Review – TMNT #96 (IDW Publishing)

TMNT #96
  • Writing - 7/10
  • Art - 8.8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
User Review
8.3/10 (2 votes)


Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, & Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: July 31, 2019

City at War is reaching its peak as Karai looks to take back the Foot Clan by Force, as Splinter makes countermeasure! Oh, and Jennika has been mutated into a Turtle!


The Fifth Turtle – TMNT #96

Well, a big thing happened in TMNT #95. As the Turtles continued to rush to save Jennika’s life they had to resort to desperate measures. With the help of Lindsey bringing some Mutagen, the team decides to try what they did to save April’s dad and inject Mutagen into Jenny’s body. All is going well until Agent Bishop and Metalhead attack, destroying the Mutagen. On the run, their last hope is a blood transfusion from Leonardo…which saves Jennika’s life, but also transforms her into a Mutant Turtle! Now Jennika must come to terms with her new form while Karai looks to take the Foot Clan by force in TMNT #96. Plus Agent Bishop and Metalhead are still hunting the Turtles, Raph is bunked up with the Mutanimals, and what is Null meeting with Baxter Stockman for?


TMNT #96(IDW Publishing)cover art by Dave Wachter
TMNT #96 (IDW Publishing) cover art by Dave Wachter

There is a lot going on in TMNT #96. And I mean a lot of things happening. It is almost too much, between the whole Foot Clan saga between Splinter and Karai, to Agent Bishop and Metalhead’s vendetta against the Turtles. Then we have Raphael going off with Old Hob and the Mutanimals, distancing himself from his brothers once again; also the meeting between Null and Baxter Stockman and his bid for Mayor. That is not even mentioning the huge news of Jennika being turned into a Mutant Ninja Turtle.

TMNT #96, while serves its purpose of continuing to build up this City at War storyline to epic proportions, is also the first issue I was kind of like not very excited after putting it down. I mean, I like what they are setting up and it helps build the storyline. But at the end of the issue, after closing the book it was more of a “relief” than excitement to see what comes next. There wasn’t that jolt of “oh man I can’t wait until the next issue”. It was more of “I am glad that’s out of the way”. I hope the next issue gets back into form.


I am, though, very excited to see Michael Dialynas back on art for TMNT #96. This series has always had a wonderful rotation of artists and Dialynas is one of my favorites. He has a delightful cartooning style with tremendous facial expressions and acting. Dialynas also shows off a great sense of motion throughout the pages as well. Everything feels like it has a movement or flow to it. He also adds some great background details.

Ronda Pattison adds some nice brighter colorations to Dialynas’s work. Where the past few issues have been a little darker with Dave Wachter on art, Pattison does a great job, once again, of matching the rotation of artists. There is a great little interview with her in the back of this issue where she talks about her style and the rotation of artists on IDW’s TMNT series.


TMNT #96 was a little bit of a letdown, storywise. It feels like there is just a bit too much going on with this City at War story arc, now, with Jennika being turned into a Turtle. It is a huge development that is kind of lost in the shuffle with everything else going on. I do like what we are building up to, but it may be just too much. The issue just felt a little jumbled trying to mix everything in, building up to issue #100. The art was fantastic, though, and it is always great to have Michael Dialynas on the series.

I have faith that the writing team will have everything back in order. This series has always been consistently good, despite a few stumbles here and there. So, while this issue may have been a bit of a miss for me, I am still invested in these characters and storyline.

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