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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #103 – Pop Goes the Mutant Weasel (Eastman, Waltz, Campbell) IDW Publishing

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

Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!

Starting with issue 101, TMNT reshuffled the deck, separating the turtles as they dealt with [spoiler alert] Splinter’s death in issue 100. At the end of issue 102, some dangerous weaponized mutant weasels were set loose in New York’s Mutant Town. If you are new to the series, a mutagen bomb caused a bunch of citizens to mutate, and they have been walled off in a part of New York.

While the prior issues steadily moved pieces into position, this issue slows down precipitously to focus on long delayed conversations between characters. The conversation between Raphael and Jenny exposed a lot of the rage that has been building up with Raphael. It might be a little over the top, even given the nice job the books have done to put Raphael in this position. It’s like the scene in every TV show where there’s a fight and one character goes too far. You kind of know they’ll regret it, come back around eventually, and everything will work out.

While the Raphael-Jenny disagreement was a bit much for me, I really enjoyed the simplicity of the Leo-Mikey interaction. While it doesn’t involve ninjas or mutant moles, this is TMNT at its best. Meanwhile, Donatello reconnects with April. April was largely sidelined during the City at War arc, so it is interesting to see her being drawn into the story again.

The mutant weasels also prove to be interesting additions, providing a new take on antagonists. I was wondering what the angle would be with them, and the answer genuinely surprised me.

The theme of this arc is dealing with grief. All of the characters (except perhaps Raph) come off as genuine, which is a testament to the strong writing of this book. I continue to recommend reading the prior arc (or at least issue 100) to understand why the characters are so messed up. You’ll get what you need to know from the story so far page, but it is nice to have some additional context.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #103 is now available.

Check back soon for my thoughts on TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #104

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

Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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