“Service Animals” Part One Starts in TMNT Universe #19
Raphael and Alopex are on a stakeout mission in TMNT Universe #19. There have been recent robberies of pet stores, and it seems the Null Company is the culprit. Raph and Alopex have to infiltrate the Null facility secretly to figure out why they are stealing all of these animals. Things won’t be that easy, as Zodi the scorpion assassin seems to be leading the operation! The backup story features the Rat King and, since it’s a short story that is a prelude to a future story, it is hard to talk about without spoiling it. It is very creepy and unsettling, so you have that to look forward to.
Ian Flynn, who is widely known as the writer behind Sonic The Hedgehog comic books, takes the wheel in TMNT Universe #19. Right off the bat, it feels like Flynn has a great eye for the character aspects of Raph and Alopex in the IDW TMNT Universe. He has some good dialogue between the two, and their actions feel in place for their characters. The story in TMNT Universe #19 feels like an excuse to introduce some new mutants into the fold, and I am not upset about that. I love to see more and more of these crazy creatures pop up.
The story itself is pretty straightforward. Flynn does a good job of building up tension and letting the story play out. The ending has me excited to see how Alopex and Raph get out of this situation. The other story has me very excited for a future storyline and really creeped me out.
Dave Wachter handles the main story art in TMNT Universe #19. I love all the textured lines and shades he puts into his characters, as it gives his art a very distinct feel to it. He also does some great character acting as Alopex and Raph break into Null silently. Wachter does a fantastic job of laying out those pages and getting the story across. I love how Ronda Pattison colors Dave Watcher’s interiors. She gives it this flat, almost painted feeling to the pages. It is very cool and fits perfectly with the story.
Pablo Tunica handles the backup story with the Rat King, and it feels like he was made to draw him. Tunica has always had a very exaggerated style with rough, wavy ink lines that give his characters a strange feel to them. He ramps up the Rat Kings oddness ten-fold, giving him a vampire-esque look to him. I am guessing Tunica also colored too because no colorist is credited with the Rat King story. The bland gray, brown and overall dreariness really feed into the story being told.
TMNT Universe #19 was a fun start to a new two-part storyline that will introduce some new mutants into IDW’s TMNT Universe. Ian Flynn has a great clasp on these characters and weaves an exciting story, while Dave Wachter and Ronda Pattison deliver some wonderful art. The backup story will definitely catch your attention for its overall creepiness that will continue in TMNT #81 after the “Invasions of Triceratons” storyline!
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