REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #101 – …Now What? (Mild Spoilers)

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Sophie Campbell (Author, Artist, Cover Artist) Tom Waltz (Author) Kevin Eastman (Author, Cover Artist) Ronda Pattison (Colorist) Shawn Lee (Letterer)

Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles celebrated its 100th issue with IDW with a bang, throwing together all of the characters and resolving a host of storylines. So what do you do after you bring everyone together? Split everyone back apart! Stop reading here if you are interested in reading the City at War arc and don’t want any spoilers.

This issue resets the board as the characters deal with the ramifications of the City at War arc in their own ways. Splinter is dead, the part of New York that Old Hob hit with a mutagen bomb has been walled off by now-mayor Stockman, Jennika is the fifth Ninja Turtle. After finally being brought back together in issue 100, the Turtles grief has torn them apart. This issue sets the stage for the next event that will undoubtedly require them to work together –  Leonardo is gardening, Donatello is journaling, Raphael and his mini dinosaur Pepperoni are dishing out vigilante justice while sporting a new color, Jenny is trying to find her place in the world, and most poignantly, Mikey is depressed. This really hits home because he has always been the positive upbeat turtle.

This issue focuses on the emotional state of each of the main characters, but manages to mix in some decent action sequences. Jenny, who the artists somehow manage to look vaguely feminine, gets to flash some ninja skills.  She also serves as the introduction to a new mutant character that has a lot of potential.  It looks like the writers are keen to explore the world created inside the walled off mutant town. I’m guessing something in there will serve as the catalyst to draw the turtles back together. Given the methodical planning that the writers put into the City at War arc, this could be an extended and entertaining journey.

It is obvious the artists are having fun coming up with new mutants, as the characters in the mutant section of town are each unique and interesting.  I haven’t touched on Pepperoni yet, but kudos to TMNT for sneaking such a cute character in just where it is needed. While most of the panels tend towards a dark and gritty, Pepperoni is a bright pink dinosaur … in a winter coat.  That was the highlight of the issue for me.

After reading the jam packed issue 100, I wondered where the writers could possibly go from there. This issue takes a pause, allows us (and the characters) to catch our breaths as we build towards the next big thing. It is a perfect jumping on point for the series.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #101 is now available.

Check back soon for my thoughts on TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #102

Have you read the issue? What are your thoughts? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!

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