Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #131
Story by Sophie Campbell
Art by Pablo Tunica and Ronda Pattinson
Published by IDW
Released July 27th, 2022
The Story So Far: Following Donatello and Alopex’s escape from the clutches of Dr. Barlow, a clash with the Punk Frog gang, and the crash landing of a mysterious Triceraton ship in the heart of Mutant Town, the Splinter Clan retreated to their lair for a much-needed respite. But instead of rest they were met with the urgent invitation to protect the world from an impending apocalypse-an invitation from none other than their old nemesis, the now reformed Oroku Saki.
Shredder and the TMNT: Trusted Alliance or Volcano Ready to Burst?!
After Rat King’s Armageddon Game was teased over a year ago, I truly thought the plot line was MIA. But it has indeed begun and bled into the main TMNT book with issue 131. The idea of this story arc is enticing. The TMNT teaming up with Oruku Saki, learning new techniques, facing inner conflicts as we wind up for the big showdown. A classic warrior’s journey storyline and, while basic, has been sorely missing from the TMNT’s plot. Issue 131 is like Yoda training Luke Skywalker with some Nightmare on Elm Street thrown in for good measure. It’s a solid first chapter in the mainline’s new arc, the only downside being Tunica’s unfinished looking art and Pattinson’s flat colors.
- Shredder and the TMNT teamup: Classic characters forever at odds putting them aside for the greater good. Familiar but interesting as we fans have a softspot for ‘ol Shredhead. Eager to see how this plays out.
- Nightmare on Shell Street: Great nightmare sequences for each warrior preying on their guilty consciences. Also interesting that Leo did not have one! Great character work by Campbell.
- Splinter Tease: A spiritual reunion could really make this arc much more special if done correctly. It has been 31 issues since the TMNT have ost their father. And this is comics afterall…nobody is ever truly gone.
- Forgettable art direction: Tunica’s artwork this time around seems too digital and soft. Pattinson’s colors are flat and standard. Artwork is not bad by any means, but definitely feels uninspired. I felt the book could’ve added some more confident lines and bolder colorful highlights.
- Black Magic: Adding “magic” offense and becoming a mythical ninja is nothing new or bad. But seeing Oroku Saki shoot a fireball from his mouth is an interesting direction. I feel like the final battle will look like something out of Avatar The Last Airbender, and I’m not sure if the TMNT really need that.
Notes: TMNT #131 is a good step forward in this Armageddon Game arc. I feel Campbell’s character drama could actually benefit the story much more working alongside the Armageddon Game-Opening Moves followed by the main Armageddon Game title. Only (Turtles in) Time will tell!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #131 is available wherever comics are sold!