Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #99 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Artwork: David Wachter
Colours: Ronda Pattison
Lettering: Shawn Lee
Release Date: 30th October 2019

So here we are, perched on the edge of the milestone 100th issue of IDW’s ongoing TMNT series.  To this point, the “City at War” arc has been impressive in both its scope and its ambition, and while some parts have definitely worked a little better than others, the whole thing has certainly felt “epic” enough to justify the impending landmark.

This oversized issue has the challenging task of trying to bring all the different plot threads from the last few years together into a single story leading into issue 100, and does a commendable job of doing just that. In fact, Tom Waltz probably deserves some sort of medal for keeping all these interesting storyline plates spinning in the background for so long, giving each one just enough attention along the way to keep it aloft, before folding them all into the ongoing narrative here.

Ongoing rivalries, tensions, complex relationships – everything comes together beautifully here in the form of one massive showdown. We even get some extra pieces being added to the board at this late hour in the form of everyone’s favourite Warthog/Rhinoceros double-act.  Because this situation wasn’t crazy and unpredictable enough already, am I right?

Dave Wachter is back on art duties here, which is no bad thing, but I can’t help but think that I’d have preferred to see Michael Dialynas bring this arc to a head, particularly given how strong his art has been in the preceding few issues. That said, nobody draws Rat King quite like Wachter, and the scene between he and Splinter is one of the real highlights of the issue, mainly due to the striking and detailed linework.

With the added page count (40 in all), the different threads of the story are given a lot more time to breathe than usual, with impressive effect. And while I’m still not entirely sold on Hob’s bout of bio-terrorism, some of the other scenes – including Donatello confronting Metalhead and the aforementioned Splinter/Rat King prison exchange – are far more impactful as a result of the extra space provided.

It’s all executed with a real confidence, and no small measure of the usual IDW TMNT flair, but the real flourish is saved for the final pages in the form of an amazing (if slightly telegraphed) reveal that gave me genuine goosebumps.  It probably makes sense given the events of certain other TMNT titles, but man am I excited to see how this one plays out.

This is a monumental storyline in every sense of the word, and next month can’t come quickly enough for me.

Rating: 4/5.


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