Squishy alien overlords? Mutated monsters? Ninja action? No matter what you're looking for in your superhero comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has it all, and never more so than in the current arc of the title, "Trial of Krang," which comes to a head with Wednesday's giant-sized 75th issue.
The issue is a game-changer for the amphibious butt-kickers, as they try to get justice for multiple dimensions for the crimes of the toothy pink alien menace known as Krang. With cosmic war looming and the trial hanging by a thread, the turtles are truly in for the fight of their lives. Here's the publisher's synopsis for the issue:
"Trial of Krang," part 3 of 3. The oversized conclusion to the Turtles' greatest extra-dimensional story arc is here! Both the prosecution and the defense have tricks up their sleeves as testimony gets emotional. Meanwhile, a war rages outside the courtroom as the Malignoid swarm engulfs Planet Neutrino!"
It will feature a number of fantastic artists, including Cory Smith, Mateus Snolouco, Chris Johnson and Damian Couceiro. The issue is written by Tom Waltz — his seventy-fifth of the series. Waltz has been working with editor Bobby Curnow and TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman since the series' launch in 2011, and Waltz recently talked to SYFY WIRE about the jumbo-sized 75th issue spectacular, the future of the series, the cosmic courtroom drama, and much more! Check out the interview below, along with a special peek inside the issue. Also, check out the gallery below to see the issue's covers by Kevin Eastman, Cory Smith, and Ben Bates, and stay tuned for more with Waltz — and also Eastman — later this week.
For readers who are late to the game, what's the significance of the current arc, The Trial of Krang?
TOM WALTZ: "The Trial of Krang," sees us conclude a long-running plot thread that started in TMNT #1 (where we first introduced General Krang's deadly machinations against planet Earth). Over the course of 74 issues (as well as in associated mini-series, etc.) Krang committed war crimes across two dimensions, eventually stopped by the TMNT in a desperate mission on Krang's earth base, Burnow Island. Now a prisoner on Planet Neutrino in Dimension X, Krang will finally stand trial for said war crimes. However, nothing is as cut-and-dried as it seems, and to convict the nefarious general will be a difficult and dangerous undertaking for the TMNT and their allies.
Krang is an antagonist that the Turtles have fought many times, what it is it about the fleshy villain that makes him such an interesting foil for the ninja brothers?
TW: I think I like the fact that, in General Krang, we have a conduit to allow the TMNT to engage in more cosmic adventures. At their core, the TMNT are gritty street fighters without a doubt, but the package wouldn't be complete if we didn't get the heroes in a half shell off-planet and interacting with creatures that are even weirder than they are every once in a while. Krang allows us to do that in a big way.
We've learned a lot more about the Neutrinos, the Triceratons and the Utroms in this arc. Which of these alien races has been the most fun to flesh out?
TW: They are all fascinating to explore in their own way, not only as a writer, but as a fan as well. The work other writers such as Erik Burnham, Paul Allor, Chris Mowry, and so many others have done in our ancillary series has made it all the more exciting for me to be associated with IDW's iteration of the ever-growing TMNT mythos. I will say, however, that I'm very happy that my idea to turn the Neutrinos from hot-rodding teenagers into hardcore resistance fighters was so readily welcomed by our many wonderful fans.
This storyline is basically a courtroom drama combined with a space opera. What made those genres ones you wanted to explore with the TMNT, and what new aspects of the characters has it opened up?
TW: We wanted to present as real — and fair — a trial as possible because we felt — and feel — a complicated prosecution is necessary in order to respect the complicated personality and intentions we've built for General Krang over the last six years. There is nothing easily predictable about any of our characters, including Krang, so neither should their fates be predictable. As a result, the trial was probably some of the most difficult scripting I've had to do during the entire series — and it's also some of my favorite. By the end of issue #75, I think Krang will not be the only character readers will have a new respect (or disdain) for. Much is revealed in the testimony of the various characters.
We also have been getting to know the five witnesses the Turtles helped bring against Krang, who were introduced in the Dimension X series. Will we be seeing more of them after the trial is over?
TW: I hope so! I love them all and hope to either get a chance to write or read more of their adventures in the future!
What kind of fallout from this huge issue will the Turtles be experiencing in the coming months?
TW: Oh, just a little thing called "Invasion of the Triceratons" starting in issue #76.
The next big milestone will be the 100th issue, are you already planning for that one? How far ahead do you plot the series?
TW: Oh, yeah — we're plotted out to 100, and we know what we want to do for that big issue — including a few big shockers before we get there. And given the opportunity, we have more stories to tell beyond 100 as well. Time will tell!