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Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #67

The Mutanimals are in the crosshairs of Agent Bishop and the EPF, with Slash being the primary target. Oh, and some guy named Mateus Santolouco returns on art.

Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #67

(W) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow (A) Mateus Santolouco (C) Ronda Pattison

If there was ever a doubt that TMNT Universe is an essential part of the IDW’s canon for the Ninja Turtles, it is firmly put to rest by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #67. Following-up on the events from TMNT Universe #1-4, Agent Bishop reemerges with a plan for a new weapon to defend the earth: mutants. With the TMNT keeping a low profile, Bishop sets his sights on the Mutanimals, resulting in a suspenseful and thrilling issue.

Just because the Mutanimals and the EPF are the central focus does not mean that the Ninja Turtles are absent. As a matter of fact, Waltz’s script does a great service to the brothers in a couple of character-driven scenes. The first scene, in which Leonardo fails to rally his brothers into a training session, is a solid, slice-of-life moment. Ever diligent, Leo wants to prepare for the potential threats he and his brothers may face. Perhaps this is Waltz tipping his hand for what’s to come down the line, with the Pantheon sticking out after the events of TMNT #66. Needless to say, his brothers aren’t having it, with Mikey’s head planted firmly within a comic book (specifically, a Batman book), Raph simply wanting to take a breather, and Donnie focused on his latest gadgets – especially those that are, to his dismay, used as drink coasters.

What makes this scene work so well is that it reminds readers that that these four are teenagers – a fact that is often overlooked across their many incarnations. This is explicitly called out in the issue by Splinter, who Leonardo goes to for guidance. Though his words are a little too on-the-nose, there is very little to take issue with in this sequence. It makes sense that Leo would go to Splinter for guidance. Even though the Turtles and Splinter have split over the latter’s leadership of the Foot Clan, their family bonds are tough to break. It is also a comfort to see that Splinter is still maintains his trademark kindness when it comes to family.

While the Turtles drive the issue’s emotional beat, it is Bishop and the EPF that drive the plot. Very quickly, they manage to kidnap Slash and, through the wonders of science, turn him into a radio controlled monster. When the EPF inevitably sets Slash on a rampage Santolouco structures the scenes in a manner that feels at home in the horror genre – and it works very well. The issue does a great job reestablishing Bishop and the EPF as a viable threat to New York’s mutant community. While it initially felt that the arc may distract from the “real” threats of the Foot and the Pantheon, it is nice to see villains with a very different set of motivations from what readers have grown accustomed to.

Editor's Rating

8.5
Gnarly 8.5

The Author

Dan Gehen

Dan Gehen

Dan Gehen is a lot of things, but one thing he's been for his entire life is a TMNT fan (this has been verified by watching embarrassing home videos of his formative years). Though the classic 1980s cartoon caused his 3-year-old version to drive his parents insane via the constant repetition of "cowabunga dude", his true appreciation for the heroes in a half-shell came from the 1990 feature film as well as the comics by Mirage Studios. Today, he continues to enjoy comics from a variety of publishers, including the current TMNT series from IDW Publishing.

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