The Turtles Look for Help With Manmoth And Find A Battle Instead In TMNT #83

by James Ferguson

To stop the Rat King’s maniacal plans, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seek the help of his brother, Manmoth. They’ll have to survive the encounter if they hope to get any information out of the skilled hunter, which is easier said than done. Time is running out as the Rat King moves to kill dozens of children in the wake of the Triceraton War.

This plan reeks of desperation. The Turtles are outgunned against the Rat King. They’re dealing with a literal god, however creepy he may be. That being said, the battle between Manmoth and the Turtles is super fun. It showcases the strengths of all four of them and they really have to work together against this far superior foe.
Manmoth is a relentless adversary, towering over the Turtles. His weapons are bigger than they are.  Colorist Ronda Pattison shades the more vicious attacks with this light purple hue that makes it look like there’s a colored spotlight on them. This heightens the excitement of the scene, adding some additional emphasis to each swing.

Artist Dave Wachter highlights the difference in size and strength between the two sides. Manmoth is at least twice the size of the Turtles. The Heroes in a Half Shell practically cower in his presence.  There are moments where they’re literally running for their lives.
My favorite sequence comes after Manmoth smashes through a tree, then a rock while hunting Raphael and Michelangelo, like some abbreviated version of the Three Little Pigs. Mikey laments “Geez – Dude hates rocks, too” which is such a pitch perfect line. Writer Tom Waltz’s dialogue only goes up from there with some choice lines.

The Turtles are skilled warriors in their own right, however they didn’t come here to fight. They wanted to talk so they keep trying to reason with Manmoth, but it’s like speaking to a brick wall.  Granted, this is a brick wall that’s ready to crush them. They seem unprepared for this battle and have to think fast. The solution comes from a surprising source which plays into the heart and soul of the Turtles. This fun dynamic is what makes these characters so special. Even when faced with certain doom, they can come out on top from something so completely unexpected.
Manmoth sheds some light on these powerful beings and their strained relationship that has lasted eons. It puts the upcoming battle with the Rat King in perspective. This also provides some helpful character development for him that puts him in a similar struggle as the Turtles. He’s ultimately misunderstood and represents an aspect of personality that we have all had at one point.

This isn’t the only focus of TMNT #83. We also check in on the budding alliance between the Foot Clan and the Purple Dragons which includes the very obvious crush Jennika has for Casey Jones.  Plus, we get the debut of the Mouser at TCRI. These smaller pieces of the story work to push the overall narrative forward. They may not pay off right away, but they’re going to be important down the line.
The Rat King is a truly evil villain. We can only hope the Turtles have prepared enough to take him down because this guy is about to march a bunch of children to their deaths and you can’t get much more evil than that. It’s hard to look at the Rat King’s scenes without cringing at just how dark this could get. This makes you appreciate the ways in which the Turtles represent a force for good.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #83 from IDW Publishing is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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