On sale this week from IDW Publishing is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2012, a comic book that I am totally going to buy because 1) it is a 48-page comic co-written and drawn by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman and 2) about Casey Jones and Raphael just hanging out and beating people up. For this reader, that is the essence of Ninja Turtles. ComicsAlliance's resident TMNT expert Caleb Goellner (who's slacking off in Mexico this week in truly shameful Michelangelo fashion, which is why I'm writing this) may disagree, but when I was a kid and reading the original (and quite dark and violent) Turtles books by Eastman and Peter Laird, my favorite stories were those where Raphael would peace out on his comparatively tame bros and get into trouble with Casey Jones, the hockey-masked human who was badass enough to hang with the Turtle boys.

Based on the preview material below, I suspect Eastman and co-writer Tom Waltz feel similarly. Here we see Michelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo bemoan the fact that they're not quite cool enough to hang out with Raph and Casey, whose workout is allegedly too intense for outsiders. The truth is, the guys have been set off on a nocturnal adventure through New York City, chasing a mysterious briefcase that takes them through a sprawling cast of crooks, cops and the Shredder himself.

Raphael and Casey find themselves in the middle of a criminal caper gone awry that touches the lives of many of their friends... and enemies! Double-cross upon double-cross leads the Turtles to the heart of the NYC criminal underworld. Various factions jockey for power, but at the end of the day only one can end up on top. Will it be the Foot Clan? Expect the unexpected in this exciting, all-new Kevin Eastman-written/drawn tale!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2012 goes on sale on Halloween in finer comics stores and digitally from comiXology.

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