Kevin Eastman (along with Peter Laird) is famous as one of the creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Tom Waltz wrote for TMNT, Galaxy Quest, Back to the Future, Zipper, KISS, Ghostbusters, Kill Shakespeare, Jurassic Park, and more.
Mateus Santolouco has a lot of art credits for IDW, Marvel, DC and more, including Fall of Cthulhu (Godwar, Nemisis, Apocalypse, the Gray Man), 2 Guns, X-Necrosha, Scream Queen, American Vampire, X-Force, The Revenant, Catwoman, Justice League of America and Justice Society, etc.
This issue starts anew story arc. Eastman and Waltz are taking the Turtles in a different direction. Master Splinter, who is now running the Foot Clan, is trying to make it a force for good. He is still available to the brothers and has become more of an elder than a father figure.
The brothers have moved away from their father figure. They are still brothers, ninjas, mutants, and turtles, but they are becoming adults. Michelangelo, first among the brothers, has stepped more fully into the role of leader.
Mikey is having difficulties keeping everything together as leader. As always with the brothers, there is conflict. The difference is that now, they are more adult and more independent. There is no longer a father figure to adjudicate; Michelangelo must grow as a leader in different ways than before.
Meanwhile, there are problems with the other mutants. A government agency has captured Slash and placed him under mind control. They are planning on using him to capture other Mutanimals.
Eastman and Waltz have established themselves as a great writing team. They place the characters in moments of repose in order to give the readers a different way to look inside them. Too often, comics are concerned with making sure that there is enough action. Eastman and Waltz are making sure that there is enough character development.
Santolouco’s artwork is outstanding. He is great at action scenes, but that is not the point of this issue. This is an issue about exposition. Santolouco rises to the occasion by slowing down the action and letting readers see the characters as characters, not just as action figures. A scene showing a bunch of mutants sitting around watching the TV and waiting for pizza delivery is very well done. Slice-of-life scenes with the brothers as well as Mikey and Splinter show great depth of character.
This promises to be a great arc, with a strong creative team that surely delivers.
Written by: Tom Waltz & Kevin Eastman
Illustrated by: Mateus Santolouco