Review: The Perils Of New Parenthood In ‘TMNT’ #110

by James Ferguson


How do you balance new kids and your adult life? Maybe you can get a motorcycle? Decisions are made in TMNT #110.


A squid mutant has invaded the Hamato Clan dojo, but to what end? Leonardo heads into Old Hob’s headquarters to investigate, but has a few stowaways along for the ride. Also, Raphael gets a motorcycle.

I’ve embraced this new status quo for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as writer Sophie Campbell continues to show us new and interesting ideas for these decades old characters. The thing is, we’re ten issues in now and it feels like we’re mostly treading water. There’s only so many “slice of life” stories I can take before I want something to actually happen.
The scenes with Leo show some promise with the Turtle back in action with a few new tricks. It balances his ninja skills with his new role as a mentor and teacher to some young students. This serves as a nice metaphor for any new parent, juggling life as an adult with life as a guardian. Letterer Shawn Lee shows the excitement of the mutant kids as they just can’t contain themselves during this secret mission.

Colorist Ronda Pattison really shines in these sequences, creating an eerie sense of mystery around Leo’s actions. Much is presented without words and Pattison sets the tone well. The tension steadily rises as Leo moves deeper into the stronghold, moving from the safety of his dojo to the center of the hornet’s nest. It’s a gruff, somewhat dirty change.
Leo’s mission takes up half of TMNT #110. The other half has to do with Raphael getting a motorcycle after racing a pig mutant biker. If you replaced the mutants with people, it would in place in your average drama or romantic comedy. While we’re dealing with the normal lives of these characters (or what passes for normal for them), this segment feels like Fast and the Furious: Ninja Turtle Edition.

What does shine through is artist Jodi Nishijima’s work. There’s a humanity to Raph and Alopex here, particularly in their mannerisms and facial expressions. This contrasts with the hardened warriors we usually see. This is in line with what we have seen in recent issues.
Leo’s new look is pretty cool too. He’s kept the blue bandanna, but now he’s wearing pants with a few pouches. It looks rather sleek and very much like a warrior.

Now that we’ve firmly established this new status quo for the Ninja Turtles, I’m anxious for some movement. I like seeing a glimpse into the lives of these characters, however I’m not as interested in reading about how Donatello handles the dojo’s accounting or Michelangelo ordering food for the students, you know? From the looks of things, we’re going to get a confrontation between the Turtles and Old Hob soon, so we’ll see how this plays out.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #110 from IDW Publishing is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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