4 out of 5
Firstly: covers! As in: I think this is the first Best Of to actually include the original covers (sorta – they cropped #14 because… guns?) as dividers between the contents. Effin’ congrats on something that should’ve been obvious before, but whatever – I’m happy to see it. And James Biggie’s cover to the whole book is cool – it does seem like once we’ve moved away from the Turtles, which all looked uniform, Biggie has more room to add some style to it.
The selection of stories is good – though #48 is an interesting choice. I do like when they’ve used the Best Ofs – whether purposefully or not – to compare and contrast different versions of a character, and here we get jovial and goofy Casey in (the great) #14, and then IDW’s child-of-abuse Casey gets juxtaposed against the older, more unhinged Casey in #48. However, 48 is strange as a ‘best of’ example: it’s part of a 2-parter, though it admittedly stands on its own; but I don’t feel like it actually highlights Casey really, despite him being a main character. He’s more used as a proxy to feed in to then-forthcoming City at War events, so it’s not like we do a deep dive on his personality or anything. I like see-sawing it against the IDW book, but I also feel like there MUST’VE been some other Casey story from across all the Mirage books that might’ve been a better single entry. But overall, this felt like a book that was actually curated by someone, and has me-approved design elements to boot.