Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman Explain How Krang's Assassin "Is A Complete Unknown To The TMNT"

We sat down with writer Tom Waltz and writer/artist Kevin Eastman to talk about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Prelude to Dimension X. This TMNT story includes a weird, yet intriguing, new foe for the Turtles to face! The boys will be using their usual bad guy butt-kicking skills in this tubular addition to Free Comic Book Day 2017!



(W) Tom Waltz
(A, CA) Cory Smith

Prequel to the upcoming TMNT: Dimension X 5-week event this August! Krang was defeated by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and now awaits trial in Dimension X. Little do the Turtles know that Krang hired an assassin to destroy everyone who might testify against him, including themselves! This issue introduces a deadly and weird new villain, and begins the biggest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles adventure in space ever! [ALL AGES] T

Free Comic Book Day: In the past, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have fought off criminals, mutant creatures, aliens, ninja, and overlords—what kind of challenge will this “deadly and weird new villain” present to the turtles?

Tom Waltz: What’s interesting to me about our new villain is that, initially, the TMNT are not even his main target. In reality, the Turtles are, for the most part, bystanders to the circumstances surrounding his nefarious mission -- but they don't stay out of it for long as the intended victim is one of their very close friends and most important allies.  That said, this bad guy is a complete unknown to the TMNT and they will be forced to quickly adapt to his unique and, dare I say, alien fighting style… a style that seems to evolve and change in deadlier ways with each new battle.

Kevin Eastman: One of the MANY things I dearly love about the unique and if you will, original, IDW TMNT series remains the ability for us to hand pick, adapt, twist, and reinvent many of the different characters from other TMNT “Universes” as well as continually bring in new ones that simply blend in beautifully! That is the wonderful part of having such a creative think tank of extremely talented individuals, working under razor sharp brains of Mr Waltz and Mr Curnow – all guided by Nickelodeon’s amazing support and equally valuable guidance. The new villain is only one of a few new faces you will meet over the next ten issues. Stay tuned!

Out of all the turtles, which one is your favorite and why?

TW: Honestly, I don’t have a favorite.  I’ve been writing their stories for so long now that I feel each and every one of them is a part of me and, to some extent, I am a part of them.  If I HAD to pick one, however, I’d say Leonardo, because what’s cooler than packing two katana, right?!

KE: I think it is more than fair to say, after writing seventy plus issues, Tom has officially reached “Dad/Step Dad” status with the guys – and like me, it is VERY hard to choose a favorite child. I love them all, but when pressed by a fan, I respond in kind – “I love them all…” but if I had to choose one “Michelangelo, being the first Turtle doodled, has an extra soft spot with me, but when I want to tell a single Turtle Adventure, I usually choose Raphael, especially when I can team him up with Casey Jones – they can be pushed farther then the others in my opinion, and have a whole lot of fun together at the same time!”

What got you reading comics? What are some series you’re reading today?

TW: I first got into comics as a wee lad reading RICHIE RICH comics in my Uncle John and Aunt Esther’s service station in Michigan.  Later, it was the X-MEN’sThe Brood Saga” that really hooked me for good, as well as Frank Miller’s work on DAREDEVIL.  And Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s WOLVERINE: ENEMY OF THE STATE is a storyline I go back to again and again.  Really, the list goes on and on.  These days, I can’t get enough of the work Tom King and Jonathan Hickman do in their fine books, and I’m always excited by the GHOSTBUSTERS comics I edit here at IDW, as well as many other fun books I'm honored to be associated with.

KE: A bit of everything when I was younger – Daredevil, Captain America, and Batman among the favorites, Jack Kirby’s Kamandi would be my all time favorite. These days, also a bit all over the map – anything by Brian Azzarello, I’m also a Tom King junky – on the top of my reading stack right now you’ll find: Tokyo Ghost, Seven to Eternity, God Country, and Richard Corben’s Shadow’s on the Grave, and I just re-read Electric Sublime. Very cool book.

What books would you recommend to new readers and why?

TW: Wow -- that’s a tough one.  What I normally tell new/potential comic book readers is to go to their local comic book store, tell their retailer what kind of stories they like, and it’s pretty much guaranteed there will be something in the store that will appeal to their individual tastes… that’s how diverse comic books have become.

KE: Yeah, I completely agree with Tom – where to jump in can seem daunting at times, but I’ve taken the same approach myself, chatting up the shop owner. What’s new and interesting and why they like it? I talk about the kind of books, comics, and movies I enjoy and if they have recommendations. Sometimes I like to just wander around and flip through a lot of different titles, especially if I have never heard of them - I love to take a chance now and again, discovering something fresh I might not have normally picked up.     

Why do you think Free Comic Book Day is important to the comic book community?

TW: Nothing gets folks out to stores like free stuff.  And once inside the store, I believe FCBD really works to show curious comic-book fence sitters just how much our medium has to offer.  For many, it may be their first time experiencing the variety and the quality of modern comics… and, hopefully, the first of many trips.  Fans for life have to start somewhere, and I think FCBD serves that purpose magnificently.

KE: I again, completely agree with Mr Waltz! I have done many FCBD events over the years and find that it actually does bring out a lot of new fans, especially younger ones, to check the event. Often, they might have driven by their local store countless times, but an opportunity like this brings them in for the first time. I’d be interested to find out how many end up being ongoing/regular customers. Back in the old days, pre-FCBD, Pete and I would donate lots of the Archie TMNT Comics to schools and libraries, as we’d often meet teachers and librarians at different conventions or signings who were looking for anything that would get students/kids interested in reading. I think FCBD leads to the same thing, everyone wins!

Why do you think local comic shops are important to the comic book community?

TW: Look… it’s easy to buy anything, including comics, online these days.  But there’s something about standing in a comic book store, surrounded by floppies and hard covers and trade paperbacks and cool posters and fun knick-knacks that really drives home -- at least for me -- the vibrant fun of this art and this hobby.  Shopping online tends to require pre-knowledge of what you’re looking for, whereas nothing beats walking into a comic book store and having a spectacular, eye-catching cover practically jump off the shelf and into your vision.  I don’t know how may times I’ve walked into a comic book store for one thing and ended up leaving with a ton of other great stuff I’d never even knew existed until I saw it for myself.

KE: Being an, ahem, older fan – and one that grew up in a very small town in Maine, my original haunts for Comic Hunting were Tag Sales, Salvation Army Stores, and the Drug Store two towns away that had a spinner rack. The first time I actually stepped into a Comic Book Store was on a road trip with my Dad, it was a store called Comics for Collectors in Philadelphia – and I wanted to live there, like forever. I remember the smell, old comics and freshly printed ones blending into a heavenly sent that felt like home. Years later, there were a few shops in driving distance, and the weekly trips with the gang were the best – hanging out with your Bro’s, other friends you’d see on these regular trips, new discoveries, finding missing back issues, and getting the latest news and gossip. Still love it to this day, especially the smell of freshly printed comics.

Where do you plan to spend Free Comic Book Day 2017?

TW: I don't have any specific plans at the moment.  If I’m doing a signing, I tend to drive around and check out the scene at the various comic book stores here in San Diego.  It’s always fun to people watch and see what’s catching shoppers’ eyes. Hopefully they’ll all be getting a kick out of our TMNT offering!

KE: I’ll be signing at Ultimate Comics in North Carolina – can’t wait! Really looking forward to it! Cowabunga!

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