Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series > Raphael|
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- Written by: Bryan Lynch
- Art by: Franco Urru
- Colors by: Fabio Mantovani
- Letters by: Chris Mowry
- Editor: Bobby Curnow
- Cover Arts: David Petersen, Franco Urru & Fabio Mantovani, Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird
Raphael and Casey rough up a few thugs in an alleyway. Afterward, Casey questions Raph on how it feels to suddenly have a family. Raphael is unnerved, preferring action to talking, and gunshots are suddenly heard. The two of them scope out the scene: a cloaked and wrapped figure is fleeing from two thugs with guns. The victim kicks one of them in its attempt to escape, and Raphael comes down to attack the other. The first one attacks again, and Raph puts him in his place. The second returns for his second wind, and is stopped by Casey. The fleeing figure turns out to be a female Mutant arctic fox calling herself Alopex. Alopex claims to know little of her life before her current state, other than being a normal arctic fox that was captured in the wild and experimented upon. She'd since escaped, and her captors sent many hired hands to retrieve her.
Knowing that his brothers would like to talk with her, and that Splinter could potentially help her, Raphael blindfolds her and carries her off to the lair, leaving Casey to dispose of the thugs.
On the way to their destination, it dawns on Raph that the kick she used to subdue her attacker was much too professionally placed for her to be the sweet and innocent fox girl that she portrayed herself as. Raph drops her off of a rooftop, and Alopex stops herself from falling by sliding down the wall with her claws. Alopex is surprised that he saw through her ruse, and Raphael deduces that as an arctic fox, her sense of smell would be powerful enough to trace their position despite her blindfold, allowing her to report to her superiors the location of the lair. The two briefly scuffle, but Alopex retreats with a flash bomb.
Raphael catches up with his brothers and tells them of his night. Donatello checks him for wounds, Michelangelo dispenses jokes to deal with the uneasiness, and Leonardo decrees that they should never go out alone again, and that Raph should stay out of that neighborhood for a while. Raphael breaks both rules by going to see Casey. Casey tells Raph that the two thugs escaped. Raph tells Casey of Leo's rules, and Casey thinks that means they need to stop hanging out. Raph lets him know that it is to the contrary—that he's dragging him into whatever comes their way telling him that he "suddenly has four new brothers." Casey is fine with this.
Elsewhere, as Alopex assaults a punching bag, the thug she kicked chews her out for striking so hard, and she defends herself by claiming she had to sell the hit. Both thugs claim that the reason Alopex was able to hold her own so long against Raph was due to being a mutant, and they claim if they also were mutants, they'd be able to trounce him. A ninja appears and tells them that they will be "changed" as soon as the "master" decrees it—behind him is a spiked, armored shadow.
- The two major thugs in the story greatly resemble the human forms of Bebop and Rocksteady, and it is greatly implied that these are those exact characters. At one point, the Rocksteady thug calls himself a "goddamn rhino". This has later been confirmed by the duo getting their own Villains Micro-Series issue, where they are mutated.
- In the panel in which he complains to Alopex for kicking him in the face, the Bebop thug's mohawk is missing, leaving him to appear bald.
- This story is continued from TMNT (IDW) #5. The story continues in TMNT Microseries: Michelangelo #1.
- The issue was supposed to ship on November 30, 2011 (the same date as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue 4 (IDW)), but was delayed by one week (effectively releasing on December 7). A note from editor Bobby Curnow on the inside cover assures readers that it can be enjoyed independently of the ongoing narrative of the main series.
- According to editor Bobby Curnow, the Foot Soldier seen at the end of the issue was not intended to be the Shredder, though his identity can be interpreted differently by readers without affecting the storyline.
- The two thugs working for the Foot Clan will appear again briefly in TMNT Villains Microseries #4: Alopex.
- This issue was originally published with five variant covers: Cover A by David Peterson, Cover B by Franco Urru and Fabio Mantovani, Cover RI-A David Peterson sketch version, Cover RI-B classic Kevin Eastman Raphael (microseries) #1 version, and Jetpack Comics exclusive by Peter Laird.