REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #15

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The TMNT crew is on the run when a giant mutant snapping turtle begins wreaking havoc on their city. How are the turtles to take out this new menace? More after the jump!

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #15
Writer: Kevin Eastman & Tony Waltz
Artist: Andy Kuhn
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey was offered a new home away from his abusive father. Splinter taught Raphael about what being a true ninja meant. Krang’s master plan to take over the world was revealed. Really, are there any other kinds of plans?

MEET THE TEENAGE MUTANT SNAPPING TURTLE!

In each issue there’s the arrival of a new mutant into the Ninja Turtles’ world and this time is no different. Taking blood from the mutant cat Hob, Dr. Chet Allen has helped create another mutant for his overlords. Since he was rushed and given no time to refine the chemicals, he has to inject the brew into an aggressive snapping turtle. The turtle of course mutates into the monster Slash and immediately makes it his duty to cause as much damage as possible. Naturally, the police see a giant monster turtle ripping up the neighborhood and immediately start gunning for the TMNT crew themselves.

As said before, it’s pretty formulaic that there’s going to be a new mutant every three issues or so, some sort of monster beastie being made or coming from another dimension. It’s fairly standard and expected after awhile. That isn’t to say it’s not necessarily bad. What makes this series great is that it knows when to be dramatic and when it should remain light hearted, a fun read for the sake of being a fun read. Not every issue of every comic ever should be epic. Some need to just be the kind one wants to kick back and enjoy. This book is definitely one of those without being childish.

Odd considering it’s a book about giant fighting turtles, but that’s how good this series is.

As for Slash, so far he’s looking to be an interesting new character. He has the same origin as the others save for using a less refined version of the toxin that changed them into who they are. Yet, he takes up the iconic mask (in black because he’s a villain, obviously) and goes out in search of the turtles. Everything he does is inverted of the TMNT gang. He destroys instead of saves, he wants to hurt his brethren instead of help them and, as a snapping turtle, he’s an arguably more aggressive breed than what the turtles originally were. This could be an interesting character to flesh out.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TEETH!

The ninja turtles have always had teeth in their comics, movies and toys, but here, twelve out of the twenty one-pages show the turtles’ teeth. Normally, belief should be suspended since these are teenage mutant ninja turtles as the title suggests, but even the human characters don’t show as much teeth in the comics as Andy Kuhn has them showing here. It becomes distracting and gives the impression that they’re all buck-toothed.

Other than that detail, the art is very minimalist and very much in the style of Mile Mignola. It’s is either a love-it-or-hate-it detail, depending on taste. Personally, I like it. The art is vaguely reminiscent of the cartoon in its minimalism, but not so cartoonish that it screams ‘child’s cartoon!’

BOTTOM LINE: A GOOD NEW ADDITION TO THE TMNT STORYLINE

I grew up with the ninja turtles, having the toys and watching the cartoon. Out of sheer nostalgia purposes, I’d rate this comic a 5 out of 5, but alas I must give it an unbiased rating. While the art was considerably toothy, the story was an interesting addition to the story, introducing the character of Slash to the new mythos. This issue was considerably low key from the previous issue, but that isn’t necessarily bad.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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