Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #130
Story by Sophie Campbell
Art by Pablo Tunica and Ronda Pattinson
Published by IDW
Released June 29th, 2022
The Story So Far: The earth-shattering story arc conclusion! Punk Frogs, mad vivisectionists, frankenmutants, and psychic powers-the TMNT and their friends have had their hands full of late with all kinds of twisted and terrifying chaos. And now, to top it all off, a new problem waiting to happen is rocketing its way to Mutant Town from Burnow Island! Donatello, Alopex, Sheena, and their new friend, Venus-with an unexpected astral hand from Oroku Saki-escaped the clutches of the maniacal Dr. Barlow only to find themselves pursued by the doctor’s beastly henchman. Elsewhere, the rest of the Splinter Clan’s search for their imprisoned comrades led to an intense battle with the Punk Frogs-a battle that left Carmen, the newest member of the Splinter Clan, badly injured. And all parties were left shocked when a mysterious object crashed into Barlow’s lab…
Put Down Shredder’s Revenge! It’s TMNT Readin’ Time Dudes!
We’re putting a cap on what has been a solid, yet flawed, story arc in IDW’s TMNT universe. A lot of story tethers are flying from past issues, and #130 moves at a quick action packed pace. I’ve been critical of Campbell’s sluggish writing since she took over in #101. This current issue is the most fast paced and action heavy yet. Does that work in the story’s favor? Yes and no. Technically, the multiple story angles are tied up and we’re given a peak into the next chapter. On the other hand, the issue moves so quickly that the writing has little time to breath…so the conclusions don’t stick as well. But, overall, I enjoyed the conclusion and look forward to where we’re headed.
- Campbell has a lot to bookend in a simple 32 page issue. She does a good job at wrapping things up and planting the next storytelling seeds. Despite her past, the issue may suffer from too much action. Can’t believe I’m typing that. But, overall, it satisfies.
- Pattinson creates great alluring moods with her vibrant colors.
- Freaky Doc Barnlow is revealed to be alive and well, with sinister plans now that all he’s left with is Donatello’s blood. Could lead to an interesting baddie.
- Next issue teases the TMNT training alongside Oroku Saki. Could definitely be an interesting perspective and could create some great animosity and tension.
- Tunica linework is decent, but the character expressions can be distracting. Is it just me or do the Punk Frogs look like the Coming Out of Our Shells tour costumes?
- The appearance of Saki was underplayed. He’s dead and his spirit just battled demons from hell. Him fully confronting Leo was odd as Leo just seemed to be annoyed by it…like a little brother wanting to play dinosaurs or something.
- I can’t say BAD or GOOD but Venus, as of now, feels ultimately empty. A controversial reintroduction to character nobody asked for…her new interpretation is bad by any means…just odd in terms of story. Again, she isn’t “bad”…but I wouldn’t put her under “good” either.
Notes: Campbell and company deliver a solid bookend to their TMNT arc. The Punk Frogs, Barlow, and his experimental atrocities peaked the storyline as of late. Issue 130 makes it clear that their story will continue…and I’m looking forward to that. Overall, if you’ve been intrigued with that past dozen or so issues, #130 is a must and a step in a new and familiar direction for IDW’s TMNT series.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #130 is available wherever comics are sold!