Writers: Paul Allor
Art: Andy Kuhn
Colours: Nick Filardi
Letters: Shawn Lee
Old Hob takes his team of Mutanimals on a mission back to the Null Corporation to try and rescue the remaining mutants held captive there. Mutagen Man gets a new name and a sense of purpose and Lindsey Baker gets a new job.
Allor continues to develop Old Hob and his crew as they further distance themselves as just being “those cool characters” that show up in the main Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. The team has barely been together for a few weeks and already Slash and Old Hob are clashing on almost every decision or action they take. Now that Slash has had the cloud of madness lifted he actually acts and sounds a lot like one of the other Ninja Turtles meaning that despite his frightful appearance, he is a compassionate and forward thinking soul. Old Hob on the other hand is brash, arrogant and ready to snap necks at the drop of a hat…anyone’s hat! It is good to see a relationship forming that is not unlike the one between Leonardo and Raphael, the guys have the same goal in mind but very different approaches to achieving it.
We get to see the extent of the Null corporation’s damage on Mutagen Man and both he and Mondo Gecko take some time out and bond. Mondo has some pre-conceptions about his unusual companion but we get to see him grow as a person as he brings Mutagen Man out of his shell and gives him a reason to enjoy his new found freedom.
Just like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book before it, Mutanimals is as much about the characters and their relationships with each other as it is about the action and humour. We get to see some very different and unique souls try to find common ground whilst they fumble around in a team that is barely holding together and It makes for a very interesting read. Despite being in the same universe as the Turtles book, this feels very stand alone and the enemy they face feels like a personal one, their own personal foe to give them someone as dangerous and fascinating as The Shredder.
Andy Kuhn draws a much darker book than Corey Smith but it definitely works for this series giving it a slightly more bleak feel to the proceedings. Everyone is instantly recognisable and we even get a redesign of classic Villain Null which although I wont spoil here, has been given a tasteful and unique take on the original. Slash doesn’t seem to look quite so impressive in this book though its not that its bad by any means, just a slightly different look.
Nick Filardi retains the darker, murkier colour scheme from the last issue and fills every panel with a world that appears to be perpetually at dusk. His colours breathe life into Kuhn’s visuals and give them added weight.
So far this series has been an absolute joy to read and with new revelations being revealed every issue it feels that the creative team have a lot in store for us. We have two main story threads running separately that are almost certain to reconnect at some point with a possible third with some new characters due to make a proper début next issue. If you are an older fan of the series then you will likely remember one of new faces.
It is easy to recommend this series to fans of the current run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and it is a sure fire pickup for any fans who read the original run on Mutanimals when Archie comics published it. I think by that very reasoning you can safely assume that if you are not a fan of Turtles then Mutanimals is not the book for you as it does have a shared DNA across both books. In the end its a well written and beautifully drawn and coloured book that I would urge anyone collecting the monthly ongoing Ninja Turtles book to give this a try.