Review – TMNT Universe #17 (IDW Publishing)

TMNT Universe #17

From the Heart, For the Herd (part 2 of 2)

In the previous issue of TMNT Universe and part one (of two) of the “From the Heart, For the Herd” storyline, Zom finds out that the Triceratons (originally the dinosaur triceratops) were taken from Earth and genetically engineered by the Utrom to be their perfect warriors. The Triceratons were bred to fight battles and conquer worlds for the Utrom. In TMNT Universe #17, this does not sit well with Zom, and she decides to take out Krang herself. Her commander, Zog, shows up to show her a better way to save their people and set the herd free!

TMNT Universe #17 cover by Freddie E. Williams II
TMNT Universe #17 cover by Freddie E. Williams II

I was not excited to read TMNT Universe #17, as the previous issue was such a major letdown, but I decided to give it another shot. It has the same shortcomings as issue #16. It is the same creative team so that is not a big shock, but still disappointing. TMNT Universe #17 storywise continues to just be uninspiring and honestly a slog to get through. Nothing about this two-part story made me care about the characters or really got me involved in the storyline.

The backup story also serves no purpose at all. It wouldn’t bother me if it was a funny short story or anything besides what was delivered. Honestly, I do not know why it was there besides just to fill in those last pages. The other backup stories either filled in blanks to the main story or were at least interesting short stories; this really was just filler.


The art on TMNT Universe #17 also continues to be very boring and uninspiring. There is nothing about the art that jumps out or really makes me care about anything in this issue. TMNT Universe #17 is about giant talking dinosaurs–they have a great design, so the art should reflect that, but it is very unimaginative and lacks any detail that could bring these creatures to life. The page layouts and scene structures are very basic. The first part of the issue is a lot of talking and the art only makes those pages that much more boring and hard to get through. When the action starts, there is no sense of impact or emotion throughout the scenes, and honestly, the battles are boring too.

TMNT Universe #17 Artist's Edition cover
TMNT Universe #17 Artist’s Edition cover

TMNT Universe #17 has a cover by Freddie E. Williams II that shows you how awesome the Triceraton design is, and then the interiors are just so bland and boring it is a huge letdown. The art is not bad, I mean, everything is there and it gets the story across, it is just not up to par with what this series has delivered in the past. (Editor’s note: there is also an Artist’s Edition cover by Giannis Milonogiannis with an equally-awesome Triceraton on it, so what’s the deal with the interior art?)



I might be being a little harsh on TMNT Universe #17, but this issue and the previous issue had such potential in following the Triceratons’ rebellion against the Utrom Empire that what we got was a big letdown, especially for the $4.99 price tag. Really the only high point is that this storyline is over, and we get a new creative team hopping on with issue #18 who will hopefully bring TMNT Universe back to the awesome comic it has been in the past.

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