I love the IDW incarnation of the Ninja Turtles and its talent for blending every incarnation of the concept. It acts as sort of an ultimate Turtles universe while adding enough twists and new elements to make it seem fresh. One of the best new additions to the mythos is Old Hob, an alley cat who was mutated in the accident that created the Turtles and Splinter. He started out in the series as dumb muscle, but as it went on, Old Hob has been revealed to be extremely sympathetic, clever, and bent on creating a mutant army. That brings us to this mini series, Mutanimals. When Pigeon Pete, one of their own, and Lindsay Baker, a scientist who is helping Hob with his mutant army, are kidnapped, it’s up to the Mutanimals to get them back. This comic marks the introduction of two characters, an underrated villain from the Archie TMNT Adventures who I’m not very familiar with, but is supposed to be really powerful, and a somewhat tragic villain from the original cartoon and Nickelodeon series. We also have the first official LGBT+ characters that I’ve seen in any incarnation of the Ninja Turtles. There might be others, but I can’t think of any nor have I found any via Google and TMNT Pedia. As much as I love Ninja Turtles, the cast is predominately straight and male, with only about fifteen major female characters appearing in the entire IDW series, so taking steps towards diversity is good.
Plotwise, this issue is tons of fun. I honestly can’t remember the last time an issue of IDW’s Ninja Turtles made me laugh, but this issue got me to chuckle several times, mainly because it takes the wackier characters of the universe and has them working together. It’s not completely tongue in cheek though. There are still a few sad and serious moments that took me by surprise. Well, as serious as you can be for an comic that features a gecko with a skateboard and a hermit crab dressed as a soldier. It’s fun to see these interesting supporting characters take the spotlight in their own series. The artwork is also quite good. The faces are very expressive and the colors really pop. My one criticism would be that the Archie villain that appears is supposed to run this huge corporation, but this corporation has never been brought up before. The corporation has been weaved into the mythos, even filling up a preexisting plot hole, but you’d think that a company that big would have been mentioned at least once in all forty three issues. It’s a minor thing, though, and easily overlooked.
Overall, if you enjoy the IDW series, you’ll enjoy this. It’s action packed and a ton of fun. I’m really looking forward to where this mini series is going and how it will impact the universe as a whole.