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Comic Review: TMNT Universe #15

“Karai’s Path” comes to a stunning and action-packed conclusion that shapes the future of the TMNT and the Foot Clan!


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

Karai has been touted as one of the TMNT’s most formidable foes, but her won-loss record does not reflect that. Because she is often an antagonist of the titular Ninja Turtles, Karai frequently is defeated. As a result, this four-part story by Erik Burnham and Sophie Campbell has been a breath of fresh air. With the Turtles removed from the equation, the creative team has crafted a story that showcases all of Karai’s mental and physical prowess, reaching its pinnacle in this concluding chapter.

Following the events of Issue #14, Karai now is in possession of the kira no ken – a deadly blade blessed by the gods of old. But rather than dispatch of its guardian, Yokai, Karai enlists him to her cause. This is just an example of how Karai demonstrates her abilities as a master strategist – a skill that will be on full display by issue’s the end. Not only this, but Burnham and Campbell also infuse Karai with a degree of personality not usually seen from the character. Any traits beyond unwavering loyalty and stoic glares tend to come at the expense of the strength she exudes.

The personality Karai exudes is largely a result of the fantastic artwork from Campbell and colorist Brittany Peer. While there are moments where character renderings are a bit awkward, or the coloring does not make thematic sense, but for the most part they deliver another solid performance. This issue not only has a lot of character development, but also a lot of action. It is here where the art really shines. Every movement is fluid, and each panel is packed with energy. Not only that, but the transitions – from page to page and panel to panel – are smooth and kinetic, filling this issue with life.

TMNT Universe #15 brings to a close the best story arc in the anthology series. Beautiful to look at and tightly paced, “Karai’s Path” is the shot in the arm both TMNT Universe and the main ongoing needed. It leaves the readers satisfied while simultaneously keeping an eye on what lies ahead. Hopefully, this creative team is able to make an impact on those future stories.


Editor's Rating

Slice 'n' Dice! 8.5

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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