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In the aftermath of the previous issue’s battle, Raphael is missing. As his brothers and Casey search for him, they realize that their life of secrecy may be over. Meanwhile, Baxter Stockman discovers his robotic form may have more capabilities than he realized…


(W/A) Jim Lawson, (I) Eric Talbot, (C) Eric Vincent, (CA) Peter Laird & Kevin Eastman

This issue is the epitome of a transition comic, as there is very little of significance that takes place here. Much of the time is spent with either the Turtles and Casey talking among themselves, or Baxter Stockman talking to himself. Basically, there’s a lot of talking, but the issue still manages to move at a steady pace thanks to the creative team lead by writer and artist Jim Lawson.

Just because there is little story progression, that does not indicate this is a bad comic. Quite the contrary. While it may not make a sizable mark on the overarching Mirage canon, Lawson’s writing – particularly his dialogue – makes this an entertaining endeavor. The conversation that takes place between the Turtles and Casey is captivating because it involves real stakes. Sure, there’s the threat that Raphael may die, but because this is a comic we know that isn’t likely to happen. However, the notion that the Turtles could become public knowledge isn’t that far fetched. After all, it’s happened in the cartoons, so why not the comics?

Even though the dialogue and circumstances leave a lot to chew on, Lawson brings the issue to a bombastic conclusion. It’s another showdown between Stockman and the Turtles, and the art team pull out all the stops. There is a fluidity and energy to Lawson’s artwork that had been missing in the previous installments. Meanwhile, the ink shading by Eric Talbot create beautiful visual contrasts. Vincent’s colors themselves are wonderful, with bright oranges and reds from explosions popping against the muddied walls of the New York City sewer system.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #9 sees the series refocus itself, and as a result it is arguably one of the best of the entire Mirage era. The cliffhanger at the end is well-earned thanks to its set-up throughout the issue and the expertly-executed action sequence. Do not overlook this hidden gem.

Editor's Rating

Totally Tubular 9.0

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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