Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #83
Script: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, & Tom Waltz
Art: Dave Wachter
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Shawn Lee
Publication Date: June 6, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “Kingdom of Rats,” Part 3. In an effort to thwart the Rat King, the TMNT travel to distant Siberia to try and enlist the help of his brother, Manmoth. The Turtles soon find that his welcome is less than warm in their new surroundings!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #83 starts the turtles off in the frigid wilderness of Siberia. They are searching for and find Manmoth, who, like his namesake, is a giant mutant blend of man and mammoth. They are there to find out a way to combat Manmoth’s brother, the Rat King. Unfortunately for the turtles, Manmoth is a loner who isn’t keen on guests. Seemingly only those that are fit to survive are worth Manmoth’s time. And he decides the way for them to prove their worthiness is through a little combat.
I enjoyed so much of what was happening in this issue. As someone who is a big TMNT fan but has not followed this recent story line much, this issue was totally accessible. Most of the familiar faces are present and while I did not know all the details of each story line, enough was said that it makes it easier for the reader to piece together. One striking element of this issue was the Rat King. Man is he creepy. When one thinks of a turtle comic, creepy is not a word that typically springs to mind. But the Rat King gave me the heebie-jeebies. What this creative team has done is construct a character that is a combination of the Grinch, Marvel’s Morbius, and St. Patrick if they were thrown in a blender and spit out of a Stephen King nightmare. He is only in a few panels in this issue but he made a lasting impression. I am not sure if it is his appearance, the small parade of children creepily following him to their death, or the rat he unceremoniously chomps in half, but I can’t wait to see more of him.
The art is what one expects from a TMNT comic. It has a gritty feel that all the turtle books seem to have, but it also has some amazing detail. Manmoth and the Rat King definitely deserve some recognition. One panel has Manmoth staring down his rune covered crossbow with his narrowed brown eyes that really captured the danger and intention of the character in that moment. And of course there is the Rat King who is clearly someone with evil intent, but, at the same time, Wachter is able to instill an almost whimsical nature to the character. I am not sure which creator is responsible for this but it is a pretty impressive, and slightly disturbing, feat.
The Bottom Line:
Here, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #83, Eastman and Co. feature a story that blends perfectly with its visuals.