Review – TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1 (IDW Publishing)

TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1 (IDW Publishing) cover B (detail) by Kevin Eastman
TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1
  • Writing - 8/10
  • Art - 9.8/10
  • Overall - 9/10
User Review
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Writer: Mateus Santolouco
Artist: Mateus Santolouco
Colorist: Marcelo Costa with Mateus Santolouco
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: January 16, 2019

Oroku Saki is in hell. What awaits him in the fiery depths no one knows, but the man they call Shredder will certainly continue to fight for all eternity if need be.


“One Way Ticket…to Hell and Back” TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1

Oroku Saki, otherwise known in this time as the infamous Shredder, has been dead for a while in the IDW TMNT Universe (since issue #50). His once-friend and then enemy Hamato Yoshi, known in this time as the rat Splinter (reincarnation is crazy!), cut off his head and took over the Foot Clan. There have been rumblings throughout the Pantheon “gods” of the Dragon god, the most powerful of them, being brought back. Kitsune believes she can bring him back and it will be through Shredder! In TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1 (of 5) Oroku Saki journeys through the fiery depths of hell to discover what he is!


TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1 (IDW Publishing) cover A by Mateus Santolouco
Cover A by Mateus Santolouco

Mateus Santolouco gets his first writing solo gig in TMNT: Shredder in Hell 5 issue mini-series. He did have co-writing/plotting credits in TMNT: Secret History of the Foot Clan mini, but this is his first solo writing outing in the TMNT IDW Universe. I am a huge fan of Santolouco’s artwork and I am excited to see what he brought to the writing aspects of the story. TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1 (of 5) is a pretty solid start to this mini-series.

This seems to be planting some big seeds leading up to the big issue #100 coming up in the main TMNT series. There has been a lot of tease throughout the years of this Dragon god and Shredder being the “one”. Well, Santolouco brings this to the forefront in TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1. This being the first issue of the mini, Santolouco does have a lot of exposition and explaining to get through, and at times it can get a little wordy or over-explanatory; that does drag on some pages.

Though that does drag a little, Santolouco excels at the getting a voice behind Shredder. His motivations, his drive. The way he thinks and acts are exceptionally well-done and -presented in the story by Santolouco. The relationship between Shredder and Splinter is also explored to much delight in TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1. It is something that I hope continues to be dissected throughout this mini-series. Santolouco also builds up interest and intrigue for the remainder of the series. I am very excited to see what happens with Shredder in and after this series.


Santolouco is my favorite artist to see rotating in on the ongoing IDW TMNT series, but also just one of my favorite comic book artists in general. It has been a while since we have seen his art grace the interiors of TMNT and it is wonderful to see it back in action in TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1. His clean linework and eye for detail work wonderfully well for this series and these characters in general. He has a near perfect sense of realism, yet still slightly cartoonish feel to the characters that just makes everything feel perfect.

I love the heft and weight he adds to the characters. He also brings in a dynamic sense of movement throughout the pages. Nothing feels static or solitary. From panel to panel the characters have that sense of motion to them. This dramatically affects the more action-oriented scenes, as they flow seamlessly together, and when blows land they feel like they have an actual impact. The amount of detail he packs in is astounding as well. The detail he adds to the background settings fully draws the reader into the issue and story.

This being IDW TMNT, I am used to Ronda Pattison coloring most everything, so it was interesting to see that Marcelo Costa and Santolouco had the coloring credits for TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1. The coloring is pretty spot-on, lots of darker shades of red and orange (of course, with the backdrop of hell). They also make great use of darker greens and shades of grey throughout the issue. I did love the use of a “cooler” type blue for some scenes; it has a nice effect on the issue.


TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1 (of 5) is off to a wonderful start. Santolouco gets to show off some writing abilities and besides a few small things, he weaves a dramatic tale of Shredder traversing through hell. The artwork is stellar, as it always is from Santolouco. Each panel and page is tremendously well done and detailed. This is obviously leading to big things in the IDW TMNT Universe and will have a big impact leading up to issue #100. TMNT at IDW continues to excel and TMNT: Shredder in Hell #1 is another bright spot.

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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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