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Review – TMNT #98 (IDW Publishing)

TMNT #98
Overall
8.7/10
8.7/10
  • Writing - 8.6/10
    8.6/10
  • Art - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Overall - 8.7/10
    8.7/10
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Summary

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: September 25, 2019

Everything that could go wrong for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their friends has; what else could happen? Well, the answer to that is: a lot! A lot can happen in this shocking issue!

 

It All Changes in TMNT #98

“City at War” hits its boiling point in TMNT #98. Election night is here and Baxter Stockman makes his final bid for Mayor of New York City. April O’Neil, who has been running his campaign and secretly spying on him, wants to know what the secret meeting with Null and his bidding with the EPF are all about. Speaking of the EPF, Agent Bishop has some new frightening weapons to debut! Plus Harold and Libby are still trapped by Metalhead. Karai has overtaken the Foot Clan, capturing Master Splinter. If that wasn’t enough for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to deal with, the Mutanimals have decided to go on the offensive and their attack will change the landscape of IDW’s TMNT forever! Like, seriously forever…you are not going to want to miss this issue!

Writing

TMNT #98 (IDW Publishing) cover A by Dave Wachter
TMNT #98 (IDW Publishing) cover A by Dave Wachter

TMNT #98, much like the previous issue, is a great issue where the writing team does an incredible job of juggling a ton of different plotlines and slowly starting to bring them all together. I mean, there are a lot of thing happening, more than what I mentioned in that small breakdown. Inside all of these big stories, there are smaller stories happening. Like what will happen between Casey Jones and Jennika now that his girlfriend has changed into a mutant turtle? Are all the Mutanimals still on board with old Hob? Plus a ton more. There is just all this stuff going on and the writing team has done a fantastic job for the past two issues in reining it all in.

This issue felt long but in that good way. TMNT #98 really pushed this story arc towards its climax. The writing team—Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz—paces the issue extremely well. It puts everything in motion for not only things to happen in future story arcs, but to also bring this “City at War” story arc to its crescendo. They also do a good job of jumping from one plot point to another. It feels like a good television episode. It cuts off at the right point to jump onto another storyline and then brings us back at the right time.

Some crazy things happen; I know it is an old comic book trope to say this “issue changes everything”, but this issue literally changes everything. The team on IDW’s TMNT line has always made what happens in past stories and issues have lasting effects since issue #1, and the actions in TMNT #98 are going to have some crazy repercussions going forward.

Art

TMNT #98 is Michael Dialynas‘s last issue for a while on TMNT. I am going to miss him! He does fantastic cartooning and facial expressions. I have said this before, but he does the best facial expressions on Splinter out of anybody. It breaks my heart every time Dialynas depicts the big rat sad. I don’t understand how he gets so much emotion out of that character, but he does. 

I also just love his general design aesthetic for the characters as well. Every artist that draws the TMNT characters has their little twists and quirks to how they think they should look and my aesthetic lines up pretty heavily with the way Dialynas draws them. He has that good mix of realistic yet cartoony. It feels like he mixed the live-action ’90s movies with the cartoon versions with his own twist. He does fantastic action sequences as well. It has a good “energy” on the pages that I love to see. He has an excellent two-page spread toward the end of this issue that really caps off the dramatic sequence.

It is nothing new to have artists come and go in IDW’s TMNT series, and it is not a big worry, as we always have the trusty Ronda Pattison holding down the fort on colors. I really like the brighter shades she uses for Dialynas’s work. It has this nice “warming” effect to the book and characters and it just pops off the pages.

Conclusion

There is not a lot of “action”, per se, in TMNT #98 but the story sure does pack a punch. TMNT fans will be shocked by the events in this issue. It is not just one thing, either; there are many astonishing revelations from beginning to end that will have readers glued to this story. Long-time TMNT fans will be clamoring with ideas of what one thing, in particular, could mean for future story arcs and characters. Again, this issue changes everything and you don’t want to miss it!


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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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