This issue contains two stories. The second focuses on Leonardo’s internal struggles. He confronts and deals with his own inner demons so that he can be a more effective fighter and leader. Written by Eastman, Curnow and Waltz, it is a solid (if somewhat predictable) exploration of the mind of the Katana -wielding Turtle.
The other story, the first, bears closer inspection. It features Leatherhead, the mutant alligator and Hob, the mutant alley cat. Recently, Hob had assembled an ersatz family of Mutanimals. In a moment of estrangement, Michelangelo had found himself in their company. He had a disagreement over strategy with Hob, and the cat found himself cast out of his own family.
Leatherhead, who lives alone in the sewers by choice, is drawn out of his comfort zone to put an end to a cruel dog-fighting ring.
It is in this arena that the two mutants cross paths. Leatherhead wants to shut them down and then return to the sewers. Hob is there to follow up on a former criminal ally, a human, who is running the dogfighting arena in Hob’s warehouse.
Leatherhead wants to carry out his mission and leave. Hob desperately wants to make a connection with a possible friend.
When they meet, they fight, and although they both walk away, they both lose. This is an amazing exploration of the nature of solitude and loneliness.
Writer Chris Mowry is at the top of his form. Readers can almost hear Hob’s desperation as he tries to make a connection with Leatherhead.
Artist Michael Dialynas likewise manages to capture the feline mutants suffering—and surprisingly, he manages to capture the angst of the alligator as well.
It is easy—too easy—to dismiss these characters as minor and insignificant. Hob is a self-centered mercenary. Leatherhead is a solitary psychotic loner. Mowry and Dialynas have gone beyond that. In a few brief pages, they have given readers a great opportunity to look inside two allegedly minor characters, and see their souls.
It is the mark of a great storytelling to take minor events and make them fascinating. It is the mark of great storytelling to take minor characters and make readers care.
This is great storytelling.
Written & Illustrated by: Various