Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals #1
By Paul Alllor, Andy Kuhn, & Nick Filardi
Paul Allor is no stranger to writing companion stories for the IDW TMNT-verse (see Micro-Series: Fugitoid, Utrom Empire, and Turtles in Time), he returns focusing on Old Hob and his ragtag team of mutants or as he calls them: Mutanimals. After the events of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #43 (also out this week), the group now possesses an item that will possibly strengthen their crusade for mutant dominance. Scientist Lindsey Baker is kidnapped and the Mutanimals scramble to recover the one person who can develop the item into what Old Hob wants…
Allor has yet to disappoint working with this property and this issue is no exception. He always has a clear grasp of character’s voices and motivations. It’s pretty seamless going from the ongoing main title and this book, which is how it should be. Also, this narrative is clearly focusing on Old Hob, who is a character that deserves to be explored. We’ve seen various shades of the character, but nothing fleshed out. There is an emotional page that shows a glimpse into his past and really humanizes him. A shout out to Andy Kuhn for being able to pull it off in only a few panels!
Sadly, the visual representation fails to deliver the full impact of the material. Kuhn’s artwork in this issue is inconsistent. In some panels, the images are very detailed, such as the scene where Old Hob has a dramatic flashback. In others, the characters look half-drawn or their perspective is off; Slash suffers the most due to this. Also, the inking is very heavy and only serves to accentuate the flaws. Now, Nick Filardi’s colors do add some flare to the pages and shows a good collaboration between the two artists.
Turtles readers know by now that the mini-series do tie in heavily with the overall storyline, so picking this up is a no-brainer. Just know going in, that it’s not perfect. Fans of the new mutanimals will enjoy this immensely, hopefully Slash will get a little more love as the story unfolds. Sticklers for chronology should to read TMNT #43 first, but this first issue is fairly self-contained.