This month, we finally…FINALLY…get to see Leatherhead! It’s not really a spoiler since he appears on the cover, but the question still remains:

Is it good?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #56 (IDW Publishing)


The Plot

  • Either the life forms on Burnow Island are developing asthma or something’s going down.
  • Nice to see the gang all back together (even if Harold is grumpier than usual).
  • This Rat King stuff would be a lot more interesting if they stopped referencing that Casey & April miniseries that I didn’t read.
  • Hey look—that lame Jennika character from a few issues ago suddenly got a lot more interesting.
  • Fugitoid is so ethical it hurts.
  • I know I said it before, but it bears repeating: LEATHERHEAD!
  • Tom Waltz writes a really good Leatherhead.
  • …and Mateus Santolouco draws one heck of a beautiful Leatherhead origin story.
  • You know things are messed up when you’re actually fearing for the safety of the Utroms.
  • Been a while since this series gave us a good ‘OH SNAP’ moment, but that last page most definitely qualifies.

Is It Good?

Now that’s more like it.

After a string of what could be generously described as subpar issues, TMNT is back to its usual goodness. I’m a bit biased due to my love of Leatherhead, but the script by Waltz is great all around.

The character Jennika (who he gave a totally lame introduction a few months ago) has an interesting plot thread. Fugitoid is at his charming/infuriatingly good-hearted best. And by the issue’s end we have a genuine mystery with some serious ramifications. There’s also a death that affected me much more than I would have expected.


And of course we have Santolouco’s fantastic art, which manages to somehow be even better than usual thanks to a very cool couple of pages explaining Leatherhead’s origin.

About the only downside to this issue is the stuff with the Rat King. Waltz writes him well, but I honestly have no idea how or why he fits into this story. Otherwise, the script does a great job balancing multiple plot threads to set up the next few issues.

I’m not sure what happened to Waltz’s writing over the last few months—maybe it was just me who thought it was severely below par for him. Whatever the case, this issue read like the many others that made him one of my favorite current writers. Add in my favorite current TMNT artist, one of my all-time favorite TMNT characters, and a great murder mystery, and I’m back to being excited/horribly impatient for the next issue to hit the stands.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #56 Review
LEATHERHEAD!Mateus Santolouco's art is always great, but his Leatherhead origin pages are absolutely gorgeous.Tom Waltz's script is back to it's usual (and awesome) level, seamlessly weaving multiple narratives into a great murder mystery....
...except for the weird Rat King storyline that got shoehorned in for a bit.
Reader Rating 2 Votes