REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #54

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Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow and Tom Waltz

Script: Tom Waltz

Art: Michael Dialynas

Colours: Ronda Pattison

Letters: Shawn Lee

Edits: Bobby Curnow

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We’re back in the game after the last couple of issues served as something of a lull in the series and we are presented with what is essentially a Mutanimals issue with Mikey still finding his home with the misfit band of mutants. The series seems to be finding it’s feet again after the cataclysmic events of issue 50 where the status quo was drastically altered. The last few issues dealing with the fallout of these events have seemed a little disjointed and all over the place but with solid focus on one story issue 54 is back in the game with exciting and tense writing that feels at lot more centred.

After last issue where Mikey followed Old Hob under suspicions that he was up to no good he fell into the path of Hun who is fired up and ready to kill our fun loving baby of the turtle family. A full on brawl erupts and Hob looks genuinely concerned. It turns out that Hob wants to recruit Hun for the Mutanimals’ cause and that’s why he was sneaking away to meet with him as he knew there would be trouble if they met as a team. When the rest of the gang catch up and Hob explains his plan it splits the team right down the middle with some agreeing that in desperate situations you have to result to desperate measures and the other half believing that recruiting Hun is selling out their morals and integrity. It’s great character work and shows the youthful  nievety of Mikey along with the red hot impulsive anger of Hob. It’s interesting to see which side the rest of the team choose as outside of the Mutanimals mini series we don’t know too much about some of their personalities.

We have another new artist this issue, this time it’s Michael Dialynas who I have to say does a FANTASTIC job here. It’s very much influenced by Mateus Santolouco, who is still taking a break from the series after a long and acclaimed run. The art here is emotive, expressive and full of character, complimented wonderfully by the always amazing Ronda Pattison providing the colours. I was very impressed here as it made for a smooth and quick read. I often say this because I think it is often overlooked but the synergy between the writing team and the art is so important and can frankly make or break a story. Thankfully this entire series has been blessed by some of the best, undiscovered (by the mainstream anyway) artists and a writing team that has stayed together from the start.

Issue 54 is a huge step back in the right direction after a small but noticeable lull in the rhythm and with a new artist joining the fray, things are looking up. I hope we see more from Dialynis before Santolouco makes his no doubt triumphant return. TMNT continues to be one of the best ongoing series in comics right now and is a perfect pile of fan service for long term fans of the franchise.

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