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Comic Review: Shredder In Hell #1

by Chris M. P.

Shredder In Hell #1
Story and Art: Mateus Santolouco

Released January 2019

Oroku Saki is dead.

Well…not permanently perhaps. These are comic books after all. And it seems death is just the beginning. But as of right now things aren’t looking good for ‘ol Shredhead. But after reading the first of this five issue miniseries, things are looking good for TMNT fans at least. Serving as a spiritual sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret History of the Foot Clan, Shredder In Hell picks up on Oroku Saki after his death at the hands of Master Splinter. Kitsune, Shredder’s immortal love, seems to not be done with his soul and aims to use it to resurrect her father: the all powerful Dragon God.

Are you still with me here? Good.

And that’s the story so far. If you aren’t a frequent reader of IDW’s TMNT series, you may feel this sounds a bit complicated. Yet even if you’re a casual Ninja Turtle fan, Shredder In Hell is a title alone that will turn heads. But I assure you this issue reads just fine for new readers and old ones alike. So, right off the bat , I’d say you should take the plunge to hell with The Shredder.

And the plunge looks beautiful. With this story, as well as the art, being done by the extremely talented Mateus Santolouco. A particular favorite of mine being the recanting of Shredder’s death executed in a fantastic ink wash design. Each page has deep use of color from Marcelo Costa as well as Santolouco. The use of greens, blues, pinks, and reds give each page (and Hell itself) its own unique personality. If this series continues looking the way it does, I’m not sure if I want Shredder to leave hell.

Santolouco cements himself as one of the best TMNT artists to date.

The first chapter of this adventure moves at a brisk and even pace. The Shredder himself is a bit muddled at his current situation and begins to compromise the only way he can: By slicing, dicing, and being generally grumpy. He has some brief moments of anti hero-like behavior that is quickly followed up with a reminder that he is truly a villain at his core. Though I’m intrigued if he’ll stay that way throughout this arc. Issue one has a great balance of action and story. The concept reminds me of throwing Oroku Saki onto plant Dagobah with Master Yoda. Or if you don’t know Star Wars, it’s as if The Shredder walked into the middle of the film Inception. And if you don’t know either of those I can’t help you. It’s an interesting premise of The Shredder becoming the hunted in what may be a maze of redemption. With the first chapter ending in a way that will have you very eager to pick up issue two (available 2/18).

Overall, I am very pleased with how we’re starting. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a title like Shredder In Hell (other than salivating at the possible premise) but it seems we’re on a trippy journey through Oroku Saki’s true redemption. And with tight writing and gorgeous visuals I am more than willing to take this journey alongside The Shredder through hell. Because right now it’s heavenly.

Shredder In Hell #1 is available wherever comic books are sold!

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