Review: A Painful Past Shaping An Embattled Present For ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1’

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

Jennika has put herself to work watching over the Mutant Zone and protecting those that live within. Her day starts off when a rabbit tries to flee the zone, putting himself in danger out in New York City. Jennika gives chase and she receives some unexpected help from Casey Jones and the Purple Dragons. Jennika takes the rabbit back to the Mutant Zone and discovers he left the zone to retrieve his drumsticks. He’s in a punk band and invites Jennika to come to his show. She does and she meets an old friend who dredges up some painful memories for Jenny.

In the backup story, we learn Jennika’s history with rats, starting with a little friend she made during her time in prison.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 cover by Brahm Revel
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 cover by Brahm Revel

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 brings us a tale focusing on Jennika, the newest member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She’s still getting used to her life as a mutant and she’s put herself to work watching over the other new mutants in their cordoned-off section of the city.

It’s a story that largely focuses on Jennika’s past and how it has come to shape her present. Her fond memories with Casey Jones are followed by the memories of an ex-boyfriend who left her in the lurch. Jennika is a woman with anger issues and this ex both exploited and exacerbated them. 

This spotlight mini-series offers the opportunity to dive deeper into this new TMNT member and the first issue offers a lot of promise in this regard, showing us the person she was, what has changed since then, and what hasn’t.

Brahm Revel provides the visuals on the first story, giving us a tale that is fluid, dynamic, and full of personality. Motion and action are the focus and they’re made both exciting and satisfying as a result. The color palette is tailored to highlight the focus of each scene, leaving the background environment often monochrome but still well-detailed. Jodi Nishijima provides the art on the second tale and it’s a style more angled towards detail and realism. It looks damn good and is backed up well by the color work of Ronda Pattison.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 is an enjoyable first issue for the new turtle’s mini-series. We are given a good dive into Jenny as a character as well as the memories that haunt her and won’t seem to go away. It’s a good first step and leaves me excited for the rest of the mini. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 comes to us from writers and color artists Brahm Revel and Ronda Pattison, artists Brahm Revel and Jodi Nishijima, letterer Shawn Lee, cover artist Brahm Revel, and variant cover artists Jodi Nishijima and Freddie Williams II.

Final Score: 8/10

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