Review: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika II’ #3 Gets Topical With A Monstrous Mystery

by Scott Redmond


Problems of the real world creep their way into Mutant Town as Jennika comes face to face with the force behind the attacks that threaten to tear down everything the Mutants have built.


Despite the claims of some naysayers, comic books always have been and always will be political or topical (as with most art) some more so than others. When it comes to IDW Publishing’s TMNT: Jennika II, that topical and political nature is right up front, sandwiched between dynamic and energetic flowing scenes of action and heartfelt and devastating moments. The series uses the plight of Mutant Town and its transformed residents to speak to inequities, hatred, and corporate behaviors in our own world.

TMNT: Jennika II #3 brings the fifth Turtle’s investigation of who or what is turning some of the citizens of Mutant Town into rampaging “monsters” to a head. She finds and confronts the perpetrators, some familiar characters to the IDW TMNT world, and must face the dark reality of the why of the situation. It’s a stark realistic reason to stick with this fictional world and it works on so many levels for that very reason. While art of any kind can be escapism, often the art that resonates with us the most is that which puts a spotlight on and questions things that are taken for granted or are wrong or harmful within our own world.

It can often be momentarily cathartic in the escapist sense to witness these heroes potentially triumph over the bigots or capitalistic corporate fat cats when we often cannot in our lives. This is on full display within the issue itself when Brahm Revel makes sure to dip once more into the real world to showcase that even when things are at their darkest, there are others that will stand beside those that are put upon. Even if that standing together is done digitally, which always takes the message further.

What is truly interesting is that unlike the first mini-series, this one brings the story to a close with this third issue as it prepares to move into a second story (likely to have some carryover) for its final three issues.

Revel once again puts on a masterclass as he tackles every aspect of the issue creation on his own, pulling from his usual staple of talents to create a colorful energetic story that has depth when it needs it, but also sparseness that brings focus at other times. His action scenes alone should be studied by other artists because there is a sort of poetry to the flow within these static images. It makes them so much more dynamic than many other fight scenes one can see.

Another point in favor is that this story travels from the dark undergrounds of NYC back to Mutant Town and into the rest of NYC and back again, none of the places looking the same or that similar. Every area and character have a look and personality of their own that stands out. It is pretty amazing the amount of work and love that Revel clearly puts into this book on such a consistent level that led to two full mini-series of this nature in less than a year’s time.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika II #3 is now available from IDW Publishing in your local comic shop and through Comixology.

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