Review – TMNT 20/20 (IDW Publishing)

TMNT 20/20 (IDW Publishing) cover (detail) by Nelson Daniel
TMNT 20/20
  • Writing - 5/10
  • Art - 6/10
  • Overall - 5.5/10
User Review
5 (1 vote)


Writer: Paul Allor 
Artist: Nelson Daniel
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: January 16, 2019

The no-longer-Teenage but still-Mutant Ninja Turtles battle the Utroms 20 years in the future.


The Turtles Have Growing Pains in TMNT 20/20


IDW Publishing is celebrating their 20 year anniversary with a 20/20 event with some of their titles. Each story will be a one-shot story set either 20 years in the future or 20 years in the past. in TMNT 20/20 we are thrown twenty years into the future of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No longer teenagers, the Mutant Ninja Turtles continue to fight battles around the world. It seems a raging faction of the Utrom Empire has taken over and wants to terraform Europe. It is up to the Turtle brothers to stop them, but will they be able to?


TMNT 20/20 (IDW Publishing) cover by Nelson Daniel
TMNT 20/20 (IDW Publishing)
Cover by Nelson Daniel

Paul Allor gets to tackle the TMNT 20/20 one-shot story. Allor has written some good stuff for the IDW TMNT Universe over the years. He is a writer that nails the voice of the characters and writes some intriguing stories. I am a big fan of him being on the writing duties, and I am a big fan of one-shot stories in general. So I was really looking forward to TMNT 20/20, and I was surprised that I was left a little disappointed.

The story itself was not terrible. The setup of the Turtles having to stop the Utroms from taking over Europe was a nice start to a big epic event. Allor also, like always, had some great dialogue and caught the voices of the characters well. I liked some things he did that I can’t spoil here. The transformation of Leo was the most interesting part of the story.

I don’t think the framing of the story worked well. It is told from the Turtles already fighting this battle we are seeing in TMNT 20/20. It was just kind of boring, to be honest. This being set 20 years in the future, I wanted to see more of how the Turtles and everybody else changed in their lives. I don’t really care about this Utrom taking over Europe plot. That seemed a little too big to set up for this one issue. I mean basically this is an “elseworlds” type story; I would have liked to have spent more time on the Turtles and other characters and maybe a smaller mission than something on this big of a scale. 


Nelson Daniel serves as the artist on TMNT 20/20 and it suffers much like the story. The art is not bad; Nelson Daniels has a great style and I like the way he draws the Turtles. He has some fantastic lines and angles. He adds some good detail in the European cities and everything looks good. I was expecting him to play a little more with the Turtles’ designs, though.

Again, TMNT 20/20 being set 20 years in the future, I expected some changes in the Turtles. Basically, all we got was they look bigger; Leo got a hood and Donnie some weird shoulder pads. I was hoping Daniels would play a lot more with their designs. Different clothing, masks, weapons or other attire. Heck, if they have been fighting for over twenty years at least give them some scars or something!

The coloring is also a little bright for the story. It works in some parts, but I feel a little change-up to some darker colorations would have worked better in some scenes.


I feel bad for giving such a harsh review, but it feels like the idea of TMNT 20/20 had a lot of potential but was squandered on too big of an idea for the story. The story had some bright spots, as Allor always shines on the dialogue of the TMNT characters. The whole plot of the story and framing just fell flat for me. The art, while very solid art, just lacked imagination and storytelling. There was a lot that Daniels could have done with the characters’ design, but they for some reason they were kept exactly the same. TMNT 20/20 is not a terrible comic, but it is definitely doesn’t do anything that memorable either.

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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

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