The weight of their potential future closes in on the Turtles and their allies as they are brought face to face with two adorable and deadly 90s era foes.
Fate and the ability to change things if given the chance to return to a previous time are concepts that fiction is rife with, but the most interesting uses of that theme have to do with the weight; Namely the weight of knowing what your possible future is and the struggle to decide if it’s something you truly can or truly want to avoid.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #114 delves deeper into the Turtles’ struggle with their future told to them by a returned older Lita. Sophie Campbell made a wonderful choice in framing this through three different lenses. There is Lita who is just overjoyed to see those she loves in the before times who mostly ignores the weight of that future because she got to escape it for now. Then there are the four Turtle brothers who have experience with time travel and are just focused on doing the things that Lita mentions which might help them make their futures better.
Most importantly there’s Jennika, who finds herself thrust into the middle as the one who holds the entire future on her shoulders. Form a band or give in to the impulses to deal with Karai, the one who tried to murder her and led to her transformation into a turtle in the first place.
Connected to this is a wonderful but sorrowful moment between Jennika and Donatello as they discuss their brushes with mortality and the nature of revenge, showcasing two different mindsets and ways to cope with their traumas.
Campbell, Ronda Pattison, and Shawn Lee continue to be an awesome trio as the book is always just a delight visually. One of the biggest strengths is the emotions of the various characters that tell us so much without having to say anything. This is showcased both in the visuals themselves and in how Lee frames the words upon the page.
Their use of full backgrounds and colors as well as slipping in shadows all depending on the mood of the scene, is impeccable. Mutant Town, which we get glimpses of through various points of view, is just such a vibrant and colorful but also dangerous place as they depict it. It’s living and breathing and isn’t just a background place where the action takes place like sometimes locations can be in stories.
When it comes to fight scenes, they do not hold back as there are visual, almost tangible, lasting effects of these fights, whether the ones between the Turtles themselves or with others. There is a moment where the newly introduced Tokka and Rahzar, as known from 1991’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, are extremely adorable in their childlike states (much like they were at times in the film) and at the drop of the hat, they turn utterly terrifying and dangerous.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #114 is now available at comic shops and digitally on ComiXology.