COMIC REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #66
Alopex must deal with her personal demons while Nobody and Raphael hope to bring her back home.
Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #66
(W) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow (A) Sophie Campbell (C) Ronda Pattison
Wow. Just… wow. Sophie Campbell and Ronda Pattison just delivered a tour de force in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #66. Although, fan-favorite Mateus Santolouco returns to the title in issue #67, Campbell’s work will be a tough act to follow. Featuring beautiful, dreamlike imagery, Campbell’s art is only matched by a fantastic narrative by Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman, delivering an issue that is both stand-alone but also serves to propel the series’ overall narrative forward.
It’s been quite a while since Alopex when AWOL, and though there is a notable rift (understatement) between the Turtles and Splinter, they are still following through on the game plan established back in TMNT #61. Raphael and Angel – the two with the closest connection to Alopex – venture north to save her from herself. What they don’t realize at the time is that they’re also saving her from Kitsune.
Throughout the series, the Pantheon has lurked in the shadows, putting various events into motion from behind the curtain. While their motivations remain a mystery for now, it is evident that Kitsune believes Alopex to a key player. Due to this, Alopex in many ways is our gateway into the world of the Pantheon. Kitsune’s continued presence as Alopex’s tormentor is an indication that the Pantheon will play a larger role down the road. But for now, we are given a battle for Alopex’s soul, with Kitsune and Raphael as the combatants.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, Sophie Campbell (who also earned a story credit) delivers a phenomenal effort in this issue, with the spiritual battle serving as the issue’s crescendo. The amount of technical skill employed is beyond impressive. The art has a painterly quality to it made to resemble brushstrokes more than traditional pencils, inks, and colors of the industry (for the record, she is using pencils and inks), which can also be attributed to Ronda Pattison’s consistently great colors. One panel in particular that stands out features Raphael trying to breakthrough to Alopex. He is rendered in a manner that makes him appear to be fading in and out of view, representative of the struggle he and Alopex have in staying connected.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #66 sets a standard for the series in 2017 that will be difficult to match. Carried by Sophie Campbell’s art and Ronda Pattison’s colors, this is a near-perfect comic issue. Surprisingly friendly to new readers but welcoming to the dedicated fans, there might be no better time to jump on this title.