Think about New York City for a moment. The City That Never Sleeps is a bustling metropolis filled with culture and diversity. Now imagine that a group of hyper-advanced talking Triceratops creatures beam in from another dimension. How would you think people would react? Well, in a world with mutants, ninjas, and robots, you’d imagine they’d be somewhat OK with it.
Spinning out of the events of The Trial of Krang, the Triceratons have been sent to Earth by the Neutrinos, essentially making their problem our problem. Earth is where they were taken by the Krang years and years ago, so it does make some sense to send them back here, although the world is a very different place now. Their appearance is met with suspicion and hostility, primarily by Agent Bishop and the Earth Protection Force.
It was only a matter of time before Bishop showed up again. He’s just as slimy and conniving as he’s always been. The Triceratons don’t know what to expect when they arrive. Despite their gruff appearance and large weapons, they are not quick to violence. Instead, they’re more trusting and ready to talk. Of course, this is 2017 and they’re seen as an invading force on American soil so you can imagine how that will go.
We didn’t have much in the way of character development with the Triceratons prior to TMNT #76. They were seen as a tough militaristic race of dinosaur aliens. This issue gives us a bit more of their background and focuses on some key members of the group, giving them names and personalities. If the Ninja Turtles had met them instead of the EPF, things would definitely have gone differently.
Artist Damian Courceiro depicts the Triceratons as big and strong, yet still personable. They’re not monsters, but they have some signature monster-like traits. If there were action figures based on the TMNT comics, they would be a must have for any collector because they look so cool. Who wouldn’t want a bi-pedal dinosaur with a gun to play with?
The battle between the Triceratons and the EPF is big and surprisingly evenly matched. You’d think the aliens would wipe the floor with these humans, but they hold their own. This creates a tense standoff as the two forces collide in the middle of Midtown Manhattan. Oh, did I mention that the Triceratons have jetpacks? That just made the fictional action figures even cooler, not to mention adding a new layer of excitement to the fight.
This issue builds to an awesome cliffhanger that puts the Triceratons squarely in the center of the TMNT world. Although the Turtles don’t play a major part in this issue after just returning to the planet following their trip to Dimension X and another visit with the Ghostbusters, they are certainly going to be involved in the fallout of these events. Writer Tom Waltz plotted this out perfectly. I was a little skeptical at first as to how these new creatures would fit into the series, but this is handled well. It also raises some important questions about some major topics in the news today, such as refugees and how they’re treated. The Triceratons have just as much of a right to live on this planet as everyone else, if not more because they were here first.