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'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022' tells a story in every panel
IDW

Comic Books

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022’ tells a story in every panel

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022’ is a visual feast for casual fans and hardcore fans alike.

It’s safe to say that nearly anyone between the ages of 15 and 40 has some fond memories of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But have they enjoyed the IDW comics? Given how far the comics series have taken the properties it can feel difficult to get into them, but it’s times like this week that longtime fans can enjoy them no matter what. That’s because Juni Ba is taking on the characters in a special annual that stands alone.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022 is a fairly easy adventure to enjoy as it opens with our heroes living in a world where Master Splinter is no longer with them. Heavily focusing on Leonardo, Ba shows how much is on his shoulders as the leader and as a protector of his brothers. Through captions, we get the sense he’s isolating himself with worry and fear to avoid messing with his brother’s heads. That burden ends up being the cause for an attack that he and the other Ninja Turtles can’t win.

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While Ba explores the new but frail dynamic of the Ninja Turtles going it alone he also introduces a new mystical villain that’s quite cool. Like something out of an A24 movie, it’s big and looks like some kind of woodland creature. You’ll believe the Ninja Turtles can’t beat him unless they’re all working together.

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022' review

Raphael with the impatience.
Credit: IDW

And work together they do, at least later in the issue. Ba draws and colors a heck of an issue with a classic look and feel to the Ninja Turtles old-school comics fans will enjoy. The cover showing Leonardo with the red bandana is no lie, either, as Ba embraces all the Ninja Turtles with red bandanas as they work together to defeat the enemy. Ba’s style is highly expressive with a kinetic energy that’s hard to miss. Sound effects are integrated into the action, too, creating a 3D effect at times.

Ba also seems to have a good handle on each of the Ninja Turtles. It’s sometimes easy to make them indistinguishable save for their colored masks, but here you can tell each Ninja Turtle has a different personality.

Shawn Lee does a fantastic job lettering with a hand-drawn look and feel. Word balloons are placed well to keep the flow of a long conversation midway through moving at a good clip.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022 is very obviously a labor of love. Ba infuses every panel with good detail from the battle-damaged bandanas and bodies of these characters to the good and expressive action. Ba also mixes things up nicely using silhouettes of the Ninja Turtles in one scene as if they were the shadows themselves. Nearly every panel tells a story, which you can’t say about most comics!

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022' tells a story in every panel
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022’ tells a story in every panel
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022 is very obviously a labor of love. Ba infuses every panel with good detail from the battle-damaged bandanas and bodies of these characters to the good and expressive action. Ba also mixes things up nicely using silhouettes of the Ninja Turtles in one scene as if they were the shadows themselves. Nearly every panel tells a story, which you can't say about most comics!
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.6
Worth a look for the art and action alone
Good focus on the burden Leonardo has as the leader
Easily enjoyed by casual fans
A longish dialogue scene slows things down too much
8.5
Great
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