Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire #1
By Paul Allor, Andy Kuhn & Bill Crabtree
IDW has published some great mini-series that coincides with their main run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Recently, Secret of the Foot Clan and Micro-Series: Villains have been strong stories that added depth the recent City Fall story arc. Now, with Utrom Empire insight is given into Krang’s race and how they fell from prominence and driven to near extinction.
Writer Paul Allor frames the story around Fugitoid trying to foil Krang’ s and Dr. Stockman’s plans for the Technodrome. Fugitoid and events taking place on Burnow Island haven’t been shown in the books in a while; it was a pleasant surprise to see that storyline continue. Allor also wrote the micro-series issue for Fugitoid, so it makes perfect sense for him to write this title since he has a firm grasp on the character. For the Utromian history, Paul focuses on the circumstances surrounding their growth in military strength and how this caused internal strife amongst the Utromian political elite and their eventual downfall. This may sound like a convoluted political thriller plot, but he is able to keep the narrative to the point and easy to follow. What really makes the mini-series stand out is the introduction on the Triceraton race and their origins… Such an awesome treat!
The art is fair in this first issue. Andy Kuhn has a sketch form to his work with little background detail in the panels. It’s not terrible, just not my cup of tea. I will say his design of Fugitoid works really well. Bill Crabtree’s colors are what really caught my attention. With little detail in the panels he can just select a color to use in them and set the tone. The first page immediately catches the eye. Kuhn and Crabtree complement each other very well.
If you are fan of IDW’s TMNT titles then definitely pick this up! The side stories that have been released in the past have not disappointed and this one seems to be right on point.