REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #53

Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Art: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Publisher: IDW

When it comes to TMNT I haven’t delved into the Turtle’s Universe since I was a kid and the 80’s cartoon ruled my TV and the first line of action figures littered my bedroom floor. It’s sad to say that its been a minute since I immersed myself in the tales of the half shell.

This issue begins with Michelangelo getting a surprise birthday party from fellow mutant turtle Slash and the rest of his group of oddballs known affectionately as the Mighty Mutanimals. (Members include Hob, Sally Pride, Man Ray, Mutagen Man, Herman The Hermit Crab, Mondo Gecko,Lindsey Baker “The token human” and my favorite,Pigeon Pete)
As I stated at the beginning of this review, my time away from the TMNT universe has left some holes in my knowledge of the ongoing series, but this issue also deals with the fallout of Master Splinter recently defeating Shredder and taking over control of the Foot clan.

It’s this new development that has sent Michelangelo off to seek his fortunes elsewhere, and leaving this book to feel like a filler issue. Everyone, from April to Casey Jones to Raphael, has something to say about Splinter becoming the master of the Foot clan and how Mikey reacted to the news, but as a new reader I feel like I walk into a great party that had just ended. I’m left with the residual excitement but none of the substance.

While we do get to see Michelangelo trying to fit in with the Mighty Mutanimals on a raid to stop gun smugglers, the action in this issue remained sparse. There are hints at an eventual double cross in the ranks of the Mutanimals, but the bulk of the book is dedicated to having the characters hash out previous issue events.

I was surprised by the off beat humor of the book, which reminded me more of Eric Powell’s “The Goon” than a kid’s comic. The art also had a quarky feel to it that paired nicely with the story.The first few pages, where we are introduced to the Mutanimals, is worth a read only. All in all this was a solid outing by the TMNT crew, but I just wish I had stepped into the story a few issues sooner.

Final Grade: Two and half stars.

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