Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: IDW 20/20 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Paul Allor
Artwork: Nelson Daniel
Letters: Shawn Lee
Release Date: 16th January 2019

The first of IDW’s 20th Anniversary “20/20” one-shots are set to hit shelves this week, and as something of a Turtle fan, I obviously found myself drawn to the TMNT release. Written by Paul Allor and featuring the artwork of Nelson Daniel, the story jumps 20 years into the future as our now fully-grown brothers (AMNT?) try to turn the tide of what appears to be a fairly successful Utrom invasion of Earth.

Allor handles the exposition deftly, framing things by having the Turtles speaking to the camera, telling the story of the world’s downfall and detailing their mission to Florence to take down what they believe to be a brand new Technodrome.

There are some neat touches and developments within the ranks of Clan Hamato, with Leonardo becoming fairly withdrawn and distant, frequently retreating into the Astral Realm and forcing Mikey to step up into a de facto leadership role. For me though, perhaps the highlight of the entire issue is getting to see the now fully-grown Pepperoni kicking some major ass. I’m easily pleased, as you can see.

The battle itself is tense and enjoyable, even if Leonardo’s new found abilities seem to diminish a significant amount of the threat. Daniel does a great job on the visual side of things, with a slick, cartoony style that helps to capture the energy and excitement of the showdown. There’s an economy of detail that doesn’t impact the flow of the story in the slightest, and some of the large-scale beats are delivered with a real flair.

After a satisfying skirmish, the creators deliver a sting in the tail that definitely hit me out of leftfield, but which fits perfectly in the overall tone of the story. I’m not going to spoil things, but it’s a fun conceit which breathes more life into the world this one-shot inhabits, leaving me more than a little interested about the possibility of seeing this particular continuity fleshed out even more somewhere down the line.

As much as I love IDW’s ongoing TMNT series, I’ll fully admit that I picked this one up with a healthy dose of scepticism. I’m never really a fan of these kind of gimmicks, and was concerned about the creators’ abilities to tell a compelling story in just one issue. Well, as it turned out, I needn’t have worried. Allor and Daniel work together incredibly well to deliver an immensely satisfying snapshot of an alternate future, letting us know that however bad things may get, Clan Hamato will always be there to battle for the forces of evil. And I think that’s something we can all get on board with.

Rating: 4/5.


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