Survival of the Fittest in TMNT #83
After a not-so-epic battle with the Toad Baron’s minions (it turns out banana nunchucks are not a formidable weapon) the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles travel to Siberia to confront Manmoth. The brothers are hoping the Rat King’s hulking brother may have some idea of why he has come to New York City and how to defeat him. Talking is not one of Manmoth’s strong suits, but fighting and surviving are. As the cold Siberian wind howls and the snow falls the Turtles must earn the respect of Manmoth to get the answers they need. Back home, April confronts Baxter Stockman about his recent meeting with Agent Bishop. April also has her own plans to deal with the rat infestation in TMNT #83!
The main plot of this story still kind of eludes me. Even after TMNT #83, I am not exactly sure what the Rat King wants to do. I guess just murder a bunch of kids? I am not really sure about what he is up to. While I did like the confrontation between the Turtles and Manmoth, it feels like the writing team is just giving the Turtles something to do while they set up bigger things in the background.
The subplots in TMNT #83 are far more interesting than the main story. April working with Stockman in TRCI labs is very interesting. She plays well with Stockman and brings up some interesting points in this issue about her involvement. I am also enjoying the plot of Casey and his father joining back up in leading The Purple Dragons. That cannot turn out good. I am also wondering what the Turtles think about Casey working with their father and the Foot Clan. The whole Foot Clan and Splinter leading them is a super interesting narrative and some nice key points about how that story may continue to develop are brought up in TMNT #83.
Dave Wachter can draw Manmoth all day every day! My gosh, he looks incredible. Wachter catches his massive size superbly well and coupled with the snow-covered Siberian terrain the scenes between the Turtles and Manmoth look incredible. Most impressive is how Wachter uses Manmoth’s eyes and body language to depict his emotions. You cannot see his face with his big tusk and trunk. He does a great job of catching little changes in body positioning to switch the character’s emotions or little changes with the eyes to show a change from anger to joy. However, I am not the biggest fan of how Wachter draws the human characters in TMNT #83. They just do not seem as expressive as their anthropomorphic counterparts.
I love Ronda Pattison’s coloring of Wachter’s pencils and inks; she gives this wonderful almost painted feeling to his artwork. She brings those wonderful snowy Siberian backgrounds to life. The white snow plays well off the green Turtles in a very unfamiliar and unforgiving environment.
The main story arc with the Rat King that is continuing in TMNT #83 is honestly not the most intriguing story. While parts of it are interesting and fun, it still feels like the Turtles are just treading some water while bigger things are set up in the “B and C storylines.” I still have no clue what the actual plan of the Rat King is. Dave Wachter continues to be a great match for these Pantheon “god” characters as he catches their intricacies well. TMNT #83 does promise some big things to come and develop out of this issue so it has me excited to see what comes out of it.
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