Home ReviewsComic Books COMIC REVIEW: TMNT ANNUAL 2021


by Chris M. P.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2021

Story by Tom Waltz

Art by Casey Maloney

Published by IDW 

Released July 28th, 2021

For millennia, the Pantheon family have played a deadly chess game with humanity, willingly sacrificing innocent and guilty alike in their twisted pursuit of victory. But now, one member of the family sees the opportunity to end the eternal contest once and for all — a final, crushing triumph over his immortal siblings and all of human- and mutant-kind. The time has arrived for the Rat King to make his most chaotic and destructive moves yet. The time has come at last for… THE ARMAGEDDON GAME! Written by Tom Waltz and illustrated by Casey Maloney, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2021 is the official prelude to the major TMNT event years in the making.

Would you like to play a game? 

But save your quarters, dudes and dudettes, because this ain’t the Konami arcade classic! Is it TMNT Annual time already?! Time flies, does it not? As does this issue. With the recent developments in Sophie Campbell’s mainline TMNT series, we were teased with the appearance of none other than Rat King. And, here in the Annual, Waltz and Maloney fill us in on the history of the ‘ol Rat Meister and his seriously strange antics. 

This issue revolves solely around Rat King, his family, and putting together a team for his “game”. TMNT veteran writer, Tom Waltz, reminds us of what’s been missing from TMNT since issue 100: Real stakes, interesting villains, and direction. We follow Rat King in a “family reunion” of sorts that feels similar to  Jim Starlin’s  Rebirth of Thanos, in which Thanos travels the cosmos meeting those in possession of the infinity stones. Of course, this is all condensed into one issue. So Waltz’s story moves at a brisk pace. Yet we still feel the levity of his plan….as well as his disdain for the TMNT and their crew. 

Maloney’s artwork is serviceable throughout most of the issue. With some larger panels looking fantastic. This short issue takes us to quite an array of environments, and Maloney does his best to evoke a sense of almost storybook-sense whimsicalness. The issue leaves us with Rat King meeting his newly assembled team of baddies, declaring the Armageddon Game to begin! TMNT Annual 2021 is a brisk and interesting look into things to come for the TMNT. Rat King and his twisted game could very well make for some great storytelling in the main TMNT comic series. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2021 is now available wherever comics are sold!


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