Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #105 Review - "More Teenage, Less Ninja"
• IDW Publishing (Publisher)
I'm not sure how long we'll be getting these slice of life TMNT issues but they have been interesting, to say the least. In my last review, I mentioned that if the series ended with issue #104 I would have been okay with it. The major enemies have been defeated. The death of splinter split the turtles but since then we've seen their familial bond reestablished seemingly stronger than ever.
With the lull in the action, we have also been afforded the opportunity to see deemphasis on the "Ninja" side of the characters and a renewed focus on the "Teenage" aspects. It's a breath of fresh air to see the characters not moving from conflict to conflict in every issue. Every time I think I'm over the current status quo Sophie Campbell gives us another issue full of character and setting development.
At the conclusion of #104, we saw the team go to a concert and be amongst other mutants. In this issue, we see the concert and actually get some insight into their personalities in a completely neutral situation. Leo hangs back enjoying the vibe and seeing his brothers happy. Mike and Jennika are into the performance. Raph, a hip-hop head leaves with Alopex and shares a romantic moment. Donatello struggles to fit into the crowd and seemingly finds a kindred spirit in Mona Lisa. Worth mentioning all of these moments are captured in an opening montage without dialogue. Not many writers in 2020 could pull this off and I'm not being hyperbolic.
The book has minimal conflict or action by design. There is a scene in which two of the villains decide to hold off on an attack out of respect for the obvious love and rapport between our heroes. It's a little corny but it works in the context of the issue. I love all of this stuff but I can see segments of the TMNT fanbase starting to get antsy.
We get a cliffhanger teasing a move to more traditional super-heroics and sci-fi at the end. I welcome the shift but I would like to see more focus on the turtles when they aren't saving the world. It's really cool that Sophie was able to let the characters breathe and I think a second title focusing on the lives of the Turtles outside of conflict may be a good idea down the line.