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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #34

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By Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Mateus Santolouco & Ronda Pattison

The Turtles continue planning their next move as they return to the city. They are torn between focusing on the immediate threat of the Shredder or the looming destruction via the Technodrome. Donatello meets with Dr. Lilja to repair some of their tech weapons and encounters a classic TMNT character!

It may not seem that a lot of plot progression takes place in this issue, but there is quite of bit of story expansion. Two Ninja Turtle characters make their debut in this issue, that’s kind of a big deal! Despite all this, what really captivated me was the conversation between Leonardo and Master Splinter. It’s only one page, but it encapsulates all the exposition that is taking place right now and foreshadows what is to come. Plus, they are characters that Tom Waltz writes very well.

The full-page shot revealing Metalhead is stunning! There is a strong contrast in the shading between the foreground and the background of the panel, making it a very striking and dynamic image. The  powerful collaboration between Mateus Santolouco and colorist Ronda Pattison couldn’t be exemplified any better. Santolouco still does a fantastic rendering of Leo and Splinter, which only adds to my appreciation of the short scene with them. Also, his take on Dr. Lilja is very detailed; he’s the most emotionally animated character in this issue. It elevates him from being some generic second/third-tier character.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues to be a strong, fun title for IDW. The imaginative interpretations for fan-favorite characters and how they fit into the current run is always a treat! Next month Slash and Hob return…Can’t wait!! In the meantime, pick up #34!

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