Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #31


By Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Ross Campbell & Ronda Pattison

The Northampton arc continues. Raphael and Alopex start to bond as Leonardo begins to finally find his true self. April and Casey, on the other hand, begin to make a decision as to how to use the ooze sample they have in their possession. The family plots its next plan of action, when the Foot begins to make its move…

Some will probably disagree, but what makes this storyline so good is that no real action is taking place. Tom Waltz is providing in-depth insight into these wonderful characters and their relationships with each other. Seeing Raphael and Alopex interact was surprisingly heartfelt and entertaining. Experimenting with character relationships makes for fantastic drama and storytelling. Also, Waltz’s dialog really shines between Splinter and Leo. Splinter references elements of samurai philosophy and applies it to his sons current conflict. The words could have become contrived BS just to try and make the conversation seem deep, but they actually makes sense and serve a purpose.

If prints or posters of Ross Campbell’s work on this arc were sold, I would buy them in a heartbeat. His smooth pencil work coincides well with the serene setting and tone of Northampton. Ross knows to depict iconic moments; two in particular stand out in this issue. One is when Leonardo is given back his signature blue bandana. The other is a full-page shot that is the last page of the issue, which I won’t spoil. Also, there are fascinating panel transitions, pay close attention to the Alopex and Raph portion of the comic.

This series continues to be one of IDW’s gem properties. If you aren’t reading it already, get on it!