- Writer: Paul Allor (Main story) Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz (Backup)
- Artist: Damian Couceiro (Main Story) Kevin Eatman (Backup layouts), Bill Sienkiewicz (Backup artist)
- Colorist: Ronda Pattison (Main story), Tomi Varga (backup story)
- Publisher: IDW Comics
- Release Date: November 30, 2016
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) Universe #4 is the final issue in the first arc of this “spin-off” series from the main IDW TMNT ongoing comic series. The turtles are trapped inside Baxter Stockman’s building by the Earth Protection Force. They have been forced to team up with Stockman and a murderous assassin scorpion mutant Zodi (sent from the Evil Null group to steal Stockman’s tech). The Earth Protection Force is finally launching a full out assault on the building to kill all the mutants inside. Can April O’Neil broker a deal and save the turtles in time. And I still have no idea what is happening with the backup story and Leonardo’s “fever dream”.
Paul Allor writes a killer story and has made this first arc a wonderful read. He is a fantastic writer that can build a unique story and does great character work. Keeping the story plot of having the turtles trapped in Stockman’s building for all four issues was a great way for Allor to really dig into these characters and really give them some good moments and build upon what has already been done in the ongoing series.
I am just going to guess that Allor’s favorite turtle is Raphael (like me!) because he writes him so well and really did some great things with him on this series. He also does some great work with the ever lovable Michelangelo, really showing his optimism in contrast to Raph’s anger and immediate judgment. To be spoiler free, I am very interested in the deal that April had to make and her relationship with Stockman. I hope that these plot lines as well as the Earth Protection Force and detective Lewis are all followed up on later in this series or on the main TMNT ongoing book! Allor really just does an all around great job with all of the characters and really is just a fantastic writer, I hate that he will not be continuing to write this series after this issue. One complaint would be that the final issue felt a little bit rushed to wrap up this arc and to start a new story line with issue #5. Again I could do without the backup story, I really don’t care what is happening with Leonardo. Either give me a better backup story, let those pages go to the main story or leave those pages out all together.
The art team of Damian Couceiro and Ronda Pattison on the main story are also going to be sorely missed after this issue. I love Couceiro’s facial expressions and he as an inept skill to catch characters emotions with their expressions and body language. His style fits Paul Allor’s writing perfectly and really makes the action scenes and emotional beats hit home. Pattison on colors still amazes me, she just adapts to whatever artist she is working with wonderfully. The art team really uses shadows to their benefit in this issue adding some extra emotion to scenes. I really like this art team and hope they show back up later in the series.
The backup story art is still one of the best thing going for TMNT Universe #4. It interesting look at and it definitely has a dynamic style that is eye catching. It is kind of still jarring to go from Damian Couceiro’s art style to Bill Sienkiewicz’s style and again I could probably at the end of the day do without it. It’s really not worth adding an extra dollar to this book.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #4 Conclusion:
Overall the main story was very good, we got some new characters added to the TMNT mythos and some great character work. Allor gave the reader a great start to the TMNT Universe series and set it up to be a fun addition to the ongoing a series. The back up story still boggles me and has started to drag the book down with the $4.99 price tag for those extra pages. With the start of issue #5 it seems we are going to get a new short story arc and a new writing/art team as Old Hob tries to recruit Leatherhead to the Mutanimals!
To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.
Check out other comic book news, previews and reviews here!