Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100 Review - Best Single Issue of 2019
Updated: Jul 24, 2020
I've referenced a few titles for consideration when it comes to the best single issue of 2019. The first issue that comes to mind would be House of X #2 which covered the lives of Moira X. House of X #4 which covered the X-Men's assault on the Mother Mold facility. The Walking Dead also ended this year and did what Game of Thrones could not in providing a satisfying conclusion to that series.
Even with those releases, I feel pretty comfortable naming TMNT #100 as 2019's top comic. All opinions are subjective and I admit at the outset of this review that my enjoyment of this issue is colored by having read about 90% of the TMNT content that has been released since IDW acquired the IP.
Before getting into the actual content of the book, I do want to mention that the book is 7.99. The price bump is expected and in this instance, as with the last month, the increase seems fair. I'm also a fan of DC's Black Label line of comics. I don't have an issue paying more for a book if I'm getting more for the money. The comic comes in at 45 pages and is in the format traditionally reserved for a trade paperback.
Books like this one make me question the monthly format. I often lament comics that come in at 3.99 that I read in 5 minutes. I often feel ripped off. TMNT #100 is a bigger comic and offers a lot more value. If the series was released bimonthly at 7.99 in this particular format I wouldn't complain at all.
On art duty our old favorites Dave Wachter, Mateus Santolouco and Michael Dialynas provide linework. Ronda Pattison does her thing and maintains color consistency throughout the book. The overall editing of this issue is solid and although the issue juggles a lot of artists and characters nothing looked jarring or inconsistent.
On a surface level, TMNT #100 marks the end to the City at War story arc that has been running through all of 2019. If you've been following the IDW line of TMNT stories you know that this issue also is a direct follow-up to Shredder in Hell #5. This book works as a conclusion to both series.
The Turtles and Agent Bishop's Earth Protection Force have converged into the Foot Clan's base. All hell has broken loose. While the battle is raging, Kitsune performs a ritual that if successful will resurrect the Dragon God that could potentially destroy the world.
The issue pays off many of the ongoing storylines that have been going on in the supplemental material. TMNT: Macro-Series was my favorite series of 2018. Many of the seeds planted in that series bare fruit here. In the Raphael Macro, Raph was captured and tortured by the EPF. Raphael finally catches up to Agent Bishop in this issue and the scenes are just as intense as you'd imagine they would be.
The series has wonderful callbacks throughout. The funniest one for me was pulled from Bebop & Rocksteady: Hit The Road. I spent a lot of time with that series and often felt like I was the only person reading that book. Seeing Bebop & Rocksteady's pet Raptor show up and save their asses got an audible reaction out of me. It was an ongoing gag in their series and the scene wouldn't have worked at all if I hadn't read their mini-series.
The book also has one of the best and bittersweet conclusions I've read in a longrunning story arc. There are casualties on both sides of this war. I'm sad that I pretty much called the conclusion of this book and Shredder in Hell months ago, but I'm also excited to see the new status quo for the series. I won't spoil the book here, but I will make a supplemental video later this week going over my thoughts and providing predictions for the series going forward.
Sophie Campbell is the new writer starting next month and I'm confident she can continue where Tom leaves off. She wrote one of my favorite TMNT stories ever with the TMNT Macro-Series: Leonardo. She gets these characters and their personalities. It will be great to see her deal with the fallout of this issue and I think Sophie is the perfect candidate to steer this ship going forward.
TMNT #100 isn't just a culmination of Tom Waltz and the gang's run on the characters. It's also a culmination of much of the supplemental material. The issue is a direct follow-up to Shredder in Hell #5, which ended last week. It also either resolves or addresses plot points going back to the early days of the series. This a beautiful issue from beginning to end. The creative team clearly loves these characters and it will be hard to top this conclusion going forward.
If the series ended with this issue I wouldn't complain. I know it won't happen, but I can't think of a more satisfying conclusion for these characters that would fit thematically. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100 is simply amazing from beginning to end, go buy it today.