The adventures of Hob’s merry mutant crew continues. Is it good?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals #3 (IDW Publishing)
Slash and Mondo Gecko embark on an epic rescue mission to free their captured friends. During the operation, Slash completely hulks out and kicks the bad guys’ asses. Despite this being EXACTLY what the situation (and its impossible odds) called for, Mondo Gecko freaks out about it.
But aside from the apparent emotional scars, the rescue is an overwhelming success. Not only is everyone freed, but the Mutanimals pick up a couple of new and powerful friends.
Meanwhile, Lindsey grows a conscience and decides that working for Null is a little more unethical than she’s comfortable with. Unfortunately, her devil of a boss has no intention of letting her quit unless it involves a shutdown of all her vital organs.
While all this is going on, Mutagen man makes a shockingly bold (and self-destructive decision) about his future.
Is It Good?
After how good the last two issues were, this one surprised me a bit…and not in a good way.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. The art and action sequences by Kuhn are great. Allor also provides us with some really cool character moments, particularly when Null straight up murders one of her own people just to prove how ruthless she is.
Unfortunately, some of the other actions/interactions between the characters felt a little forced. Mondo Gecko’s treatment of Slash after he saved everyone’s ass was particularly frustrating. The Mutanimals have seen violence on a shocking scale during their time in action. I get Slash hating himself for reverting into a monster, but his best friend? C’mon.
“The dude has to carry you in fights…literally.”
Lindsey’s growing conscience was a little hard to stomach, as well, but at least it felt somewhat organic. When Jilian tries to hop on the ethical bandwagon, however, it deflates a lot of the great tension we’d seen between the former couple.
I’m probably making this sound like a bad issue, but it’s actually still quite good. There are plenty of dramatic and funny moments, lots of great fight scenes, and some new characters that look like they’ll be a lot of fun. I’m not sure Allor/Kuhn are even capable of creating a bad TMNT comic.
But compared to the previous issues of this series, this one definitely falls short of the very high bar that’s been set. Fortunately, it’s still plenty good enough not to detract from it. The cliffhanger at the end is outstanding. It sets up a major conflict involving a character that this creative has done more with than I’d ever thought possible. Let’s hope that it also helps brings Mutanimals back to its superb first and second issue form.