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Comic Review: TMNT Universe #14

Karai’s quest for a mystical sword continues, and as is the case with mystical things, it gets spooky. And in a not so surprise twist, it turns out the guy who contracted her may not be the most honorable.

Comic Review: TMNT Universe #14

(W) Erik Burnham & Sophie Campbell, (A) Sophie Campbell, (C) Brittany Peer

No matter the medium or the interpretation, Karai remains one of the most layered and interesting characters in the TMNT canon, and the version found in the comics by IDW might be the cream of the crop. As her journey for a sense of purpose continues, new challenges and threats arise which she must overcome, with two hulking but severely flawed mutants in tow. These pieces are put together wonderfully by the creative team of Erik Burnham, Sophie Campbell, and Brittany Peer.

The story that Erik Burnham has set up in the previous two issues were solidly crafted and competently executed, but with this issue he adds a few twists to the plot. In doing so, his relatively straightforward character study has morphed into a more layered tale. And his writing of Karai is perfect. I hope he is the afforded the opportunity at some point for a more extended run with the character in the future. The supporting cast is also great, with Koya and Bludgeon (and their handicaps) adding a nice wrinkle to the story. There are some elements that are not perfect, mostly due to their predictability, but Burnham’s script keeps the issue moving at a steady pace so that the reader does not linger on these hangups.

Sophie Campbell’s artwork continues to amaze. Her attention to detail and ability to craft some truly memorable (and frightening) imagery. However, there are moments when the action is difficult to make out, and I instantly got flashbacks to the movie Batman Begins. Aside from that, her artwork is stellar. From the page layouts to the inking, Campbell’s art continues to be one of the best things in IDW’s TMNT books. Of course, the artwork would not be as impactful if not for the colors provided by Brittany Peer. Her work adds a layer atmosphere to each panel that truly elevates the art.

TMNT Universe #14 is a thrilling, if flawed adventure. Burnham and Campbell have proven to be a dynamic duo in delivering what may end up being a defining chapter in Karai’s history. While the Turtles have found themselves in an extradimensional messTMNT Universe is a welcome breath of fresh air. Burnham, Campbell, and Peer give readers everything they should expect from a TMNT book (except for the actual Turtles).

Editor's Rating

Slicin' and Dicin' 7.8

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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