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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Alpha #1
IDW Publishing

Comic Books

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Alpha’ #1 lays the groundwork for the next era of TMNT

One thing’s for sure: IDW is set on making sure there’s a Turtles book for everyone.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles celebrate their 40th anniversary this year, and IDW Publishing is making the most of it. This year featured a Free Comic Book Day special centered on the mysterious new Nightwatcher, there’s been a sequel to the highly-celebrated The Last Ronin and even an anthology with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Black, White & Green. That’s a lot of Turtle power, and we aren’t even halfway through 2024!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Alpha #1 continues this trend with two stories that are meant to set up the future of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics line at IDW. The first story, “Long Way From Home”, is written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Chris Burnham, and colored by Brian Reber. Taking place after the events of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #150, “Long Way From Home” finds Donatello locked up in a safari in the Deep South, where he and other mutated animals are forced to fight for their lives. “Mutant Island” is written by Tom Waltz, illustrated by Gavin Smith and colored by Ronda Pattinson.

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“Long Way From Home” mostly serves as a taste for what Aaron has in store for the upcoming TMNT relaunch and it’s very promising. His script feels very in line with the original TMNT comics from Mirage Studios: the dialogue is sparse, the action hitting with the speed of a cheetah and the weight of a freight train. Burnham also has a great sense of what makes a TMNT story, as he draws Donnie moving with suprising speed and strength to not only turn a mop into a makeshift bo staff, but to give the guards of the Safari a decent fight; Reber’s darker palettes keep Donnie shrouded in shadows until his grand entrance. My only issue is that I wish the story was a little longer, but the creative team will no doubt get to really cut loose in their Donnie-focused issue of the upcoming TMNT relaunch.

“Monster Island” is a story centering on the Turtles’ foe-turned-reluctant-ally Old Hob and his Mutanimals, as they make a new home on North Brother Island. But Hob’s new peace is threatened by a mysterious creature, forcing him to rely on the humanity he’s hated and distrusted for help. It’s a great setup for an ongoing series, helped immensely by the fact that Waltz – who helped shaped IDW’s version of the Turtles since inception – is along for the ride. He sets up plenty of compelling dynamics, including the uneasy partnership between Hob and Wesley Knight to the friendship between newly-minted Ninja Turtle Jennika and Angel Bridge. Smith’s artwork makes each and every one of the Mutanimals feel distinct; Hob’s fur is short and bristly, and his friend Hermit the Hermit Crab has a red shell that stands out from the various pieces of artillery he’s strapped to himself. Pattinson’s color art features an ever-present hue of forest green, hinting at both the ties to the larger TMNT franchise and the greenery surrounding Mutant Island.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Alpha #1 sets the stage for the next wave of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stories, while continuing to build on the foundation of the previous series. One thing’s for sure: IDW is set on making sure there’s a Turtles book for everyone.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Alpha #1
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Alpha’ #1 lays the groundwork for the next era of TMNT
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Alpha #1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Alpha #1 sets the stage for the next wave of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stories, while continuing to build on the foundation of the previous series. One thing's for sure: IDW is set on making sure there's a Turtles book for everyone.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8
Jason Aaron and Chris Burnham craft a great Donatello story in "Long Way From Home."
Tom Waltz and Gavin Smith explore other corners of the TMNT-verse with "Monster Island."
Builds on the foundation of the previous TMNT series.
IDW is determined to explore every aspect of the TMNT's world with a variety of books.
I wish "Long Way From Home" was a little longer.
8.5
Great
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