Through a combination of moral outrage over the word “ninja” and the fact that the trading cards had strips of bubblegum in them, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles was always a property I was generally steered away from. I was never exposed to the cartoon and generally had zero nostalgia or interest for the sewer-dwelling reptiles. I don’t mention this to drum up sympathy or get some catharsis but to drive home just how good a series IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is that I’m over one hundred issues deep into a franchise I had no interest in before now. Even with that many issues, the title continues to be exciting and inventive for new and old fans alike.
Ten issues into her run and Sophie Cambell has the turtles firmly entrenched in their new lives in Mutant Town, a quarantined neighborhood on Manhattan’s East Side built to house the sudden rise in the mutant population, having to work together to try and build something and function as a larger community. Although this arc has so far seen the turtles building lives and discovering themselves beyond fighting, this issue does plunge them back into the action as they defend their new home from Hob’s spies in classic ninja fashion. With stealth and silence being the key to the Ninja’s plans, Jodi Nishijimi’s art expertly paces the action and ramps up the suspense, capturing the sudden moments of action and an almost eerie silence as fear begins to overcome the intruders.
Campbell’s writing is extraordinary when stepping away from the action and giving us intense personal moments with the extensive cast of the comic. In this issue she gives us the very emotionally raw exchange Mona has with her parents, revealing herself on a video call to explain that she is a mutant. Justifiably distraught at their disgust and rejection she subsequently finds some support and solace with fellow mutant Sally.
Final Verdict: A series that continues to stun with new and inventive twists that has something for old and new fans alike that has a real heart to it.
Originally posted on multiversity.com