Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Universe #10 ComicWow! Review

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There’s seemingly no escape from Toad Baron’s reveries but Alopex and Nobody must find a way before the next guests arrive… Toad Baron’s immortal and deadly family! Featuring a back-up story by Sophie Campbell!

Sophie Campbell is the Eisner Award-nominated creator of Wet Moon, Mountain Girl, and Can’t Look Back.  She started in indie comics and is a writer and an artist with a lot of TMNT experience, including all four covers of the well-received Raphael miniseries (Raphael: Bad Moon Rising) and the humorous BeBop and RockSteady Destroy Everything! five-issue miniseries.  She did not get nearly the praise she deserved for ShadowEyes/Shadoweyes in Love (available in a collected edition trade paperback). Aside from a nearly exhaustive list of indie comics and cover art, she has a wide resume as writer, colorist, and artist, covering everything from Hack/Slash to Fraggle Rock and Jem & The Holograms. In addition to her work on the main story (“Toad Baron’s Ball” Part 2), Campbell is the writer of the short secondary story in this issue.

Bobby Curnow is an editor and writer for IDW, with an impossibly large and diverse list of credits ranging from Godzilla to My Little Pony! He’s done a huge amount of TMNT, including editing the recent Batman/TMNT crossover miniseries and working on the TMNT/Ghostbusters crossover miniseries.  He is the series editor and one of the major writers for MLP, and his work is all over the franchise, including mini and micro-series.  Some of his other credits include Wild Blue Yonder, Fallen Angel, Jurassic Park, Drones, Tet, Gutter Magic, Fistful of Blood, Creature Cops, Night of 1,000 Wolves, and more.  He is the editor of the current Night Owl Society.

TMNT Universe is a place where other characters get a chance to take center stage.  Unlike the miniseries that centers on villains or individual heroes (Hob, Casey & April, Raphael) this series takes minor characters and showcases them, demonstrating both the richness and depth of Eastman & Laird’s shared universe.

In this issue, Alopex and Angel Bridges (Nobody) are trapped in the alternate dimension of Toad Baron.  Alopex is an artic fox mutant and former agent of the Foot Clan.  Angel Bridges is a member of the Purple Dragons Clan.  She is one of several people who have worn the mantel of a costumed Vigilante called Nobody.  The Toad Baron runs an unusual “prison,” wherein his “guests” are too amused and happy to consider leaving.  Nobody and Alopex do not have the power to defeat the Toad Baron, himself a powerful member of the Pantheon.  They have to come up with a way to get “thrown out” of the Toad Baron’s “heaven.”

The writing is character-focused.  Although there is significant action in the issue, it really reads like a character study.  Readers get to see different parts of two important but under exposed characters.

Campbell’s artwork is fascinating – it has a Hieronymus Bosch feel to it, a sense of the grotesque and the mundane.  Her work is detailed when needed, but she demonstrates a control over it that shows how well she can use artwork to enhance the story.

Overall, this is a unique and entertaining story that any TMNT fan is going to enjoy.

Written by: Sophie Campbell & Bobby Curnow

Illustrated by: Sophie Campbell