In the post-City At War world everything changed not only for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but for everyone. The ramifications for the actions that were taken clearly reached far and wide, as shown with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #101. One of the biggest changes is the fact that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves have disbanded as they deal with the pain of Master Splinter’s death differently. The other big change was the establishment of the Mutant Town community within New York City. This Mutant Town has been created to be the place all the people turned into mutants now live in and aren’t able to leave due to governmental law. These are just two big shake ups to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book franchise. What else will pop up as this new normal develops? Let’s find out with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #102.
Story Consultants: Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Script Writer and Artist: Sophie Campbell
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: After silently reflecting on something that gets him emotional Raphael asks Pepperoni if he wants to go out on patrol. Pepperoni suddenly starts growling at something he senses.
Sally Pride shows up and tells Raphael how she has heard that he has been beating up her enforcers. Raphael tells Sally that the Mutanimals have been out of control with their form of protecting mutants. Sally admits that with how things are right now the Mutanimals are all she has. Before they can continue talking they hear Jennika telling Mona to watch out.
In an alleyway Jennika struggles against a porcupine mutant named Diamond, due to the injuries from the earlier sneak attack. Jennika does not back down and instead laughs at the mutants attacking her and Mona.
Raphael and Sally show up to break things up. Sally tells the Diamond and the other Mutanimals to all stand down and uses her status as a Commander to get them to leave or face being fired.
Raphael, Mona and Sally then take Jennika to get treated for her injuries.
Over at Mayor Baxter Stockman’s office April O’Neil attempts to call the Ninja Turtles at the farm but none of them pick up the phone.
At the O’Neil Farm, Michalangelo, Donatello and Leonardo continue to not talk as they go about their day. Eventually Donatello asks Leonardo if there is any way for them to fix this. Leonardo admits not knowing how and says maybe they shouldn’t fix things, much to Donatello’s surprise.
Donatello tries to go up to talk to Michalangelo but Mikey doesn’t even open his bedroom door to attempt to talk.
Donatello then decides to start packing. After he is done he writes a letter to Leonardo and Michalangelo.
After finishing that letter Donatello leaves the farm alone, walking the opposite way Leonardo is currently walking.
Michalangelo sees that Donatello is leaving from his bedroom window.
At the Mutanimals headquarters Diamond tries to convince Old Hob to not fire him like Sally recommended. Hob calls Diamond a loose cannon and orders her to leave the warehouse immediately.
Hob then meets up with Koya to talk about the supplies they have put together to send to Karai. Hob then shows Koya three new mutant soldiers for Koya’s boss to use. Koya is stunned when she sees how rabid the new mutants inside the box are.
Nearby, Diamond is shown watching Hob and Koya’s meeting from the shadows with a dastardly look on her face.
Back at the farm Michalangelo finds Donatello’s note and can only cry over learning his brother left because of his desire to work on himself alone.
Outside the house a shadowy figure dressed in a cloak watches Michalangelo reading the note.
Over at Alopex’s place Raphael, Sally, Jennika and Mona talk about what they should do about the Mutanimals. Raphael attempts to leave but Jennika is quick to remind him this involves him too. Sally tells everyone that because of how many members there are in the Mutanimals it is tough to keep things under control. She goes on to explain how especially Man Ray and Herman are just following whatever Hob says, Mondo Gecko and Seymour Gutz leaving the Mutanimals and Lindsey Baker forced to leave Mutant Town since she is a normal human. All these factors have led it to be harder to keep Mutanimals like Diamond in check.
At the Mutanimals headquarters after Hob and Koya leave the warehouse Diamond sneaks back in. Diamond quietly releases the mutants that Hob showed Koya earlier. The three mutants immediately attack Diamond and leave her bleeding on the floor.
Hob and Koya rush back in after hearing the commotion. Diamond gets back up and just laughs at Hob because his deal is now screwed. Koya tells Hob that he must get the mutants he promised to Karai back.
Somewhere in Mutant Town the three mutants get ready to hunt and eat. End of issue.
The Good: With how much things changed across the board the best thing for Sophie Campbell to do is slow things down and take the time to develop the new world order. That is exactly what we see in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #102 with Campbell continuing to develop the post-City At War world that has been created. In doing so Campbell creates intriguing storylines for every character that in some way crossover with one another.
Establishing how everyone is dealing with the post-City At War status quo differently adds to how important that storyline is to the entire series. No character was left untouched. Everyone from the Ninja Turtles to April O’Neil to Old Hob are all dealing with the ramifications of City At War. In juggling so many characters Campbell reminds the reader how many different types of characters there are in this series.
As the stars of the show Campbell has done a great job using how the Ninja Turtles are dealing with the death of their father, Master Splinter, has a trickle down effect on everyone else. The core four Ninja Turtles are all dealing with Master Splinter’s death differently but also the same. They all feel this deep sadness that they aren’t able to fully deal with it. In their own way, Leonardo, Michalangelo, Donatello and Raphael are dealing with it by burying this sadness.
Leonardo telling Donatello that things should not change in how they are all dealing with Master Splinter’s death speaks to how broken things are. Even with Raphael in Mutant Town being a vigilante, there is a feeling that each of the Ninja Turtles are lost. Donatello leaving the farm to go off on his own journey adds to how it is not clear how they will all become the superhero Ninja Turtles we know them to be. Each one has to rediscover their passion for the fight. How long it takes is anyone’s guess. Which adds greater intrigue into seeing how they face the new status quo individually and as a team.
Seeing the original four Ninja Turtles like this opens the opportunity to make Jennika stand out even more. As the new addition to the Ninja Turtles we are seeing how Jennika is stepping up to try to fill the hole her brothers have left behind. Even when she was severely injured by Diamond she never lost her fighting spirit. In showcasing Jennika in this way Campbell shows how she brings something new to the table with her personality.
That is added on to with how Jennika does not let Raphael go back to doing his solo vigilante thing. Jennika understands that she, Raphael, Alopex and Sally must figure out how to make life in Mutant Town better together. Individually none of them cannot too much. To improve things in Mutant Town there has to be clear thought put into a plan to deal with their current isolation in New York City.
Bringing in Sally into the equation as the Mutanimals representative helped build out that team’s current status quo. With how the government has walled off Mutant Town there was a need for someone to help police things. But as we’ve seen it is tough to install such a law enforcement when there is no clear structure in place.
The Mutanimals quick growth shows that for all his experience as a leader Old Hob cannot control it properly. There are way too many wild cards in play now that the mutant population has skyrocketed, as shown by Diamond’s attitude. Sally mentioning that Mondo Gecko and the other original Mutanimals have left the group speaks to how rushed the Mutanimals transformation into a law enforcement group was.
Which all helps to make characters like Diamond and the mutants that Karai was trying to purchase more strong additions to the cast. These are all characters that all seem to be reveling in their new lives as mutants. The sense of power from these characters makes them dangerous elements to have run wild. How Campbell uses these new characters to strengthen the series is something that will be interesting to watch over time.
Continuing on the villain side, while she wasn’t physically present, it was interesting to learn that Karai is doing her own thing that involves exporting wild mutants Old Hob has gathered. This seems to indicate that Karai did not return to the good side after City At War. Karai’s motives in this new world that was created thanks to City At War is not clear. Though given how she had Koya attempt to bring her wild mutants it does not look good.
Outside the walls of Mutant Town and vicinity of the farm it was good to see that Campbell is keeping April O’Neil as a big part of this series. Though we’ve only seen her in a few pages there are clearly big plans for April in the future. Seeing April working with Mayor Baxter Stockman shows that she is at least trying to work towards a solution. Though given her current look it does seem like everything that has gone on has weighed heavily on her. Hopefully we see April play a bigger part of the series in the near future as there is a lot of potential in what she is currently doing.
Along with the great writing Campbell does an impressive job handling the artwork for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #102 alongside colorist Ronda Pattison. Campbell and Pattison do a great job in showing how differently everyone is dealing with the new world order differently based on their design. Every character has a different expression on their faces when talking or being silent. This goes a long way to give greater weight to the story that is currently being told across the three major locations in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of O’Neil Farm, Mutant Town and New York City.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #102 is another excellent issue to follow-up on Sophie Campbell’s start on this series. The fallout of “City At War” continues to weigh heavily on everyone in this franchise. Everyone from the Ninja Turtles to April O’Neil to Old Hob have their own arc that connects in some way. The journey as to how all these arcs come together will be fascinating to watch play out.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can also catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter.