I really enjoyed this issue. Since the buildup to Issue #50, it seems like the TMNT gang has been trying to get back into the swing of things. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #53 was definitely a fun issue that brought a lot of fun twists back into the series. This also marked the first issue featuring Michael Dialynas on artwork. Here is our review of issue #53:
Writer’s Note: Spoilers Ahead
We open up with Michelangelo being welcomed by the Mighty Mutanimals with a cake made by Pigeon Pete (that nobody actually eats due to the fact that it is filled with bugs). The Mutanimals have some new members: Sally Pride (lioness) and Man Ray (manta ray). Old Hob is under the impression that Michelangelo is leaving his family for good due to their new Foot Clan affiliation, and become visibly annoyed when Michelangelo breaks the news that this is not a permanent situation. The growing Mutanimals has been something interesting to watch as they now have quite a variety of characters within the group. I would love to see a miniseries showing the recruitment of the current and future members.
Next, we find Casey Jones on a rooftop speaking on the phone with Detective Kara Lewis, who is informing Casey about the police investigation for the search for Hun, Casey’s father. Kara tells Casey that searching for Hun is essentially finding a needle in a haystack in a city like New York. The Mayor and police are hesitant to publicly announce the search for Hun due to the “mutant issue” associated with Hun’s story, so this does not lend help to the search.
Throughout the issue both Casey (with Raphael) and April (with her mom) have asked how Casey and April’s relationship is going. Both claim it is good, but there are clearly problems that need to be worked out. April is invested in deciphering Professor Miller’s scroll, while Casey has been occupied at the story and fighting street thugs. Neither Casey nor April seem to be putting in the effort towards a healthy relationship, but there does not appear to be any anger or bad blood (for now).
Old Hob gets word that a shipment of guns is arriving at the docks, so the Might Mutanimals spring into action. The group easily takes down the thugs (while still being observed by mysterious Winter) and heads back to base. The thugs turn out to be the Street Phantoms, and when Mr. Dunn (their boss) find out the shipment has been compromised, he destroys his desk screaming “Get me the inventor!”…could this mean Harold? Old Hob goes back to take care of the shipment, but Michelangelo does not seem trusting toward the idea that Hob is destroying all of the guns, so he hides aboard Hob’s van on the way back to the docks. Sure enough, Michelangelo discovers Old Hob is stashing the gun shipment into a warehouse and is apparently working with the nefarious Hun, who lurks behind Michelangelo in the final panel.
Like I said before, this was a great issue. The twist with Old Hob at the end was executed really well. The last few issues have been heavily focused on the Street Phantoms and Foot Clan, so it was exciting to see another focus. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the Mutanimals react to Old Hob’s true self, that is, if Michelangelo can escape Hun to tell them. I also have been wondering where Bebop and Rocksteady have been lurking, so maybe they are in cahoots here as well. I have to tip my hat to Michael Dialynas. The artwork in this issue was really brilliant. It has a “younger” vibe, an issue similar to what you might pull off the BOOM! Studios or Oni Press shelf, but still has a lot of detail and wonderful colors (coloring by Ronda Pattison), making each panel a lot of fun. Looking forward to seeing what else is in store!