Review – TMNT Universe #12: Karai’s Path #1 (of 4)

Review- TMNT Universe #12

Karai’s Path (1 of 4)

In TMNT Universe #12, Oroku Karai is the one responsible for bringing the Foot Clan back to its tradition and back to power as an organization. She is solely responsible for bringing her “Grandfather” Oroku Saki (Shredder) back to life. She was Chunin (second in command) of the Foot Clan for a long time and was devout to its success. Karai also helped create the mutant hammerhead shark, Bludgeon, and Koya, the mutant falcon, to reinforce the Foot Clan’s armies and attempt to defeat the Turtles. Now that Shredder has been defeated and Master Splinter rules over the Foot Clan, the former Chunin does not know where to turn. Karai, no longer Chunin, Bludgeon, without his sight and Koya, unable to fly, return to Japan trying to find their way. Karai brings them to her old Foot Clan Sensei, Toshiro, for help. As Bludgeon and Koya learn to deal and fight with their disabilities, it is not long until Karai finds trouble— or trouble finds her. In the backup story, something very strange happens to Koya in the near future that may give her wings back!

TMNT Universe #12
TMNT Universe #12 Cover

Erik Burnham and Sophie Campbell have started a very interesting story in TMNT Universe #12 (Karai’s path 1 of 4). I like that we are finally finding out what happened with Karai after Splinter killed Shredder and took command of the Foot. Karai is not a pleasant person, and in that sense, it is hard to feel bad for her, since she was second in command to a nefarious organization. However, the writers do successfully make you feel for her character and her plight. Karai has basically lost what meant the most to her; she worked so hard to get the Foot Clan to where it is and it has all been taken away from her. I am very intrigued to see where she goes from here and what this new crew introduced in this issue brings to the table. The backup story is a little different— not sure exactly what is going on, but I have an educated guess of what it is.


I love when Sophie Campbell is on IDW’s TMNT series! She always brings a different vibe to the series. If my memory serves me I think the last time we saw her on art was in issue #66 of the ongoing TMNT series (she does have writing credits on TMNT Universe #9 and #10) and that issue was a great one-shot of Alopex. I guess it is because I loved the Northampton story line from a few years ago Campbell drew, but I always have this image in my head of her art being very “soft” and introspective, with a little bit more of a cartoon style.  All the characters have a real emotional feel to them, and she gets a lot of emotion out of them. The thing that I was impressed with the most in this issue was Campbell’s action sequences. They are all phenomenal. You can feel the speed, power, and ferocity in all of the characters movements, and the way the fight scenes are structured really ups the pace of the scenes to match the intensity. Brittany Peer handles colors in this issue and does a great job. I really enjoy in action sequences when she switches to blues and reds on the characters, it is really visually striking. That switch to red on Karai’s sword looks amazing on the page!


Issue #12 (Karai’s Path 1 of 4) is off to an excellent start. We start to discover more about Karai and how she is dealing with basically losing her family. Bludgeon and Koya are also dealing with their own losses and learning to deal with new disabilities. The whole creative team is fantastic and it will be very exciting to see where they take these characters from here.


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