TMNT: The Last Ronin #2 continues the smash-hit IDW Publishing series that flashes forward to the last of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as he embarks on a quest to avenge his fallen brothers and take down the Foot Clan once and for all.
After a surprise cliffhanger ending in #1, The Last Ronin #2 adds even more wrinkles to the story, drawing on the past tales and characters of the TMNT in a brand new way.
Spoilers ahead for TMNT: The Last Ronin #2
Picking up right where TMNT: The Last Ronin #1 left off, Michaelangelo (revealed as the last living Turtle in the final scene of #1) awakens in the Turtles' old lair, where he's been rescued by April O'Neil. As he orients himself, he 'argues' with the apparitions of his brothers Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello, that haunt his memories.
Taking a tense trip down memory lane in a flashback to the night the Foot Clan began their final war against the Turtles, April sits in the other room putting on a prosthetic arm and leg. She recalls the start of the Turtles' downfall – which began on a night meant to be a celebration.
Flashing back to April's apartment years in the past, April and Casey Jones prepare a meal for the Turtles and their mentor Splinter. It's a party to tell them the news that April and Casey are engaged to be married.
But things immediately go wrong – Michaelangelo bursts in, followed by Raphael and Donatello who carry a mortally wounded Splinter. The trio of Turtles explain that they were ambushed by the Foot Clan immediately on leaving the sewers, with Splinter taking the brunt of the assault.
Leonardo arrives moments later, explaining that he managed to fight off the remainder of the Foot Clan. He decides to take Splinter to get help from a doctor – but it's too late. Splinter passes away, stating that he knows the Foot Clan attacked, breaking a longstanding truce with the Turtles, because Shredder's daughter Karai sees it as her duty to end the feud between Shredder's Oroko clan and Shredder's Hamato clan in blood.
Raphael runs off, bloodily and mercilessly fighting his way through dozens of Foot Clan ninjas until he comes face to face with Karai. The two clash, and as Raphael drags her underwater, it seems he has the upper hand thanks to his amphibious mutation.
But Karai has one last trick up her sleeve, stabbing Raphael under his jaw and killing him instantly. She rises to the surface of the water as he sinks lifelessly below.
Back in the present of The Last Ronin, Michaelangelo and April catch up over breakfast. Though there's a gap in time in which Leonardo and Donatello die that's not yet been spelled out on the page, Mikey and April refer to an "explosion" that is apparently the cause of April's injuries.
When April suddenly calls Casey Jones into the room, Michaelangelo is shocked that another old friend may still be alive. But Mikey is even more surprised when it's not April's (now presumably dead) old flame who enters, but the young woman who found and rescued him at the end of The Last Ronin #1 – Casey and April's daughter, Casey Marie Jones.
As Casey Marie (everyone else just calls her Casey, so from now on we will too) marvels at meeting a still living hero from her mother's stories, she examines Splinter's old journals. Casey explains to Michaelangelo that she's studied numerous martial arts, and is part of the "resistance" to the Foot Clan – and they want to help him on his mission to destroy the Foot.
Asking if Casey's told April what she knows of his mission, and how he was injured. She hasn't, but wants to know how he was able to survive.
Mikey explains that after the loss of his family, he went into the wilderness to die. But rather than dying, his mutation progressed and he adapted to survive, making him stronger and tougher. Setting out to fight the Foot Clan, Michaelangelo explains that he mastered "every fighting style" contained in Splinter's old journal, including the weapons of his now-dead brothers.
Michaelangelo tries to dissuade Casey from her desire to join his quest, but eventually ascents, saying "I can't decide if you're more like your mom, or like your dad."
Across town, Karai's son Hiroto – the current head of the Foot Clan and Mikey's target in the first issue – vows to kill every member of the Foot who fails to bring Michaelangelo to him, ramping up the threat against Mikey, Casey, and the resistance.
But back in the old Turtles lair, April seems to have a secret of her own. In her quarters, she opens a safe marked 'SAL0,' retrieving what appears to be the head of Fugitoid – an alien scientist named Professor Honeycutt whose consciousness was transferred into the body of his android assistant SAL, before beaming across the galaxy to Earth while on the run.
Oddly enough, Fugitoid (also created by TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird) predates the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and was incorporated into their original Mirage Comics continuity after coming to Earth. His origin has changed across different continuities, but given TMNT: The Last Ronin dates back to the Turtles' original Mirage Comics days, when Fugitoid came into the title, we're guessing that's the version that shows up at the end of TMNT: The Last Ronin #2.
What does that mean for the future and fate of Michaelangelo, Casey, and their mission? The solicitation for TMNT: The Last Ronin #3 may hold a clue.
"Unexpected allies from the past reveal a possible path to salvation!" reads IDW's official description of TMNT: The Last Ronin #3. "As the Foot Clan sweeps NYC for the rogue Ronin, a final desperate plan in the name of vengeance is made!"
"Spanning decades, this issue's action and intrigue will set up the astounding final issues!"
Fugitoid's consciousness has been shown to survive when only his head remains, stored in the android memory banks therein. With Casey's mask on the cover of TMNT: The Last Ronin #3, it seems the story is building toward the introduction (or re-introduction) of several versions of classic Turtles allies.
TMNT: The Last Ronin #3 is scheduled for release on May 12. Before that, TMNT: The Last Ronin #1: Director's Cut releases on March 17, with an expanded look at the first issue.
Stay on top of everything Turtles-related with our constantly-updated list of all the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, graphic novels, and collections in 2021 and beyond.