Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #101 Review - The Aftermath (City At War Spoilers)
• IDW Publishing (Publisher)
TMNT #101 shifts the title in a number of ways. Its the first title that I can recall in which Tom Waltz isn't the primary creative force for the series. It's also the first issue since Master Splinter's death.
The book is really solid but I have some potential concerns. The concerns may be unfounded but I figured I'd mention them anyway. Sophie Campell begins her run with this issue. She's a great writer and earned my trust with Macro Series - Leonardo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3. I reviewed it back in 2018 and it remains one of my favorite TMNT stories. Sophie had a great voice for the turtles there and that extends to this issue.
This comic puts the focus on Jenny for the first time which is good because we really didn't have much time with her during City at War. Jennika feels like a real person and speaks more natural here than she ever has in the main series. She's dealing with some pretty massive changes in her life so its nice to get some insight into where she's at as a character.
My primary concern is that the rest of the guys don't get much face time in this issue. Donny does the opening narration. We quickly touch base with Leo, Mike, and Raph, but they are all notably absent from the second half of the book.
The second concern contains ***Spoilers*** for the issue so proceed with caution.
Following Splinter's death, Leonardo doesn't have any interest in being the leader of Clan Hamato, Raphael has struck out on his own and is helping the new mutants that have appeared in NYC. Mickey has become obsessed with his pet cat and Donny is apparently working on a sci-fi novel. This leaves Jenny possibly taking over as leader of the group for a time.
I'm gonna hold off with judgment because Sophie has earned my trust. I'm not sure fans will be receptive to Jennika getting such a heavy focus. I'll also admit I'm not totally sold at this point.
It's great seeing Sophie on pencils again. My description can't do it justice but Sophie's linework gets to the essence of these characters. You feel for them because of the situation they are in, but you also care because of the emotive qualities within the linework.
I don't want to be too negative, the issue is solid. The Status quo takes a big and logical leap forward. Thousands of new mutants are suddenly on the streets of New York. The turtle's trauma is also handled gracefully despite my concerns. I lost my mom and dad in the span of a year. The losses totally devastated my family. I understand the general malaise that the guys are probably feeling right now.
I have concerns, but the issue continues the tradition of being one of the best series on the shelves and issue #101 sits firmly in the net positive category.