Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Issue #56 released this week, with the return of artist Mateus Santolouco, a long-time favorite character, and plenty of intrigue at Burnow Island. Here is our Issue #56 review:
If there is any way to make a Monday more exciting, it’s by announcing a brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles miniseries starring Bebop and Rocksteady. Fortunately, IDW Publishing has this one covered by bringing TMNT: Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything.
If you consider yourself a true Turtles fan, be prepared to order an extra large pizza with your craziest Michelangelo-style toppings, put on your favorite TMNT shirt, and crack open a comic book because March 19 is the official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Day.
The IDW rendition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has not only returned iconic characters of the past, but has also introduced brand new characters to the franchise. Here is a breakdown of our Top 5 Favorite New IDW Characters in this series:
New IDW Characters
5. Lindsey Baker
(First Appearance: TMNT #1)
We first saw Scientist Lindsey Baker at the start of the TMNT series, where she played a big role in the Splinter mutation experiments. However, due to the chaos and excitement in the first couple issues, she was a bit overshadowed in the commotion. Lindsey truly begins to shine in the Mutanimals miniseries, where she helps the Mutanimals by providing scientific information about mutagen (and being a friend). Perhaps Lindsey’s larger significance to the story, she is the first recurring LGBTQ character in the TMNT franchise (discounting Mirage’s alien Soowiiksa).
4. Harold Lillja
(First Appearance: Micro-Series Donatello)
Harold is a wonderfully fun character. Genius scientist and good friend of Donatello, Harold helps the Turtles with all of their scientific needs. Providing gadgets laced with dry humor and sass, Harold has filled a missing character archetype perfectly. For Harold fans, you may be interested to learn Harold frequently uses the word “obtruse” as a mistaken pronunciation of abtruse and/or obtuse.
(First Appearance: Micro-Series Alopex)
Alopex has brought an additional tough female mutant to the Turtles team. She has appeared many times throughout the IDW storyline, both with the Foot Clan and with the Turtles. Her character was torn as to which side of the coin to be on before finding a home with the Turtles. She is quick, agile, a skilled fighter, and has currently found her role fighting aside Nobody (i.e., Angel).
2. Old Hob
(First Appearance: TMNT #1)
Old Hob is debatably the most well-written character in the entire series. He is neither good nor bad, and as a reader, you cannot help but root for him. Old Hob is a mutated street cat, who started off on the “bad” side of things after being mutated. Old Hob later finds stability as co-founder of the Mighty Mutanimals with Slash, but still cannot find consistency in being fully “good”. Old Hob has reason for everything he does, and although his actions may be dishonest, he still has logic and thorough reasoning for intentions, leaves readers in agreement and often questing their own morality.
1. Koya & Bludgeon
(First Appearance: TMNT #25 (Koya) and TMNT #37 (Bludgeon) )
Alright, alright we know we cheated on this one a little bit by including two character, but Koya and Bludgeon really deserve to share the top spot of our list. We have not seen menacing villains like these two since Bebop and Rocksteady, but Koya and Bludgeon bring agile fighting, fun mutations, and unique personalities to the Foot Clan. Koya was mutated from Shredder’s pet falcon, which is seen in earlier issues, while Bludgeon is a beastly hammerhead shark. Koya is one of our first large-scale female mutants in the TMNT series, which is nice considering most of the main mutant villains are male. Interestingly enough, Bludgeon was originally written to be Armaggon from the Archie Comics TMNT series, but TMNT editor Bobby Curnow felt it more appropriate to have an original character added to the story. Although Koya and Bludgeon have been on the antagonist side of the fighting, they have shown glimpses of good nature, possible leading to interesting stories down the line.
There have been loads of new characters in IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Who is your favorite? Leave a comment below!
We’ve made it to our latest monthly issue: TMNT COMIC REVIEW ISSUE 55. Let’s break down what we saw:
TMNT COMIC REVIEW ISSUE 55
Writer’s Note: Spoilers Ahead
At the end of TMNT #54, we say goodbye to Slash and learn Michelangelo plans to return to his family, even though he still has reservations about their association with the Foot Clan. We first see Michelangelo returning to the ruined Turtle Lair, which is still in shambles from the chaos leading up to TMNT #50. We see a sad series of panels of Mikey reminiscing of the positive memories he has of his brothers.
We then flash to Alopex and Angel (wearing the Nobody suit). Alopex is clearly struggling with Kitsune’s spell. She still does not fully understand what is going on in her head, but it is likely leading to something big. The two are essentially on a reconnaissance mission gaining intelligence on some Street Phantoms. Harold wants to learn more about the phasing technology the Street Phantoms use, so Alopex engages into battle while Angel stays back to film the action so Harold can learn more. Alopex comes out of the battle a bit bruised up, and sensing something is wrong, Angel insists Alopex goes back to get some rest.
In our next scene, we see Casey and April out at a restaurant with April’s parents. Casey is clearly in a bad mood and it feels like Casey is about to blow.
We flash back to Alopex bringing tea to Kitsune back at the base. Kitsune begins to use her mind control over Alopex, who strongly fights back. However, Kitsune’s powers prove to be too powerful, and we see a glimpse at Alopex’s vulnerabilities. Kitsune gains clear control over Alopex and when the confrontation is over, Alopex seems to have no memory of their interaction. Fortunately, Splinter is standing off to the distance watching the encounter, and now has an idea of what is going on.
Driving home from the restaurant, Casey and April continue to argue. It seems that the messages the Rat King gave Casey during the Casey & April miniseries have really been tearing Casey up inside. The overall theme of the educated April vs. uneducated Casey still lingers, and the two eventually end with putting their relationship on a “break” on a very sour note. To be honest, this was the only part of the issue that did not work incredibly well for me. The Casey and April demise has felt like it has been going on for months. With such little snippets, it is tough to feel really attached to them like we once were. Dialynas is a great artist, but for me, his real specialty lies in the mutant drawings. For me, Casey and April look more different in this issue than any other, which I found distracting to the overall story.
We see a quick, yet important page of Harold having an important virtual conversation with Fugitoid. It looks like the two or scheming something big in relation to Burnow Island. Fugitoid’s “mutant friend” is involved, who is presumably Leatherhead. It is unclear what is exactly going on, but what we do know is that (1) the Turtles are also involved and (2) Harold will be staying back to work on the Street Phantom issue.
Finally, we flash back to Michelangelo, who is still poking around the lair. In a heartwarming peace offering, Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello appear with a pizza to share. Donatello explains that there is an upcoming trip to Burnow Island and they would like Michelangelo to join. Smiling and happy, they dive into the pizza, a family restored.
This was a really awesome issue. Besides the lingering Casey and April portion mentioned earlier, Dialynas is a wonderful artist. The page where Kitsune taps into Alopex’s mind is honestly a piece of art for the TMNT history books. Tom Waltz and the rest of the writing gang have been clearly working to build another massive storyline. Between the Street Phantoms, Burnow Island, and Kitsune, we have three major unresolved conflicts in the story. Issue #55 did a perfect job tying loose ends together to explain where the series is heading. Next issue marks the return of artist, Mateus Santolouco, and the Ninja Notes hint that Sophie Campbell will be involved in something in the near future.
Finally, the TMNT creative team is requesting more post-issue Ninja Notes! You can write in your thoughts, questions, etc. to [email protected].