TMNT Comic Review: Issue #54
This week brings us IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #54! This issue featured a very full story about Michelangelo, featuring artwork from Michael Dialynas. Here is our review of Issue #54:
Before we begin, I want to take a moment to acknowledge Dialynas’ cover artwork for this issue. What an incredible work of art. TMNT has had some excellent covers, and this is right up there with the best of them. This story is about Michelangelo and Hun, and this was an awesome interpretation for this cover, emphasizing Hun’s overwhelming power.
Writer’s Note: Spoilers Ahead
At the end of TMNT Issue #53, we discovered Old Hob has been working for the nefarious Hun stockpiling guns the Mighty Mutanimals have confiscated from enemies. At the start to Issue #54, Hun and Michelangelo begin to fight a really exciting battle. We have not seen Hun since Issue #50 (exclusing the end of Issue #53) and with the Shredder’s demise, it has been a while since we have seen a really impressive fight scene. Michelangelo tries his best, but he is not much of a match for Hun’s strength. Once Hob realizes the fighting, he attempts to restrain Hun, but in anger, Hun ends up knocking him out.
Meanwhile, back at the Might Mutanimals layer, the various members of the group have noticed Mikey’s absence. Having a suspicion that something is wrong, they head back to the warehouse to see what is up. We flash back to Hun really laying into Mikey. In a last ditch effort, Mikey tries to punch Hun, but Hun grabs his hand, crushes it, goes in for the final blow, but is caught mid-punch by Slash. Slash easily overtakes Hun while the rest of the group run to the assistance of Michelangelo and Hob. In an interesting point of character development, Slash headbutts Hun’s skull, which seems to revert Slash back to his Neanderthaloid state of uncontrollable power and rage. (Side Note: this was a wonderful use of speech bubbles to tell a story, where white symbolize “normal” Slash and black symbolize “power” Slash). Hun is subdued and Hob is eventually able to calm Slash down when Hob explains what is going on.
Hob is debatably the best character in this entire comic series. He is an untrustworthy scumbag, but once you know his backstory and why he chooses to do the things he does, it is really hard to not take his side. Hob is fully aware how bad a person Hun is, but knows what a valuable asset he could be for the Mighty Mutanimals. Hob’s plan is to amass a stockpile of real weapons that are capable of taking down the “really bad enemies”, such as Stockman. Hob keeps what he needs for the Mutanimals, but sells the rest to Hun’s associates to help generate income for the group. This leaves the Mighty Mutanimals divided, with many of the members deciding to leave the group for a more honorable cause. Just when you start to like Hob again, he lashes out at Michelangelo, cutting his arm. Hob blames Mikey for ruining his group after nicely inviting him to it.
Outside, Michelangelo says he will be going back to join his family. He invites Slash to come with him, but Slash decides he has had enough of following other people, and graciously declines Mikey’s offer. “I think it’s past time I venture out on my own and finally learn what it is to be my own master”, says Slash, before swimming off out of site off the docks. In the epilogue, we flash to Burnow Island, were we finally see who Alex Winter, the soldier running reconnaissance on the Mighty Mutanimals is working for: Agent Bishop!
Another great issue from the TMNT team. Michael Dialynas and Ronda Pattison brought beautiful and vibrant artwork to this issue. I really enjoyed how the story was single character focused. Lately, there have been sporadic changes from character to character, so it was satisfying to receive a full and complete story from one perspective. Cheers to Issue #55!