Review – TMNT #97 (IDW Publishing)

TMNT #97 (IDW Publishing) cover B (detail) by Kevin Eastman
TMNT #97
  • Writing - 8.6/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
  • Overall - 8.6/10
User Review
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Writers: Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, & Bobby Curnow
Script: Tom Waltz
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: Agust 28, 2019

The Turtles struggle to make it back to help their father, while the EPF have captured Harold and Libby. Jennika struggles with her transformation and Karai is ready for an all-out attack!


“All Monsters Attack” TMNT #97

Chaos ensues in TMNT #97 as Karai makes her assault on Splinter and the Foot Clan. Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, Karai’s forces keep the Turtles and friends at bay. The EPF and Metalhead have captured Harold and Libby, and the Mutanimals are off attacking Null. With all this going on plus Baxter Stockman running for mayor, the Turtles are in real trouble. Plus Jennika settles into her new Turtle form after Leo’s blood transfusion. City at War is heating up!


TMNT #97 (IDW Publishing) cover A by Dave Wachter
TMNT #97 (IDW Publishing) cover A by Dave Wachter

After being a little let down by the story in the previous issue TMNT #97 feels like it picks back up to the epic proportions it needs to be. The writing seems to be a little more focused than the previous issue. We mainly focus on Karai’s assault on the Foot Clan. The last issue jumped around a lot between various plot points, which made it really hard to stay gripped on or feel really involved. This issue lets the reader really dive into the conflict of Karai and wanting to take over the Foot Clan and what effect the Kira no Ken sword is having on her.

The writing team touches on other plot points, but the laser focus on this aspect really helped the issue. We still get some great information about the EPF and Agent Bishop’s plan and some insight on Jennika, but for such a large story and so much happening it helps that this issue “grounded” itself in Karai’s conflict with the Foot Clan. 

I am very interested in how the team is going to pull all of these different story points together for the looming issue #100. With the Mutanimals attacking Null, Harold and Libby in the hands of Metalhead and Agent Bishop, and Baxter Stockman running for Mayor with April managing his campaign, there is a lot going on in the Turtles’ world. Plus you got the family strife between the Turtles themselves with Raph running off again, plus the continuing conflict with their father leading the Foot. Then Jennika being transformed into a Turtle and what that means for her boyfriend Casey Jones? That’s quite a few plot lines to pull together.


I am always a fan of Michael Dialynas on IDW’s TMNT. It is good to see him on these issues (#98 will be his last). I love the way he depicts the Turtles: he catches that nice in-between of being cartoony yet a little realistic that fits perfectly for this series. He captures Metalhead’s form sublimely well. He captures the squareness of the robotic Turtle perfectly well while making it look menacing just standing. 

Dialynas’s dynamic style is in full force in TMNT #97 there are some fantastic action set pieces throughout the issues. He gets to do a lot of “ninja” action throughout, and it was wonderful to look at. There is a glorious panel of the four Turtle brothers jumping into action that I would love to have framed on my wall!

He does some splendid character acting throughout the issue. The reactions and looks on the characters’ faces are always perfect. Dialynas always does a superb job of catching different emotions of characters with his art. 

Ronda Pattison continues to be dynamite on coloring. I still love to see her adapt to the different artists and styles brought into this series and how she changes but keeps it consistent at the same time.


TMNT #97 made this storyline exciting again. Not that the last issue was bad; it did what it had to do to get different story plots going. But the focus on Karai and the Foot Clan helped get the City at War storyline back on its electrifying track leading up to the monumental issue #100. This issue has gotten me very excited to see what happens next. Plus the solicit for issue #98 is very intriguing!

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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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