Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #98 Review - Mutant Terrorist's in a Half-Shell
• IDW (Publisher) • Recommend (Yes)
TMNT #98 sets the table for issue #99 and issue #100, the concluding chapter of the City at War Story Arc. The book isn't quite as exciting as prior issues but avoids being labeled inconsequential. Stuff definitely does happen in this book and we catch up with key players on all sides of the conflict.
Hun has formed an alliance with Agent Bishop and the Earth Protection Force. It's also revealed that Bishop has made multiple clones of Slash and that he and Hun will be the piloting them. Jennika officially becomes a member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Her mask is yellow and her weapons will primarily be a set of claws, sword, and a bow. We also see Karai's intended fate for Splinter.
The issue contains an excellent callback to the 80s-90s animated series. For those that are not familiar with the show. At one point in the series Michelangelo's primary weapon, the Nunchucku was swapped out for a grappling hook. This was because the weapon was banned in certain markets.
In the comic Mikey chastizes Jennika for breaking tradition by having more than one weapon. Leo has his katana. Donatello has his staff and Raph has his Sai's. Unexpectedly, Raphael calls out Mike for the grappling hook he's always carrying around in his pocket.
To my knowledge, we haven't seen Mikey use the grappling hook in the series. This means that the callback was entirely fan-service for those that remembered the weapon from the animated series. I got a legit chuckle from this scene, and it just further established the credibility of this creative team. I totally forgot that Mikey's weapons had been swapped and it instantly came back to me when it was mentioned here.
Aside from those moments, the book isn't quite as exciting as the rest of the arc. There is one exception, the ending of the issue is incredible.
I'm not sure if this is a huge spoiler based on the solicits and the obvious direction of the storyline but Baxter Stockman becomes Mayor of New York City. As Stockman proceeds to deliver his victory speech all hell breaks loose. Old Hob accompanied by Raphael and the rest of the Mutanimals basically launch a terrorist attack that is captured live on television.
I won't give specific details to avoid totally ruining the book but the situation further complicates matters for all parties involved.
*Raphael is now associated with a terrorist group.
*Stockman will have to take a stand against the mutants including the TMNT's
*April who works as a liaison between Stockman and the turtles is now in a truly ugly situation.
*Agent Bishop and the Earth Protection Force (Redacted).
The conclusion of the issue ties all of the preceding threads together and makes for a pretty mindblowing cliffhanger. It will be very interesting to see just how the turtles manage to pull Raph out of this mess.
I also would like to mention just how awesome Dave Wachter's cover is. Old Hob Features prominently demanding your attention. The turtles aren't really represented on the cover aside from Raph playing background here instead of with his brothers. The cover makes a bold statement about Raphael's potential loyalties. Hopefully, it doesn't come back to bite our heroes in the ass.