Our story opens with who appears to be Oroku Saki, whom we better know as The Shredder. But, he's not the normal Shredder we're used to seeing. His outfit is different. His strength is more powerful. His soul is different.
Next, we see our friendly, fatherly rat Splinter. But, he appears to be hurt. He's weak. So, where then are our heroes? In this timeline, apparently, we watch Master Splinter create our ninja fighting turtles from the Earth itself. "Taking form of a form unborn of formlessness." I couldn't have written that any better if I tried . . .
Almost immediately after their creation, our heroes begin to fight. After all, that's what they're made for, right? Before I even get to turn the page, bloodshed has been spilled. Turtles are swinging their swords through the Foot Clan as though they were water itself. There is no mercy. Even a hero loses his hand in battle. "A screaming comes across the sky. A shrieking." I told you this story was dark . . .
But, I love it! No, these aren't the fun, pizza-loving teenagers that we're used to, but isn't that what comic books are for? To create timelines and stories that are different from "what we're used to?" Whether or not your agree, writers Michael Zulli and Stephen Murphy most certainly succeed. Zulli also appears to have done most of the dark artwork himself, adding a very gritty truth to this TMNT reality. He really made me wonder what actual mutant turtles would look like. I should also shout-out Eric Talbot for his assistance with inks for a portion of the comic book. You could tell this was totally a team effort.
So, if your looking for a darker Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle storyline than you're used to, look no further, because Legends: Soul's Winter is exactly what we've been waiting for . . .