Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #56
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Tom Waltz
Artist: Mateus Santolouco
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Cover: Mateus Santolouco
It’s taken some time to adjust to the new direction this series is headed in since the death of Shredder. From Mikey leaving his brothers to Splinter leading the Foot Clan, things have been a bit unbalanced. Not just in the world of the Turtles but unfortunately reflecting in certain areas of the story. However, with the return of Mikey last issue and the signs of a credible threat looming, things look to be back on track.
Waltz continues to show that these brothers are much better when together as each is an extension of the next. He also adds several wild cards as Rat King and Kitsune have a brief meeting that most likely signals dark times ahead. With his introduction of Leatherhead, he makes him far more interesting as we get his origin story here. He’s a creature that has very keen survival instincts which Waltz has expanded beyond the mutant just being a violent mutated gator. Leatherhead is a thinker and he’s patient which makes him dangerous and his motives questionable. His origin is also tied into a TMNT mini series from their time traveling days. There’s even a murder mystery that raises more questions as an ally of the Turtles goes down as well.
Santoluoco returns with his kinetic sequential storytelling as Ronda Pattison’s colors add that extra punch necessary to please the eyes. Santoluoco nails the expressiveness of the characters and puts just as much detail into the calm scenes as he does when there’s action and blood in a panel. His Leatherhead is creepy and even though we mostly get scenes of him talking, there’s no mistaking the power and destruction he’s capable of. Santoluoco displays this with subtle angles along with the character’s size.
Everything seems to be back on track with this series. From Kitsune and Rat King’s manipulations to Splinter’s decision and the introduction of everyone’s favorite mutated alligator, this issue of TMNT mixes several elements together like the perfect batch of mutagen!