TMNT Universe #15
TMNT Universe #15 (Karai’s Path part 4 of 4) concludes Karai’s epic journey to find her new way in life. In the last issue, we found out the Toru never cared about the magical sword that all he wanted was to rid himself of Karai. If Karai, Bludgeon, and Koya did not die trying to retrieve the sword he was going to have them ambushed by his soldiers when they exited the cave. Natsu overhearing this was dismayed at how dishonorable this was and sought out Karai’s grandfather Toshiro to warn him of Toru’s plan. In the cave, the group overcame the zombie-like creatures only to be trapped in a room with the magical sword, but also a giant mole creature named Ocho. Narrowly defeating the ancient woman (long story short she was cursed by Kitsune to protect the sword) Karai retrieves the sword of the “gods”. With the powerful sword in her hand and revenge on her mind, Karai starts to set her new path in TMNT Universe #15. In the backup story Koya comes under control with the medallion she took from the cave and starts to understand her new “path” as well.
Erik Burnham and Sophie Campbell have done an excellent job scripting this four-part mini-series and really nail the ending in TMNT Universe #15. They have really fleshed out all three of these characters really well in these four issues; I have a much clearer understanding of Koya, Bludgeon, and Karai. They have had all these characters grow a lot throughout this little mini-series and by the end, it sets up Karai as a very “new” character and someone that is going to be big trouble for the Turtles in the near future. The backup story also makes a lot more sense and reads a lot better once the main story is finished, it will read really well in a trade format rather than broken up between these four issues.
Sophie Campbell has impressed me throughout this series and in TMNT Universe #15 she continues to deliver some beautiful art. The backup story looks phenomenal, Campell did all the work on it and there is a wonderful blend of blue and red coloration, there are a magical two pages in the backup story that really stretch the imagination of the reader. Campbell does great work on the main story as well, I really love Ocho’s design the massive mole creature looks more terrifying than it probably deserves to be. The action flows nicely and I love the panel setups and layouts throughout the issue. Brittany Peer’s colors on the main story also continue to impress, those reds just really pop off the page. I love one scene in particular that goes black and white with red splashes, it is really visually striking!
I really enjoyed this four-part story overall, the only thing I was concerned about was it trying to make Karai too much of a “hero” type character, but this issue firmly rooted her as still a very “bad guy” type role. It was fun to root for her a little bit, but by the end of TMNT Universe #15, the reader understands that she is still a ruthless killer that has no qualms about killing anybody or anything. Karai is on a new path and it is not a good one if you are a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or someone that happens to be standing in her way!
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