Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #65 (IDW Publishing)

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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Artwork: Mateus Santolouco, Ronda Pattison
Release Date: 15th December, 2016

With tensions at a fever pitch in IDW’s ongoing TMNT series, it’s nice to be able take a step away from the conflict and drama for a moment and focus on some of the more important things in life. Namely, throwing a kick-ass Christmas party!

Okay okay, so this is a “Christmas Special” in its purest form – a holiday themed get-together where a large number of familiar supporting characters join our four brothers for a Christmas party, with all manner of hilarity ensuing. And, while there are brief nods to existing storylines, this is very much a stand-alone Christmas jaunt, and as such feels a tad superfluous, at least from a continuity point of view That said, it’s definitely a lot of fun, and provides a much-needed injection of brevity into what has become a fairly tense and intense series.  Plus, it’s almost Christmaaaaaas!

Full disclosure: if you’re a fan of the Mutanimals, then this issue is likely to appeal to you a great deal. Personally, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not really a fan of the goofy, overly cartoony band of misfits, and their presence here – while undoubtedly festive – doesn’t really do much for me. The interactions between Casey and April, and Woody The Pizza Guy’s clumsy attempts to hit on Angel, are far more enjoyable, and while it’s all suitably light and fluffy, the epilogue does provide a little of the emotional heft the series has become known for.

Visually, it’s thrilling to have Mateus Santolouco back on art duties, and while the frantic action scenes he’s famed for (thankfully) don’t manifest themselves here, Mateus is given ample opportunity to pack his panels with lively and expressive characters, and does so with his trademark brand of cartoony detail. Ronda Pattison also does a cracking job keeping everything suitably colourful and energetic, and the book is packed with neat little visual gags along the way, particularly during the crowded party scenes.

Ultimately, this is an unapologetically silly and incredibly superficial festive romp, and should be viewed accordingly. It’s entirely skippable if you’re of the “bah humbug” persuasion, but is well worth a look if you’re not.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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