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REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #98 – Calm(ish) Before The Storm (Waltz, Eastman, Wachter) IDW Publishing

Tom Waltz (Author) Kevin Eastman (Author) Michael Dialynas (Artist) Dave Wachter (Cover Artist) Bobby Curnow (Author) Ronda Pattison (Colorist) Shawn Lee (Letterer)

Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!

Issue 97 culminated in Karai’s takeover of the Foot Clan.  In doing so, she captured Splinter and the Turtles retreated. This issue largely pushes the Foot Clan to the side.  Instead, the focus shifts to three other threats.  First, Bishop’s plan to capture the Turtles becomes more clear.  I liked how the storyline, which has largely been treated as a separate conflict over the past few issues becomes intertwined with other characters.

We then get an examination of the consequences of the Turtles’ decisions so far as the team regroups … and bickers.  This was dialogue driven, with very little action. However, it was very fun to read.  The writers do a great job of mining the characters emotions, giving the turtles distinct personalities, and having their conversations seem ‘real’ which can be hard when working in limited speech bubbles.  The tension between Leonardo and Raphael finally reaches its boiling point, which has been building over of multiple issues.  It may be the lighter coloring (these are the some of the first panels to occur in the daytime) but the design of the turtles seems more ‘cartoony’ in these scenes than usual.   That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it stands out in a gritty series that tends to use darker color palettes.

Finally, two major storylines collide as Stockman’s mayoral candidacy reaches election day and Old Hob’s secret plan comes to fruition.  The writers have been moving these two storylines independently for many issues and it is quite satisfying to see the culmination of long term planning.

Each issue in the ‘City at War’ arc has deftly moved multiple storylines ahead while including one major (and usually shocking) event at the end of the issue.  Issue 98 is no different, which begs the question, what do the writers have in store for #99 and #100?  Because there is so much dialogue in this issue, a new reader can figure out what is happening with the use of the ‘story so far’ page.  I recommend picking up issue 97 if possible, as the events from that issue shape what happens here.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #98 is now available.

Check back tomorrow for my thoughts on TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #99

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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