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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #57 Review

Comic Books

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #57 Review

Last month’s glorious introduction of Leatherhead also featured the beginning of a gruesome murder mystery. This week, the Turtles and their awesome new pal start hunting for who killed all those poor defenseless Utroms.

Is it good?

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #57 (IDW Publishing)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #57 Review

Observations

  • Maybe it’s just me, but sad Utroms are kind of adorable.
  • I want to hate the Utroms for being testy toward the Turtles, but repeated close ups of their dead friends make their behavior understandable.
  • Uh oh…someone just said the K-word…
  • I really like this erudite version of Leatherhead, but he seems to miss some pretty important details.
  • Giant Mouser vs. Enraged Leatherhead. I’ll give you one guess who wins.
  • Poor Fugitoid 🙁
  • I was just starting to like these Utroms until one of them brought up THAT GUY.
  • Oh snap. The asthmatics from last issue have been revealed—and we know them!
  • …and maybe we don’t know as much we thought.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #57 Review
That’s one way to put it…

Is It Good?

First and foremost, it’s great to have IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series back on track. Until these last two issues, 2016 had been a pretty dismal year for what is normally one of my favorite titles.

Part of what made this issue such a strong story (besides a complete absence of the weird Rat King and Jennika subplots) was how it portrayed the Utroms. Their personalities were not predictably evil or monolithic. Some were sympathetic and kind while others were (understandably) angry and paranoid. Seeing Donnie interact so well with one of their more science-minded members was not only realistic, but also a lot of fun to read. The dialogue gets a little dense at times, but the layered dynamic it creates between the Turtles and the alien race is worth it.

And how freaking cool is Leatherhead? We all knew he was going to have a big fight scene at some point, but artist Mateus Santolouco still managed to blow me away with a gorgeously rendered (and well-paneled) introduction to the character’s ass kicking abilities.

The reveal near the end of the issue was cool as well, although the potential twist at the end felt a little forced. Still, I trust Tom Waltz to spin this into an interesting new story thread. And even if it plays out in the most obvious manner, he’s still given us a great setup going forward. In addition to Leatherhead’s intriguing (and potentially terrifying) presence, a fascinating intersection of trust, safety, and ethics is playing out between turtles and their extraterrestrial counterparts. Add in the prospect of even more Santolouco-drawn alligator action, and next month’s issue can’t get here fast enough.

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