Sophie Campbell has always been pushing the mold forward in her TMNT run. This is the most melancholic turn I have witnessed for the Turtles, or really in any long-running series. But what’s surprising is that the stakes are genuinely felt — despite death being a player for the IDW series, TMNT‘s tackling of the subject pushes into a unique sense of storytelling. Rather than focus on the melancholy, it uses death to enlighten the new. Rather than sideline our characters, Campbell uses three different plots this issue to consistently reinforce the predicament the world is in after Splinter’s death.
Campbell’s artwork allows for a bold clarity and style of detail that brings the Mutanttown world-weary life amongst the new transmutations that have been brought upon it. However, there is always some villainy lurking within this series. There is always this constant mess of changes around these newfound powers of Jenny — there is always constant flux. One of the better ones has been an addition to the character of Hob, who has managed to influence a new plot for the TMNT characters of Mutanimals. More so, it’s an interesting development seeing these moments where the three Turtles in Northampton are wallowing in their remorse.
Another new advantage has been the task of layering onto the series with these newer developments. My personal highlight of this series was the fearful weasels. It’s an interesting premise to be reading now as a TMNT fan. One that isn’t always at its most effective when it finds the heart of these characters. While there are always disparate moments of TMNT, Campbell reminds us of the pursuit of persistence. Even though we feel alone at times, we need each other. Finding each other, and being with each other is our most important aspiration in this life. Even if we don’t know it, we all affect each other in these small, minuscule ways.
An astonishing aspect of the TMNT series, heightened especially through Campbell’s magnificent art, are these fantastic moments of using the art to convey the story. In a myriad of monthly books, it’s easy to forget about these characters and rely on dialogue to convey a story. But Campbell manages to enhance the TMNT story through always having these fantastic expressions within anthropomorphized characters. In every panel, I have felt what I’m seeing.