Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #4 ComicWow! Review

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This is the fourth and final issue in an outstanding opening story arc for the new Ninja Turtles title.  This initial arc is a siege story.

This story arc has been reminiscent of the John Carpenter Classic “Assault on Precinct 13.”  In it, a small group of disparate individuals is forced together to defend a facility against a well-armed and numerically superior force laying siege to the facility.

In this case, April and The Turtles, Baxter Stockman (Bad Guy Scientist) and Zodi (Female Mercenary Scorpion Mutant) are trapped inside Stockman’s building by a group of mutant haters.

In a previous issue, the turtles and their allies were able to get April out of the building to get help. That features significantly in this issue.  At the same time, Stockman, who hates the Turtles, has opportunities to betray his unwanted allies.  In direct action, there is conflict with Zodi about killing.

Despite the intense fighting and fast pace of the story line, there is a lot of solid dialogue and character development.  Zodi, the Mutant Scorpion, in particular is explored to great advantage by writers Eastman, Allor, and Waltz.

This is a character readers can expect to see more in future issues.  Zodi is a complete mercenary; she is focused on completing her mission, and considers the Turtles’ as temporary allies.  She is an operative of the Null Corporation, which is part of a new faction on the scene, a cabal with unknown and malicious intentions.

The last issue of an arc in an ongoing series is not the same as the last issue of a miniseries.  In a miniseries, the creative team needs to wrap up all of the significant threads and make sure that there is a general sense of closure. In an ongoing series, while the major plot lines are concluded, others are left open to move the series forward.  That is the case here.  While it is doubtful that the events of this issue will change the Turtles, April, Stockman, or the Earth Protection Force, there may (?) be changes in Zodi.  Her relationship to the Turtles, in particular Mikey is left in an interesting and uncertain place.   Raphael is, (again) the Turtle who undergoes a lot of growth and introspection.

Artists Damian Couceiro, Kevin Eastman and Bill Sienkiewicz do outstanding work.  They manage to combine the sense of claustrophobic tension and shadow with the high technology and martial arts action typical of this title.  Eastman, working as both writer and artist, demonstrates again that he deserves all of the accolades he has gotten over the years for his work with this franchise.

This is a very satisfying conclusion to the first story arc.

Written by: Paul Allor, Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz

Illustrated by: Damian Couceiro, Kevin Eastman, Bill Sienkiewicz

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