This comic begins with the turtles training their defensive skills, Mikey with Donnie and Leo against Raph. Raph is playing his version of "King of the Hill" up on a structure and out of reach..Leo, thinking Raph is defending the structure, is caught off guard by Raph. He tells Leo the best defense is offense. They begin to fight, but the tides turn...Leo gets the advantage and gets his brother onto the ground. The two were stopped by Splinter, who tells Leo it wasn't reasonable to insult his brother. (I guess?!) He continues to explain that Raph is naturally aggressive and it compliments the others' cautious approach.
Splinter tells them the real reason why he interrupted their training, it's April, she has information for the four turtles. April tells the turtles that she has photos that they need to see. Donnie automatically takes the phone, fangirling over her fancy Y-238 phone. Without realizing it, he says "There's so much to love about you." and quickly corrects himself and continues to look at the pictures. He finds her very odd looking selfie pictures. She takes back her phone frustrated and shows them the actual picture she wanted them to see, which is of a Foot Ninja. Splinter decides that it should be investigated, but to be wary and not go into anything blindly. And everyone gives a dirty eye towards Raph. April breaks in saying she can lead the guys to the place where she found the Foot Ninja. Splinter shoots her down, telling her it's still too dangerous for her. She objects, and attempts to convince Splinter that she can defend herself, but was cut off mid-sentence...In the next panel Splinter is holding her upside down by her ankle. That's fast... April decides to stay behind while the turtles head out.
The turtles are on the mission to find the lone Foot Ninja. Raph complains about it taking too long to find this random ninja. Leo finds a Foot Ninja, saying he's "creeping around". Mikey makes his "Mikey-comment" about the ninja sneaking in an "evil" way. The Foot Ninja was breaking into a grocery store when the turtles begin to surround him. Mikey asks why he's breaking into a grocery store, and suggests a pizza shop down to the street if he was hungry. Donnie appears telling the ninja that it's not a good idea to break into a building in this area. Suddenly the ninja throws a smoke bomb and other Foot Ninja appear. Raph and Leo go into the battle. Raph is cocky, like usual, and says this fight will be over in no time. One of the Foot Ninja shoot a dart at Mikey, only bouncing off his shell. Raph makes a comment about the blow darts being too slow. Then..."Thwok" Raph was hit and is soon knocked down. They decide to leave to take Raph back to the lair.
Why does Shredder look so pale here?
Finally...the real bad guy appears! The Shredder! He's talking to Doggypark...Dogound about being successful with the poison from the kyosuu fruit. He proceeds to ask Dogpound, if the turtle was destroyed.Yes, Shredder did use that nickname instead of the real name which is Bradford. This is out of character for Shredder, since it's Mikey's nickname for Bradford. Anyway...Dogpound says no, but they got almost all the kyosuu fruit so the turtles can't make the antidote. The Shredder isn't happy with the "almost" so he sends Dogpound to stop them from finding the ingredients.Dogpound goes back out to stop the turtles from finding the ingredients, and maybe a chance to "destroy" them.
Meanwhile...April is training with Splinter. When the turtles arrive Splinter asks what happened and Donnie shows him the dart. Splinter sniffs the dart and knows what poison it was. He explains that the poison doesn't kill, only destroying a person's balance and can also cause hallucinations...which explains the funky characters in the next panel. Donnie has an egg head, Mikey is a clown, which fits perfectly for him, Leo is a large blue chicken, Splinter has a duck bill and antlers and April is a pink monkey. Splinter sends the other turtles out to retrieve the ingredients for the cure. Along with that he explains that they need to get it fast because within two hours, Raph won't be able to fight again!
They get all the ingredients except one, which is the kyosuu fruit. The turtles, kinda break into a grocery store and take the fruit. When they try to leave, the gang run into a whole lot of Foot Ninjas. They're trapped, no where to sneak out..the only way was through the Foot. Leo realizes that they're being too cautious, and says that they need to think like Raph. The way of Raph is going all out and just run into the battle. Before they run out, Donnie asks how much Mikey weighs.
The three turtles run out with Mikey as a blockade from the darts and Donnie turning him into a weapon, swinging him around fighting off the Foot. Leo makes a comment that this could be going a lot worse, jinxing them...as Dogpound arrives.
He distracts the turtles while a Foot Ninja swipes the bag containing the ingredients. The ingredients eventually lands in the hand of Dogpound. Donnie and Leo attack, but were easily smacked away. Leo plucks a dart from Mikey's shell and poke's Dogpound's foot. Dogpound hallucinates the turtles as monstrous-looking turtles. They knock him down and grab back the ingredients and head back to the lair.
Raph is now hallucinating the theme of "Alice in Wonderland" and he's Alice. April as the Rabbit and Splinter and the Mad Hatter. And I'm guessing Raph's turtle is the Chesire cat.
Raph is really trippin' now!
Shortly later, Raph has drank the cure, that smells like feet, and is back to normal. Splinter tells the other turtles that they should also drink the cure so they can be immune to the poison. The turtles think again like Raph and run away.
OPINION:Shredder is finally introduced into the comic series along with Dogpound and the Foot Ninjas. And like I explained earlier, Shredder uses the nicknames that Mikey has made. That's just weird...And a weird concept of the poison making someone lose their balance and hallucinate. The story plot was interesting, loved the reference of "Alice in wonderland". Spike has a small role in this comic instead of just in the background, such an inspiring scene! *Wipes away tear*
I agree with everything Paige said, especially how it's about time we see Shredder and the Foot in this (though it looks weird seeing him that pale, and with no burn marks other than the weird eye). The thing with 'do what Raph would do' is interesting, in showing how Raph's temper and rush-in attitude factors into the team, but it was executed rather weird. The Turtles rarely run from the Foot, so it was weird that 'without Raph' they were too busy trying to find some way to escape instead of taking them down. They took down the Foot several times without needed Raph to start the charge.
This comic brings in two interesting references. The story is very similar to 'Enter the Fly' from the 80's cartoon, but without the trippy side-effects. Shredder poisons April with a rare plant, and unless the Turtles find the cure from another rare plant in time, she will die. And since Shredder knows the only place where they can find the cure, they show up to stop them. Oddly enough, the 80's wacky silly cartoon actually dealt with April flat-out dying from the poison, where her Raph would have just gone crazy.
Another minor reference, though I don't know if it's intentional or not, was that the 'monsterous-looking' Turtles in Dogpound's hallucinations vaguely resembled the Dark Turtles from TMNT Fast Forward, especially since the Turtles had the skin colors matching their bandanas.
Either way, it was a fun read, and hey, we got Fishface in the next issue! See ya then!