TMNT: Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road #4 Review/Rumination
The issue opens with Razzmatazz watching footage from last issues battle in downtown Texas. The government has claimed that the damage was from 2 tornados. Razz believes that the story is a lie and leaves the house to investigate only to run into a group of Earth Protection Force (EPF) agents standing outside his front door.
The scene transitions to a meeting between Agent Ravenwood and Agent Bishop. Bishop sees Bebop and Rocksteady as a potential global threat and directs his team to figure out a way to destroy them. Ravenwood doesn't see the the mutants as being the sort of characters to coordinate global acts of terrorism and thinks they may just be operating on impulse. This suggestion causes Bishop to accuse Ravenwood of sympathizing with Bebop and Rocksteady because she has also been mutated in some capacity.
He calls her a failed experiment, a freak. She owns up to the label responding that she has become a bridge between human and mutant. This response gives Agent Bishop pause. He responds that the department will eventually need to be purged and implies that Ravenwood will be one of the assets that will be eliminated. With that threat Ravenwood is dismissed.
We eventually catch up with Bebop & Rocksteady in the Himalayas. They are lost and bouncing all over the world trying to find a way back to New York.
Ravenwood sits in the interrogation room with Xiang (Issue 2). She questions Xiang about why the mutants were in Houston Texas but she remains silent. Ravenwood then slides the pictures of the men in the dumpster over to Xiang and asks her to identify them. Xiang realizes that Ravenwood doesn't recognize Bebop & Rocksteady in human form and bursts out laughing.
The panels shift to Ravenwood interviewing Razzmatazz. She plays on his nature as a conspiracy theorist and gets him to reveal that Bebop & Rocksteady are attempting to get back to New York.
Ravenwood tells her men to get the choppers ready for the trip. One of the men question the motivations of the mutants not understanding why they keep bouncing all over the world if they are just trying to get to New York. Ravenwood posits that she believes that Bebop & Rocksteady are mentally stunted and only have the mental capacity of children. They are simply lost and trying to get home.
Ravenwood gets a call from one of the lab guys, Dr. Shelvin. He mentions that he has come up with several theories about the experiment that mutated her but she waves him off and tells the the Doctor to get to the point. He lets her know that he got one of the downed alien ships communicators working and that she can communicate with Bebop and Rocksteady directly.
She calls them and tries once again to get the mutants to turn themselves in. She promises not to hurt them but they laugh it off and begin hurling insults her way. She turns off the communicator and tells her men to load up the tech needed to down the alien craft.
A woman runs up to Ravenwood with the files on the men in the dumpster and while reviewing the info she realizes that the men were Bebop and Rocksteady. She also reviews their criminal record finds that they are just as dangerous as Bishop suspected.
A little while later Bebop and Rocksteady are almost home and are flying low with the flow of traffic. As they enter the city they are greeted by the EPF forces and after a brief exchange they are finally captured.
This issue was really good and benefited from Bebop & Rocksteady's POV not being the focal point of the story. Ravenwood comes into her own and establishes herself as a sympathetic antagonist. I hesitate to call her a villain because we're still unsure as to why she wants to capture Bebop & Rocksteady so badly.
I also believe that she has more in common with the mutants than she does with the rest of humanity, which explains the sympathetic connection. When Dr. Shelvin lets her know that he may have a solution to why the experiment that changed her went wrong she wave's him off. I'm pretty sure that Ravenwood would rather be in mutant form than go back to being normal, just like Bebop & Rocksteady.
I hope that she doesn't keep trying to reason with them or she's gonna end up dead.
Agent Bishop makes his first appearance in this mini. As I suspected in a prior review he questions why Ravenwood hasn't just taken them out by now.
In the current TMNT continuity, Bishop is probably the most dangerous villain the turtles have to deal with. The other characters may be bad or walking tanks but for the most part they are all trying to make the best of their situation. Bishop is simply a monster with a human face. He also has the backing of the government which makes him a bigger potential threat than Shredder, Krang or Baxter Stockman ever were.
The art continues to improve and I actually have no complaints this issue. I enjoyed every aspect of this comic and look forward to sharing the conclusion with you in the coming days.