determined to ruin her mission.

Following this fight, in which all but one of the Ravenwood monsters is killed (I’m guessing one was left alive so that she can return at some later date), the two broken and beaten mutants finally make it to New York City. And that’s about it, that’s the big conclusion to the five issue series.

This is the biggest problem with this issue, and the whole run in general: it doesn’t feel like anything was gained from this story. I don’t really know what it’s added to the TMNT universe, or what it’s done to grow any of the characters.

Unfortunately, the issue isn’t helped by the artwork either, which is at its best simple and cartoony, but at times downright ugly. One segment of the issue is filled with huge explosions and Bebop and Rocksteady covered in blood, but the panels are a mess of thick black jagged lines, deep red splashes of colour, and white highlights. It’s a shame, because Ben Bates has produced much better work throughout the rest of the series.

Overall, the final issue of Bebop and Rocksteady Hit the Road is a letdown of a finale, in what has been a fairly lacklustre and pointless series. It has crammed in references to past stories and characters, yet fails to really do anything of significance with them. Hardcore fans may find something here to like, but it’s certainly not accessible to a casual reader.

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