Review – TMNT Universe #25 (IDW Publishing)

TMNT Universe #25
  • Writing - 8/10
  • Art - 8/10
  • Overall - 8/10


Writer: Ian Flynn
Artist: Nelson Daniel
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release: August 1, 2018

The final issue of TMNT Universe is here as Leonardo does some spiritual training in the astral plane.

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Training the Spirit in TMNT Universe #25

TMNT Universe comes to an end with Leonardo traveling to the astral plane to hone his skills in TMNT Universe #25. Directly after the Turtles’ confrontation with the Rat King in TMNT #84, Leonardo decides he needs more training in the astral plane. If the Turtles are going to continue to be confronted by the Pantheon, Leo wants to be ready to fight them on their own turf. In the astral plane, things are never what they seem and danger lurks around every corner. Leo’s training is going well until Kitsune shows up, and now he is in for the fight of his life. You are not going to want to miss the final issue of TMNT Universe!


TMNT Universe #25 (IDW Publishing) cover A by Freddie Williams
Cover A by Freddie Williams

Ian Flynn gets writing duties for the conclusion of TMNT Universe. The story in TMNT Universe #25 nicely brings us back to the beginning of this series in a way. If you remember, the backup story for the first four issues of TMNT Universe dealt with Leonardo in the astral plane training. Flynn also ties this nicely in with issue #84 of the ongoing series, as Leo realizes after the confrontation with the Rat King that he needs a lot more experience in the astral plane. It also ties in perfectly with the ongoing narrative of the TMNT series as a whole. Leo has to deal with what his father has done and how it is affecting him. It deals with him really being the “leader” of the family with Master Splinter now leading the Foot Clan.

Flynn scripts TMNT Universe #25 well; with no backup story in this issue, he uses the extra pages to his storytelling advantage. We get some good insight into Leonardo and more about him as a character in this new stage of his life. We also get to spend a lot of time in the astral plane. Flynn fleshes out the details of this weird world and lays the base of how it works. The astral plane really needed to be fleshed out. TMNT Universe #25 does that extremely well.


Artist Nelson Daniel does some tremendous work in TMNT Universe #25. He plays with some mesmerizing visuals and layouts inside the astral plane. He switches up the colors to some extremely bright colorations when Leo transports himself there. The colors work well to give this dreamlike or “mysterious” effect to the world. 

Daniel doesn’t use panel borders in the astral plane scenes and it adds some wonderful effects to the scenes. The structure of the pictures and layouts adds to the otherworldly feel of this place. He also adds great little details in each scene to fully develop the world. I love the scenes outside the astral plane as well. Daniel switches to some darker colors and back to more regular black panel borders lines; it is a good contrast to the astral plane scenes.

Daniel has a fantastic small panel of Leo looking over his shoulder. He uses great shadow work and has magnificent detail in Leonardo’s shell. The look and feel on Leo’s face are tremendously well done. For such a small panel Daniel gets a lot across storywise. His style works extremely well for this series. 


TMNT Universe #25 is a wonderful way to end this series. I hate to see it go. TMNT Universe has been a great series to showcase great creators and add to IDW’s TMNT lore. I enjoyed the use of 1-4 issue stories that added some tremendous depth to characters that rarely got the spotlight. The short stories that showed even with four pages you can tell some heart-wrenching tales. Having Leonardo traverse the astral plane is a perfect way to end the series, as it still adds to the ongoing story of the TMNT world and calls back to the first four issues. More than likely TMNT Universe is going away to make room for the return of the Macro series soon to be released, which makes sense, but this series will still be missed.

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