Reviews

Review – TMNT Universe #21 (IDW Publishing)

It’s Sabotage in TMNT Universe #21

TMNT Universe #21 picks up were the ongoing TMNT #80 left off with the Triceraton Invasion storyline. To solve the problem of the Trcieraton invasion of Earth the Turtles brokered a deal with the Utroms living on Burnow Island. The Utroms would allow the Triceratons to live with them on the island since they were the only two species that could survive there. This worked in the short term to get the Triceratons out of New York City and away from the Earth Protection Force. The problem in TMNT Universe #21 is how are these two groups going to live together peacefully? The Triceratons once were the Utroms slaves and after rebelling against them have fought many wars against the Utrom Empire. Now, these two groups have to occupy a small island together and not everyone is seeing eye to eye!

Writing

Man oh man, there is a lot of political stuff going on in TMNT Universe #21. You have got all kinds of things happening. Brokering peace treaties, dividing up land, figuring out food supplies and all kinds of political sabotage. The whole issue is basically about the Utroms and Triceratons brokering a deal to try and live together peacefully. Look, I know that does not sound exciting or anything, but when you have a talent like Paul Allor on TMNT Universe #21 it is excellent!

TMNT Universe #21 (CA) Mark Torres
TMNT Universe #21 (CA) Mark Torres

Allor does an incredible job throughout TMNT Universe #21 building up different plot angles.  Seeing how each different group works was fascinating. I loved that we got to see both sides and the reasoning behind most of the actions. Allor does an incredible job of making all the negotiations between the two groups exciting and a good piece of storytelling by having Donatello narrate it in the past tense.

The backup story, by Caleb Goellner, is the perfect “dessert” to follow up the intense main story in TMNT Universe #21. It is a fun short story entitled “How Woody Spent His Triceraton Invasion”. It is nice to hear from the Turtles buddy/pizza delivery boy.  The story is a nice little romp.

Art

Mark Torres handles the art duties for the main story in TMNT Universe #21. Torres has a great detailed style that fits well with this story. There are a lot of Utroms and Triceratons in this issue and if the artist is not careful the characters can be hard to tell apart (especially the brain looking Utroms). Torres does not have this problem as he gives each character unique features and details that make everyone easily distinguishable. I love all the details he puts into the Triceratons faces. The lines and cracks give them that perfect war-torn “harden” look. Ronda Pattison once again does an incredible job on colors in the main story. She is basically on every TMNT book and always does a fantastic job.  Truly one of the best colorists in comics.

Pablo Tunica brings his wacky exaggerated style to the backup story. He brings out the zany fun in Woody’s adventure. It is a great piece of cartooning and Tunica makes the story a delight to read. Patricio Delpeche’s colors fit perfectly well with Tunica’s pencils and inks and give the story a little “pop” to it. Delpeche colors pizza extremely well.  That thing looked good enough to eat!

Conclusion

The main story was some fantastic storytelling by Paul Allor. He made the political negotiations between the Utroms and Triceratons very engaging and dramatic. Mark Torres and Ronda Pattison delivered some wonderfully detailed art as well. The backup story was the perfect complement to the dramatic main story, as Woody got the spotlight to deliver some pizzas! TMNT Universe #21 is a well-done comic that fills in the gaps from the main ongoing TMNT series and is just a delight to read!


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30