After knocking it out of the park with Utrom Empire, the creative team of writer Paul Allor and artist Andy Kuhn is back for a new Ninja Turtles miniseries. This time they’ll be crafting a tale involving Old Hob, Slash, Mondo Gecko, Herman, Pete, and their reluctant human ally Lindsey Baker. Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals #1 Review
Lindsey is in the middle of a mind numbing (yet revealing) conversation with Pete when they are both violently abducted. To her surprise, however, the person kidnapping them is her ex-girlfriend/co-worker, Jillian. Turns out she wants to offer Lindsey a sweet job in her brand new lab—that just so happens to be an outsourced mutant R&D client for the Foot Clan.
Meanwhile, Pete’s deal isn’t quite as good. Fortunately for naïve pigeon, Old Hob planted a tracking device on him that he TOTALLY didn’t put on the rest of his crew. The Mutanimals make a daring rescue attempt that ends with them at the same lab…which leads to Old Hob having a flashback to how he was created… which leads to complete chaos and destruction.
While the lab is being destroyed, Lindsey takes the carnage happening around her as a sign that she should take Jillian’s offer. Meanwhile the Mutanimals path of destruction leads them to finding a new ally, a new Big Bad (who we don’t get to see yet), and the war that Old Hob has been hoping for.
Is It Good?
When I use the term ‘uneven’ in my reviews, it’s usually is in regards to quality. With Mutanimals #1, however, it’s definitely in reference to tone. On one hand, the issue is chock full of comic relief via dialogue, story beats, and physical comedy. Not ‘comedy’, but stuff that actually makes you chuckle (or at least smile quietly to yourself).
Pete may be dumb, but he’s onto something with blueberry cola.
In the issue’s second half, however, we’re slammed in the face with a chilling flashback to Old Hob’s creation and Mutagen Man pulling a gun towards his head and begging to be killed.
No seriously, that last one actually happened.
Both tones are very well done, but they don’t really mesh. As a result, it makes the shifts during the narrative a bit jarring. It’s not dark comedy as much as it’s COMEDY… then VERY DARK.
All that being said, this is still a good first issue that’s a lot of fun to read and definitely worth picking up. Allor does a great job showing how Old Hob’s violent nature (as understandable as it may be) is at odds with the personality of his crew.
Kuhn is also at the top of his game, particularly in how he renders the Old Hob flashback and the issue’s multiple action sequences. Despite this opening chapter’s ‘unevenness’, it’s definitely not due to the quality of the creative team. With plenty of action and great characters to explore, this one should definitely be on every TMNT fan’s pull list.