Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #18 Review

Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles_18-665x1024It’s an interesting time for nerds my age.  IDW has set up a slate of comics that is more or less the equivalent of the Saturday morning cartoons I grew up with.  Perhaps most intriguing is the way they’ve allowed the creative talent to revamp and rework each series for a modern sensibility.  They’ve managed to give an intriguing edge to the Transformers, the GI Joe line, the Ghostbusters, and, obviously, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

We finally get a full glimpse of the Neutrinos and the conflict ripping apart their planet in Dimension X.  The Turtles are snatched up in the conflict and thrown directly into the midst of the Neutrino’s ongoing battle with Krang.  Obviously, confusion abounds as the Turtles each attempt to conform and adjust to the insanity now surrounding them.  Perhaps the issue’s best moment comes at Michelangelo’s excitement at the prospect of saving an actual princess.  This led to some comical reactions from/between Michelangelo and Raphael.

In much the same fashion as Chuck Dixon and Mike Costa’s GI Joe line, Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz have done a great job of putting a new spin on classic TMNT tropes and characters.  In this case, they’ve taken the concept of the Neutrinos and pulled them firmly from the absurdity of the cartoon and turned them into hardened guerrilla fighters in a brutal war against an overwhelming and oppressive force.  It’s a tact that the IDW has fostered with great success in revamping and giving legitimacy to this line of licensed properties, which often don’t find much success.  IDW seems to be bucking that trend.

In terms of the art, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is generally among my favorite books on a given week.  Ben Bates has carried on the style of the series, which strikes a balance between Kevin Eastman’s original designs and pencil work and the classic cartoon series.  The turtles look equal parts menacing and battle tested.  Krang, in particular, comes across as surprisingly disturbing given, well, what Krang is.

So, final verdict?  It’s another solid entry in a solid series to date.  A number of pieces are falling into place, both from the series proper and the various micro-series, as Eastman and Waltz continue to push the turtles toward a confrontation with Krang.

7.5/10

About

Keith is a life long gamer, movie buff, occasional harmonica player, and, most importantly, a comics nerd. Like all the best nerds, Keith is a child of the 80's and 90's and an often loud and vocal advocate of the cartoons of that era (seriously, though, they are unquestionably the best cartoons EVER). He currently resides in New York City with his lovely, if often exasperated wife, Rachel and their two cats, Ollie and Juno.

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