After the recent events of Donatello-gate, which shook the comic book world to the core, TMNT has slowed down ever so slightly.
The weapons have been put down as the Turtles deal with the aftermath of war – there’s sadness, regret, reflection and a hint of survivor’s guilt from Raph. The seeds of future battles have also been planted by Splinter who warns that Shredder is still out there, lurking and ready to strike once again, so this should come as no surprise to absolutely anyone.
It’s difficult to place #46. It is a vital puzzle piece, acting as a slow burner for bigger events, but its pace is also its biggest enemy. Could most of the story have been squeezed into #45 already? Quite possibly. Several markers were placed, yet nothing ever moved past the starting line. While the focus remained on Donnie’s new form and his shelled siblings’ reactions, the highlight of the issue was certainly the tension between Casey Jones and Hun. The emotion threatened to boil over several times, containing something so real and relatable for anyone who has ever been at the crossroads of gang life and family.
The Turtles are tired and need to catch their breath. This is exactly what #46 allows them to do; it keeps the ball rolling without rocking the boat too much. After all the recent action, maybe this is what the series needed to catch its second wind.