TMNT: Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road #5 Review/Rumination
The Comic begins immediately after last issues cliffhanger. Bebop & Rocksteady have been captured by Agent Ravenwood and are at her mercy. The mutants laugh it off as this is usually the point in the comic where their dinosaur rescues them and kills their captors. This
doesn't happen this time.
Ravenwood admits that she initially thought that Bebop & Rocksteady were just confused mutants but has come to realize they are monsters.
While this confrontation is taking place the scene shifts to Agent Bishop as he watches the the situation develop from a lab.
Ravenwood tells her men to load up the mutants but as they are being hauled off, Bishop presses a button that releases Bebop & Rocksteady.
They immediately begin attacking Ravenwood's men and their Dinosaur finally shows picking up a gun and blowing up one of her Helicopters.
Ravenwood tells her troops to activate their weapon's. The weapons turn out to be robotic versions of Bebop & Rocksteady. Initially the fighting stops. Bebop & Rocksteady engage the robots to see what they are offering. This quickly falls apart when the robots tell them to surrender.
The fighting escalates from there and continues until robot Rocksteady launches his horn, which turns out to be a missile and destroys the bridge they are fighting on. This also destroys the robots as they were not built to survive falling into the water below.
Pulling themselves out of the water and back onto the remaining bridge they encounter Ravenwood talking to herself.
She realizes that Bishop has set her up by releasing Bebop & Rocksteady to further the narrative that mutants are all dangerous. The plan was to incite a public and costly battle. The battle also exposes her as a mutant publically.
As Ravenwood notices Bebop & Rocksteady approaching she dresses down to a combat uniform. The mutants rush her but she immediately takes them down. She stretches out and impales Rocksteady with her fingers.
Bebop realizes she's a mutant and grabs her from behind ripping her arm off. This causes Ravenwood to reveal her true form and she transforms into a spider-like creature. She impales both Bebop and Rocksteady, poisoning them.
Bebop manages to grab her, smashing her to the ground and berates her for being a freak and ugly.
Ravenwood responds that she only wanted to make the world a better place. Bebop continues to rip Ravenwood apart and tells her that sometimes the Bad Guys win.
She manages to slip away and escapes by jumping into the river below. Bebop and Rocksteady walk off and collapse before realizing that they have finally made it home, New York.
As they celebrate the Dinosaur approaches. The boys decide that the raptor is worthy to join their gang and name him N'Sho-V. The comic ends as Bebop & Rocksteady throw debris off of a freeway and into ongoing traffic.
Rumination/Series Post Mortem
I was prepared to give TMNT: Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road a poor rating but upon a reread I feel slightly better about the series overall. The comic wraps up nicely. It has a complete feeling and the story covers all of the ground that Ben Bates & Dustin Weaver set out for us. The series also give us a compelling antagonist/potential hero in agent Ravenwood.
Ravenwood is the real star of the series. She has an interesting backstory and is one of the few mutants that can pass for human despite her enormous size. She offers a contrast to Bebop & Rocksteady, melding the human and mutant worlds. This becomes a tragic situation as she learns their true nature as murderers. He also ends up being betrayed by the government agency she works for.
Bebop sums up the situation perfectly when he says that "Sometimes the bad guys win".
This resonated with me personally because I'm dealing with a similar situation at my day job. This line also harkens back to the issue of the regular series where Bebop & Rocksteady nearly kill Donatello.
Sometimes the bad guys do win. That running theme lets us know that none of our heroes are ever safe. I seriously doubt any of the turtles will ever be killed off but short of death, anything else possible.
My biggest criticism against the series overall has been the inconsistent art. This issue has the worst art of the series and is outright embarrassing in some places. There is a 2 page sequence in the middle of the comic where I literally can't make out anything that's happening. It hurt my review because even while looking at the scene multiple times I still don't know what's happening a day later. This forces me to highlight the true villain here.
This series needed a better editor. Bobby Curnow is credited as being the editor and I would like to give credit to him for keeping the story moving at a quick efficient pace but the downside is the art quality appears to have suffered greatly for it. Ben Bates is a good artist. I follow him on Deviantart and his gallery shows he can produce great content. This series is just not his best work.
Bebop & Rocksteady prove how dangerous and resourceful they can be when they cut loose. They are even more dangerous when their pet raptor gets into the mix. I'm interested in seeing their next encounter with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I don't see any of the turtles being able to survive a one on one encounter with Bebop or Rocksteady, this series solidifies that idea for me.
Issue Rating: D
Series Overall Rating: C