Can the Triceratons and Ultoms finally have peace? Probably, as long as some would-be assassins don’t get in the way (which they will). Meanwhile, could we be getting Leatherhead: Hero?
Comic Review: TMNT Universe #22
(W) Paul Allor, (A) Mark Torres, (C) Ronda Pattison, (Back-Up) Ross May, Chris Johnson, Mark Englert
Sometimes, TMNT Universe is good for a decent, one-off story. But on occasion, a story comes along that – while on the surface looks minor – sets the stage for something big to happen in IDW’s flagship Ninja Turtles comic. That latter scenario is what plays out here, as the engaging story by Paul Allor and Mark Torres sets the stage for a fan-favorite villain from the 2003 animated series to make his mark on the comics world.
This issue’s strength lies in the engaging and efficient writing by Allor. Very quickly, he catches readers up on the events of the last issue and sets the stage for this one. Readers are able to immediately connect with each sides’ respective leaders (Zom and Ma’riell) and understand their tenuous relationship. Meanwhile, his use of Donatello’s internal monologue and sleuthing clues readers in to the very real threat to that peace which Lieutenant Kleve represents.
Donatello fans are certain to love this issue, as he proves to be a capable hero on his own. Using both his brains and physical talent, he takes on not only Lt. Kleve, but two Triceratons as well without any assistance. After what was seen in the latest, Batman/TMNT crossover, this served as a nice reminder of how great the character can be. Between this and the Metalhead story arc, TMNT Universe is becoming the title to check out for quality Donnie tales.
The art by Mark Torres is serviceable, and the setting does little for Pattison. The story demands she shys away from engaging and vibrant colors. Instead, this issue is full of muddy earth tones and sterile grays. While fitting, it makes the artwork rather unremarkable.
Those that don’t skip over the backup are treated to a delightful little tale featuring Leatherhead and his quest for purpose. Deciding to rescue one seal, he battle giant squids and sea-snakes in the ocean. While brief, Ross May’s script does a solid job developing Leatherhead’s character. The fun tale is complemented by wonderful artwork, as Chris Johnson (lines) and Mark Englert (colors) outshine the work on the featured story.
TMNT Universe #22 is a great “meat-and-potatoes” comic. Fans shouldn’t come in expecting anything that will redefine the medium, but they’ll walk away satisfied. Both creative teams do an effective job of focusing on the story at hand while managing to provide a look forward for IDW’s TMNT books.