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Review – TMNT Universe #20 (IDW Publishing)

 Snake in the Grass in TMNT Universe #20

TMNT Universe #20 is part 2 of the two-part story that started with the previous issue. Raphael and Alopex had broken into Null facilities. Their plan was to secure information as to why Null was stealing large numbers of animals and if possible free those animals. Their plan has not started off well as mutant Scorpion assassin Zodi attacked. She also brought along Null’s newest mutant: Krisa, a giant snake! Alopex and Raphael have their hands full battling and it looks like their plan is all but lost. TMNT universe #20 also features a nice short one-shot story with an introspective take on the Turtles’ lives.

Writing

TMNT Universe #20 Service Animals IDW Publishing cover (a) by Freddie Williams II
cover A by Freddie Williams II

Ian Flynn wraps up his two-part “Service Animals” storyline in TMNT Universe #20. Flynn did a good job of telling a nice tight story while building and introducing a new character. He added a little more depth to Alopex as she continues to try to save the other mutants from their current path, one she once was on. It is a nice piece of character work for her and I like that Flynn has brought Null back into the spotlight as a formidable villain for the crew to have to deal with. 

The backup story by Matthew K. Manning was a fantastic short story titled “Through Red Eyes.” It is a nice 4-page story; Manning is able to surprisingly dive deep into the Turtles’ psyche and how they have to deal with everything they have been through.

 

Art

Dave Wachter continues to do a solid job on art in TMNT Universe #20.  Wachter does a fantastic job with the characters facial expressions in this issue. Krisa, the new snake mutant, is wonderfully done. Wachter surprisingly gets a lot of emotion out of her face for an anthropomorphic snake; he does a fantastic job showing expression through her eyes and mouth. I really enjoyed Adam Gorham art on the backup story. The aesthetic he gives to the Turtles is great; he pulls a lot from the 1990s live-action movie and it fits well with the story.

TMNT Universe #20 features two of my favorite color artists. Ronda Pattison continues on the main story with Dave Wachter and she continues to give this wonderful almost paintlike feeling to the pictures. On the backup story Brittany Peer teams up with Gorham and it is fabulous. The black and white type shot with Raph and Casey Jones with the red highlights is wonderful. I love the way Peer gives the story an ultra-moody type vibe with a darker color palette.

Conclusion

Overall TMNT Universe #20 was a solid ending to the two-part story. While nothing crazy happened, it did set up Null as a new threat and teased something bigger happening with them. The same can be said about the art; while it was not crazy good it was still pretty solid. The backup story was fantastic as Manning used four pages to dig into the Turtles’ heads perfectly. It also made me want Adam Gorham and Brittany Peer to team up again real soon!


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