A great journey of character study and whether one can truly move beyond their past to become something better is wrapped up in this well-crafted and heartfelt issue. Action happens but is not the crux of the story as characters finding themselves and using their words over their fists dominates the story. Emotive and dynamic beautiful art fills every single page and makes the Turtles and their vast world feel truly like it might be the world right outside one’s window.
For as long as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have existed, there has long been a debate about which Turtle is the favored one or the best. There are legitimate arguments that can be made depending on how one leans, but lately, the Turtle titles coming from IDW Publishing are making a hard winning argument that Jennika just might be able to take the perceived crown.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika II #6 picks up right where the last one ended with the fifth turtle in the clutches of former mob wife turned gazelle Lucia Rosetti. Every issue of the prior Jennika miniseries and each story arc within this second mini has been focused around her mission to come to grips with and move beyond her brutal past. This path to redemption isn’t one that has no end game because every story has moved her closer and closer, alongside the main TMNT series doing some of the work as well, and this final arc of the series really proves what a heroic character Jennika truly is and can be.
Ronda Pattison has mastered not only Jennika, but the rest of the Turtles and their extended cast, bringing their voices out and truly crafting a deep character study with just enough patented Turtle action scenes to bring it all home. Solo titles often fit in this somewhat nebulous place when it comes to shared universes/lines of comics at publishers, often ignoring events of the main titles, but that’s not the case with this series.
Within the first pages, there are references to recent events within the main series (that Pattison colors), and the growth of Jennika from that arc is reflected here as this growth will likely be reflected back in that title. IDW has gathered a solid group of creators for the Turtle books who drift back and forth between them and prove to be very collaborative. That bodes well for the continued prospering of this line that has been chugging along successfully for a decade now.
Jodi Nishijima and Pattison are a dynamic duo as they present a truly gorgeous and dynamic art style that brings every single moment to life like ready to leap off the pages. The very first page of the issue is a stunning, colorful dream montage that gives us a peek into Jennika’s mind and her worst fears at the moment. Shawn Lee completes that trio as he does what he always does best with lettering across so many of the Turtle books: helping bring every moment to life so that you feel and hear them even more.
Hands down, this team needs to be kept together and needs to be given a regular series, preferably a continued Jennika solo series.
IDW Publishing tapping a number of creators that can wear various hats from writer to colorist to artist to work on their books is a very good move. It allows these creators to slide across books and remain as part of the creative unit while allowing everyone to take turns telling the stories in different ways.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika II #6 is now on sale from IDW Publishing in print and digitally.