Powerful forces clash in the streets of Mutant Town as the Splinter Clan works to prevent the dark future that stands before them.
In most fiction, the mix of time travel, baby mutants thinking a ninja is their mother, and a future battle of the bands alongside solid action would feel pretty uneven or off. Then there is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A series that juggles every single one of those things, and a lot more, easily and seamlessly within their latest issue.
Sophie Campbell, Ronda Pattison, and Shawn Lee continue to hold a masterclass on crafting engaging, moving, and wonderful stories that give glimpses into the lives and world of the Turtles along with their allies and enemies.
Nothing is held back as the issue kicks off in the thick of the action begun in the last issue. With pages and pages of the Turtle clan against Tokka and Rahzar on one side of town & against Bebop and Rocksteady on the other. The latter pair of antagonists have been huge in the comics and many of the animated TMNT adaptations over the years while the former is famously known from 1991’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. When the two battles naturally collide and the foe duos begin to clash, it is a longtime Turtle fan’s wildest dream made into printed reality.
Every bit of the action is beautifully depicted in its ferocity and brutality. Blood and lasting marks are left upon many of the characters. It’s not only physical marks that are left. What stands out every time about the art in this series is just how well it captures not just the emotions of the moment but as things continue to build in intensity within Mutant Town, there are more and more visible signs of the toll that events are taking on many characters.
Each and every blow that is landed within the pages whether physically or emotionally is felt because they have great weight, helped by energy provided by the impeccable lettering that adds to and elevates many a scene. A giant mutant rhino taking a sledgehammer to the head of a giant mutant snapping turtle with a well-placed tremendous ‘Bam’ is just the level of brutal ballet that one expects in a story like this and is delivered in spades.
Often that much action would have been stretched out to provide a solid conclusion till the next issue in an arc, but this issue has a whole lot more to offer. Character moments were sprinkled all through the action but in the aftermath of the battle, there is time for even more. Rather than drag out some of the drama surrounding the choices that Jennika and the other Turtles will make that creates the dark future that Lita came back to change, the creative team has them just face it all head-on.
The darkest moments of the lives of the main cast are laid out on a handful of gorgeous pages, bringing the energy down for a moment only to bring it right back up as they face said darkness & resolve to create a better future. Now it’s time to build a band.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #115 is now on sale from IDW Publishing at local comic shops and digitally through ComiXology.