If you’ve been wondering what Karai’s been up to since the Foot Clan fell, then prepare to find out.

First Read Reactions

  • First activity up: Getting shot in the shoulder!
  • Someone should tell that biker assassin that Karai is about the last person in the world you’d want to belittle and/or underestimate.
  • Either Koya and Bludgeon are attempting a comeback or this is the worst PETA commercial ever.
  • I’d hate to see how Karai handles everyday road rage.
  • …on the other hand, I’d love to see how Karai handles this new job opportunity.

The Verdict

First off, the art is great, which is to be expected when you have Sophie Campbell on penciling duties. This might be the most action-heavy script we’ve seen from her in this series, though—and she nails the heck out of it. There are a couple of odd sequencing issues in the first fight, but considering how much beautiful kinetic insanity is taking place, it’s an easily forgivable mistake.

Story-wise, Erik Burnham and Campbell (who also assisted with the writing) craft a solid opening to a tale about one of the TMNT universe’s most potentially fascinating characters.

As if that weren’t good enough, we also get to drop in on our old friends Koya and Bludgepn (Giant Bird and Shark Guy), who are coming to grips with injuries that make their animalistic traits useless. The connection of these two narratives feels a little forced/random for now, but I trust Burnham and Campbell to make it work.

Topping things off is a chilling backup story featuring Koya that I really wish had gone on for a few more pages. It all adds up to an issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe that does EXACTLY what this series feels like it was made for. Instead of retreading something from the main TMNT series or popping in what amounts to a one issue cameo, this issue takes a strong first step toward a deep dive into some of the franchise’s most interesting supporting characters.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #12 Review
Is it good?
THIS is what you want from this series--a fantastically written/drawn deep dive into the TMNT's universe's most interesting supporting characters.
Sophie Campbell knocks the extremely action-heavy issue out of the park.
Karai's tale of revenge and possible redemption is joined by Koya and Bludgeon's heartbreaking rehabilitation..
...unfortunately, the connection of those two storylines feel a bit forced right now.
With so much action going on, there were a couple of weird (and forgivable) sequencing issues.
8.5
Great