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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #58 Review

After last month’s somewhat obvious (yet still awesome) cliffhanger, IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles returns to conclude Leatherhead’s debut storyline. Is it good?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #58 (IDW Publishing)

Observations

  • Kind of weird seeing the Utroms debate the definition of ‘war crimes’ with Donatello, but I like it.
  • Hello there, Mr. Leatherhead. This isn’t where we left you last issue. You sure do have a lot of blood on your arm, though. I wonder where it came from….
  • Yikes. Leatherhead’s real origin is much worse (and more heartbreaking) than the version he told.
  • Dang. Leatherhead is all types of scary when he starts keeping it real.
  • Uh, no offense Donnie, but I don’t think that’s a very good idea…

Is It Good?

It’s no secret that I love Mateus Santolouco’s art, but his rendering of Leatherhead (and the action scenes he’s involved in) is sublime. David Wachter’s flashback panels were not only beautiful, but also helped make Leatherhead’s brutal origin seem even more surreal.

But perhaps the best looking part of this gorgeous issue is the work of colorist Ronda Pattison. In addition to her usual lush textures, she does a really cool effect utilizing single color palettes that change with each scene.

On the script side of things, writer Tom Waltz gives Leatherhead a wonderful voice. He’s justifiably angry and just a hair short of unhinged, all while somehow maintaining a sense of sympathetic nobility.

Unfortunately, the narrative has a few major issues. It’s hard to go in depth without spoiling anything, but let’s just say that I feel like the turtles (mostly Donnie) made a very bad decision at the end. There’s a big difference between actively preserving a life and putting many more lives in danger just repay a debt.

I also feel like we got cheated a bit out of a big fight scene. We still get plenty of beautiful Santolouco-drawn fisticuffs, but the brawl feels muted compared to the aftermath of the one we don’t get to witness.

Thankfully, the issue wraps things up with a cliffhanger that leads into a very chaotic-looking new story arc. It also concludes what is easily the series’ best run of issues this year. Hopefully, this means that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is back to its usual stellar form.

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