Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #106 Review - It: Chapter Three but with Mutants
With TMNT #106 we're firmly into the new status quo for the series. We're in a post-war setting and focusing on the lives and tribulations of our heroes and their allies. I'm not sure if I'm totally on board with this direction and feel like a lot of this material could be shifted to a second title but I'll give it a chance and see what develops.
This comic picks up with the turtles adjusting to their new roles as teachers and protectors of the community. The focus of the issue is Leonardo and Lita. Children are being abducted in Mutant Town. Lita brings word of a sea-monster to Leonardo. She informs the Sensai that the creature is The Slithery, a creature that abducts and eats children.
Leonardo blows this off as a tall tale. The other kids call her a baby for believing fairy tales. The situation comes to a head when Lita makes a mistake and hits one of the other students. Leo lashes out at her for not paying attention and being distracted by boogie man stories. This causes Lita to run away. Things get even direr when our heroes go looking for Lita and evidence mounts suggesting that the Slithery is real and kidnapping the children.
TMNT #106 has a great premise that could be great but is let down by the art and tone of the story. The idea of a monster abducting and potentially killing children is pretty horrifying. Stephen King made a franchise out of it. This script doesn't really get that point across though.
The turtles, especially Leonardo don't take the situation seriously until it becomes blatantly obvious that kids are really being kidnapped. Even worst he discovers the evidence of "missing children" while just walking around the neighborhood. It's like Leo, you haven't gone outside before today?
The second major problem with the comic is the art. I really don't like dumping on artists but this issue looks rough and is surprisingly bad. I did a quick google search for Nelson Daniel who is the artist for this issue. His work is typically pretty good. He was also the artist for the TMNT 2020 special I reviewed last year. My impression from reading this issue is that he's being rushed or got the assignment on short notice and needed to meet a deadline.
I'm not over the moon with this storyline and the art doesn't help things. Hopefully, a new wrinkle is introduced to the scenario that makes the arc worth reading. Honestly, this is the most meh I've felt about TMNT since I started reading the series.