TMNT: Best of Donatello – Various

4 out of 5

Okay, if we’ve established that these Best Ofs will follow the pattern of collecting the original Mirage micro, the first IDW micro, and the IDW macro, then the Donatello addition has the good fortune of that selection where the Raphael edition was doomed by it: its three individual issues are all great or better than average, and each also stands (for the most part) wholly on its own. So, yes, this actually works as a compilation book, and steps through three distinct eras / styles. The linking of the character Harold between the two IDW issues also gives it some internal chronology, which I can imagine might interest a reader stepping in fresh, wanting to fill in the blanks between the two without having any massive reveals ruined by just reading these two snapshots.

That said, I still don’t think this is really a “best of” so much as just publishing what’s convenient for the page count, and several years passed between now and when the colorized reprint of the Mirage book was first printed – the edition that’s used here – to solve the gap created by an ad in the original issue that led into a splash page. The solution this time – some comic book-y font “Wait For It…!” on an all black page is better than the overblown closeup of an illustration that was first used, but it’s still pretty dumb. There’s another splash page prior to this, so I get the struggle, you can’t just offset pages, but, I dunno – reprint an old ad?

The lack of context on the table of contents isn’t so much of a problem this time since the stories stand on their own, though it’d still be good to fix in future installments… Nonetheless, saved by its contents, this issue is a good deal, but it’s truly just luck of the draw, given what looks to be the set formula they’ll be using for these books.