City at War begins as New York City becomes a powder keg. Different factions have popped up between humans, ninjas, mutants, and more. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are in the middle of this and there’s dissension within their ranks too. Who will be left standing when this is all said and done?
It’s clear that Master Splinter, the Foot Clan, and the Turtles are preparing for war, but it may be too little too late. Karai is marshaling her forces and seems to be a few steps ahead of her adversaries. She’s aiming to reclaim her birthright and take control of the Foot Clan once again and nothing will stand in her way.
Nearly every player in this storyline is touched upon in some way in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #93. Some are sitting in the calm before the storm while others are in the middle with thunder and lightning. It’s pretty impressive to see how all these plot threads are coming together. Writer Tom Waltz is weaving these various elements into one overall and epic narrative.
Knowing that there’s war coming adds some additional weight to some interactions. A perfect example of this is when Casey Jones comes to check on April. The two have some history, but they still care for one another. The way they’re speaking in this scene feels like it could be the last time they see each other alive. It’s a quiet moment that’s full of regrets and heart that’s made all the more ominous by the dark cloud hanging over the city.
Artist Dave Wachter is the perfect artist to bring this story to life. He brings a serious tone to these characters, while keeping the true essence of each one. This is exemplified with Raphael. You can see how recent events have torn him apart inside. It’s in his nature to lash out. He wants to punch something and with the way things are going, that might be his brother, Leonardo.
Raph’s shoulders are down and he’s squinting. You can see how he’s holding in his rage, but it’s getting harder and harder to do with each passing moment. There’s a terrific shot of him after he gets insulted by Old Hob that sums this up beautifully. You can practically feel his blood pressure rising.
I don’t know that the sun has risen – or if it will again – since City at War began. There’s a perpetual darkness over New York. Colorist Ronda Pattison plays with the shadows to create a foreboding atmosphere. It also helps show some characters in moments of hope and peace as they prepare for the worst.
Pattison amplifies the tensest moments in TMNT #93 where that ominous tone takes a turn into outright dread. Darkness transforms into terror as first blood is spilled in a pretty gruesome manner. This is a jaw-dropping page turn and it gives you a taste of what we’re in for with this storyline.
Of course, things get a little hectic after this. Letterer Shawn Lee heightens the pulse-pounding tension with some great sound effect placement and some heated dialogue exchanges. People are angry and everyone is yelling. You can feel the energy in this scene.
City at War begins with a bang in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #93. No one is safe as Karai begins her attack. There are so many characters caught in the crossfire that I’m sure this isn’t the first bloodshed we’ll see in this arc. It’s pretty astonishing to see what the past eight years have led to and I cannot wait to see how this storyline plays out.