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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #51 Review

After last month’s masterful landmark issue, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back with a new status quo. Is it good?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #51 (IDW Publishing)

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The Plot

  • TMNT + Foot Clan = The Mafia getting shut down… but not the guys rocking invisibility cloaks.
  • Splinter gets expositiony
  • Mickey gets angtsy.
  • Kitsune is up to something with Alopex that has me scared and a little uncomfortable.
  • Harold is mad about the invisibility cloaks. I’m mad that we still don’t get to see Leatherhead.
  • Someone in the Foot Clan is mad at writer Tom Waltz for putting the Ninja Turtles in charge of them…and they’re going to do something about it.

Is It Good?

Last issue was going to be almost impossible to top, but this one still felt exceptionally ‘meh.’ I get that Waltz needed to set things up for the series’ new direction—and to his credit, he doesn’t immediately revert back to the safety of how things were before. The dynamic of the series truly has changed and Waltz is charging forward.

But all that exposition and set up didn’t really do much to make this individual issue a fun read. Even the opening ‘fight scene’ consisted mostly of an Italian stereotype getting his ass kicked while a bunch of General Grievous’ manga guards disappeared into thin air.

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Much like the story, Ken Garing’s art has some cool individual moments, but feels very static/bland for most of the issue, particularly during the sparse action sequences… although I do absolutely love the way he draws the other mutants. It sure would have been nice TO SEE HIM DRAW LEATHERHEAD, WOULDN’T IT, TOM WALTZ?!

…er sorry. As I was saying, this issue was already suffering from having to follow such a great one before it. The boring narrative and flat artwork definitely didn’t help. Let’s hope that by the next issue, Waltz/Garing both start to pick things up a little.

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