Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #31
While strategically secluded in Northampton, the Turtles are hit by new revelations involving enemies’ shifting loyalties, miracle cures, and ghosts from the past. And in the present, grave danger is about to strike! What new Foot Clan menace is hunting the Turtles?
The Ninja Turtles are hiding out in Northampton and trying to recover from their last run-in with the Shredder, but an unknown enemy waits for them in the shadows this month in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #31. The story is by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz with the script being written by Waltz. Art is handled by Ross Campbell, Ronda Pattison provides colors, and Shawn Lee tackles lettering. Are the Turtles any closer to rebuilding their broken family this month?
Leo is still trying to pick up the pieces of his mind after being brainwashed and then thrown away by Shredder. He can’t quite comprehend what happened to him and he feels like there’s a great divide between himself and his family. He’s slowly starting to come back around, thanks to visions of his mother and some wise words from Splinter. Meanwhile Donnie, Michelangelo, and Raphael are doing whatever they can to stay busy and occupied while they’re hiding on April’s parent’s farm. Raph is even starting to trust Alopex a little. April is still investigating Stockgen and what exactly they were working on, and her research has gave way to an incredibly breakthrough. The Turtles think they’ve been alone, but someone or something has been watching from the shadows. How will the Turtles react when their mysterious watcher reveals him or herself?
Waltz writes a great issue. There is a lot of layered and dramatic character moments and moral issues, but this month also sees a return to some big action sequences. These last few issues have given us a chance to catch our breath and adjust to the new status quo, but that was all just luring us into a false sense of security. Campbell’s art continues to please. He has a really distinct and interesting take on the Turtles that straddles the lines between realistic, cartoon, and even a dash of anime. His human characters are really expressive and open as well. Campbell ‘directs’ the action in a really eye-catching way too. Pattison’s colors really elevated Campbell’s art as a whole with the bright and vibrant color pallet. Things are lit really well and have a warm feeling, fitting in perfectly with the rural setting.
Bottom Line: This is the issue where things start ramping back up again. We’ve had our chance to breathe, but now TMNT has put us back on our toes. 4/5