I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a 42-year-old man and I love the Ninja Turtles. I’ve been there since the original Mirage Studios days. I’ve seen the ups, the downs, the downright “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??” moments. And, like old friends, as the years go by I haven’t seen as much of them as I’d like to, but I check in from time to time to see how they’re doing.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: DIMENSION X is the latest spin-off/crossover from IDW’s long running TMNT series. The evil brain Krang is about to go on trial in Dimension X. He’s hired an alien assassin to eliminate the witnesses set to testify against him and it’s up to the Turtles to locate and protect them. Their first stop is to transport a Tribble like creature named Be’en who shares an empathic link to the barren planet of Go’Mo. Things go pretty smoothly until the assassin Hakk-R shows up and convinces Be’en that the Turtles are the bad guys.
Back when I was a kid my favorite adventures of the TMNT involved them going cosmic and travelling to places like Dimension X, and this issue is a lot of fun. Writer Paul Allor captures the personalities of the Turtles perfectly and sets up some great action set-pieces, particularly once the Turtles learn the secret of the planet’s “emotion based physics”.
This issue also treats us with some striking artwork from Pablo Tunica. Some artists mimic the look of the original Eastman and Laird designs, and others use the more recent stylings of the Nickelodeon cartoon. Tunica’s style looks like the live action turtles from the 1990’s movies were dropped into a sci-fi landscape designed by Moebius for an old issue of Metal Hurlant. The results are stunning. The comic medium finds the 90s Turtle designs unhindered by the reality of animatronics and are far more expressive in the action scenes. And Tunica’s own color work really showcases the alien look of the environment.
But credit has to be given to both writer, artist and the editorial team at IDW for creating what is one of the most audience accessible comics I’ve read this year. Like I said, I check in on the boys every once in a while and it’s been years since the last time I read a TMNT comic. I had no trouble jumping on-board this title. The continuity seems to be a mish-mash of the best of everything TMNT that has happened before.
If other major comic companies are struggling to maintain readership, and I’m looking at you MARVEL and DC, they’d be better off to steal a page or two from IDW’s playbook. IDW continually serves up fun and exciting stories that have something for audiences of all ages.
One thing’s for sure, I’ll be back to check on my old shell-backed friends a lot more often.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: DIMENSION X – IDW
STORY- PAUL ALLOR
ART- PABLO TUNICA
Review by J.P. Harvey