IDW Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 review

In the first issue of IDW’s tie-in comic for Nickelodeon’s new TMNT cartoon, the Turtles face their greatest enemy yet: gentrification. Read on for the Allspark’s review of the new series!

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
Writing: Matthew K. Manning | Art: Chad Thomas
Colors: Heather Breckel | Letters: Christa Miesner

Though it’s still very much new to the screen, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feels a lot like Transformers: Animated – while clearly made with a lot of love for past iterations of the franchise, it brings an envelope-pushing new style while mixing up traditional elements to create something that feels remarkably fresh. Fortunately, IDW’s tie-in comics for the series live up to that – from the character artwork to the dynamic action to the admittedly cheesy humor, this issue feels like it blends in perfectly with the world of the show.
After spending a few pages introducing our heroes with a slapstick action sequence for the sake of new readers, the comic jumps feet-first into its admittedly simple plot: Baron Draxum, master of mutants and archfoe of the Turtles, decides to test their mettle by sending a powerful mutant to fight them. For the task, he picks obnoxious hipster dudebro Harvey Hokum, who quickly gains one of the most groan-worthy pun names I’ve ever seen – though that’s hardly a bad thing.
The issue’s lightness on plot is more than made up for by the excellently-choreographed action and panelwork from Chad Thomas – and the humor, while not exactly highbrow, still gave me a good few chuckles. Though issue #1’s plot was pretty much self-contained, a teaser at the end of the issue seems to promise extra serialization in future.
This comic, much like the cartoon it’s based on, looks to be decidedly more light-hearted fare than IDW’s main Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continuity – but sometimes, that’s just what you need. If you like what you’ve seen of the Rise cartoon, I definitely recommend checking this one out.

Want to have your say on this issue? Join the conversation in the Rise of the TMNT thread on our forums, or say hello on our Discord server!