Last issue, Mikey discovered that Old Hob wasn’t honest… which I think he already knew… or should have known, at least. But whatever. This month, we get to watch the fallout.

Is it good?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #54 (IDW Publishing)


The Plot

  • It’s nice to see Hun beating up on someone besides his kid.
  • The Mutanimals are finally starting to suspect that Old Hob is up to something. Why it took Mikey’s disappearance (rather than all the secret excursions he took by himself) is anyone’s guess, but there you have it.
  • I always kinda considered Hun to be a joke, but I must admit that he’s pretty scary here. Dude also delivers one heck of a pimp slap.
  • Looks like the band’s taking a break.
  • Isn’t that guy supposed to be on the X-Men?

Is It Good?

I realize how ridiculous it is to complain about plausibility in a story involving mutated anthropomorphic creatures, but the driving force behind the issue’s dramatic tension really hurts the narrative—which is a shame, because otherwise, it’s pretty good. But if we’re really supposed to believe that the Mutanimals are as intelligent as they’ve been portrayed (except for Pete, of course), then there’s no way they could have been so utterly clueless that Old Hob might have been up to something.

That being said, I really did like the way writer Tom Waltz showed the various characters reacting to how things went down. His script also does a great job showing how Hob reconciles his dishonesty. The scene between Slash and Mikey got a little melodramatic, but ended on a genuinely heartbreaking note.

The art by Michael Dialynas is generally very good. There are a lot of characters in this one and he does great job rendering all of them. Of particular note is the way Dialynas draws Hun’s face. Good lord. The man looks absolutely terrifying. His wild expressions fall just short of ‘cartoony’ into a place somewhere between unhinged and terrifying.

“Got any Smirnoff Ice?”

A few of the action panels are a little stilted, but most showed a great feel for putting motion onto the page. Colorist Ronda Pattison’s work shines in the issue’s best panels, particularly the way she contrasts major impact moments with bold/single colored backgrounds.

Despite my misgivings about the plot’s origins, we’ve come a long way since the dreadful book from a couple months ago…but we’re also still a ways off from how great the book has been for the last two years. Let’s see if Waltz and company can move past the recent missteps next month with some help from the new character we saw on the last page.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #54 Review
Very good art by Michael Dialynas is enhanced by excellent coloring work by Ronda Pattison.Lots of characters, lots of action, and some believable/genuine drama.
Unfortunately, the path we took to get there is pulled by characters with a collective (and massive) narrative blind spot.
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