Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #128
Story by Sophie Campbell
Art by Pablo Tunica
Published by IDW
Released May 4th, 2022
Donatello and Alopex infiltrate the lab of Dr. Jasper Barlow in a bid to ward off the next attack of the Punk Frogs! What our heroes find in the lab will shock them and reveal a connection to a villain of the past . . . but first they’ll have to defeat some deadly NEW villains!
Nearly a month ago TMNT comics were given quite the news when IDW announced Venus was returning in the previous issue. The reveal created a bit of a divide and some confusion amongst the fanbase as Venus isn’t the most revered character…but with that came intrigue as we’re open to an interesting take to usher her back into the TMNT universe. And we got just that in what I deemed FRANKEN-VENUS (thunder clap). Can Campbell and Co. keep the electricity flowing through Dr. Barlow’s twisted experiment?
Things get explosive on Burnow Island as a matured Tricertron escapes while Donatello and Venus link minds as they unwillingly participate in Dr. Barlow’s twisted experiments. Issue 128 felt like a step down from the last couple in question. The pace moved rapidly (as a positive) but I wasn’t thrilled with the specifics of the issue…but the overall general story so far is its saving grace. Let’s go to a break down:
- The Barlow story: It’s dark, twisted, and fresh. The wall finally breaks where he’s full on villain in 128. What he wants to do to Donnie and the Splinter Clan presently is a thrilling action sequence.
- Donatello’s Astral Plane: a touching visual departure into the TMNT’s past lives, it was gripping to see and could add what I assume will be the reason for Donatello breaking free of Barlow’s Dragon “trance”.
- Solid artwork with a good sense of colors to set the scenes
- Venus: It’s only her second issue. She’s not lost or anything. But it’s revealed she’s the missing Punk Frog and she’s psychic. Well…alright. A mutant frog turned franken-turtle. Interesting direction. I’m just hoping she serves a decent purpose overall other than “why not?”
- Burnow Island: I just don’t care about this plot thread anymore. I’m not interested. It’s taking up pages at this point.
Notes: TMNT #128 is an okay issue that simply exists to further the storyline. It’s too early in Venus’s debut to call her a dud, but I’m not too thrilled with her current backstory. The Burnow Island really has to take an interesting route NOW because they’re about to put me to sleep. Dr. Barlow is the only interesting direction we’ve been going so far, and he saves the issue.