The question of what makes something fit within the definition of a monster is one that has popped up not only in our stories but throughout real-life situations as well. It is a question that very much seems to be guiding the story when it comes to IDW Publishing’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika II. Brahm Revel has returned to handle everything (writing, drawing, coloring, lettering) with this second mini-series focused on the newest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Jennika.
While the first issue set up the mystery of this new story, simply and aptly titled “Monsters,” this second one begins to delve not only deeper into the mystery of these suddenly appearing so-called ‘monsters’ within the section of New York known as Mutant Zone but also questions society’s (no matter the shape or form it takes) propensity to try and label that which they do not understand as monsters.
Jennika continues to be an intriguing character who somewhat fills the superhero role within the Turtles right now, becoming sort of a vigilante protector to those struggling to make ends meet within the Mutant Zone. Now that the previous mini-series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika, as well as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Universe story “What Is Ninja?”, having done the heavy lifting of filling in Jennika’s backstory this new series is free to just hit the ground running with a full-on adventure with seemingly no ties to her past (other than the returning semi-antagonistic/reluctant ally character from her past known as Ivan).
As the main Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series deals with the five turtles and their allies building up a life & dealing with the chances the Zone has brought, Jennika’s books prove to be a way to showcase more of how the world within and outside the walls has changed and continues to change since the Mutagen Bomb went off.
Revel’s artwork continues to exude strong kinetic energy, especially showcased during a scene reminiscent of any Godzilla or giant monster battle style movie that we have all seen before. Everything from the focus on the foreground action to the bright colors & bombastic lettering at times fits the very frantic pace of the first half of the issue and then really works for the more constrained and claustrophobic tense second half of the issues that descend into the very depths of New York City.
There are numerous panels and strings of panels where the emotions showcased from tension to agony to fear are so palpable thanks to the orchestration of the facial expressions or colors or even lack of colors that Revel seems to bounce between with relative ease. Comics are generally a collaborative effort with various minds bringing something to the table and it’s not often that a lone person can take on all the roles so effectively but Revel nails it with this issue.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika II #2 is now available from IDW Publishing in your local comic shop and through Comixology.
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