Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Brahm Revel and Ronda Pattison, with art by Brahm Revel and Jodi Nishijima, colors by Brahm Revel and Ronda Pattison, and letters by Brahm Revel and Shawn Lee. From chasing down Mutant Town escapees to dealing with old flames, Jennika has her hands full and it can be a real struggle when things are changing so much. But, when you look a little closer, you might just find something familiar to latch onto.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 was certainly an interesting book to jump into. Having only read the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mighty Morphin Power Rangers crossover book I was definitely in for a surprise from the world I found awaiting me here. In this issue, a whole chunk of New York being mutants, something I wasn’t expecting. This setting is used well to create an all-encompassing sense of tension for the stories that this book presents. This tension is both felt by and reflects the feelings being dealt with by Jennika. This helps establish a cohesive feeling between the story and its stage.
While the setting and character may feel well suited for each other, that cannot be said for the issue as a whole. The art in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1’s main story is a weak point for the book. The linework by Revel comes through feeling sloppy. This feels even more striking than it might have since the level of polish for the images fluctuates from panel to panel. And even though I feel like the linework isn’t great, everything is still clear and easy to follow. So while it may be lacking in form for my taste, it certainly still serves its function.
Helping to make up for some of my dislike of the lines, though, certainly was Revel’s use of color in many of his panels. Color is used to great effect to highlight characters, as well as add contrast between foreground and background. This gave many of the panels a more striking feel.
The story itself is a solid bit of writing by Revel. What begins as a run-of-the-mill chase for Jennika quickly turns into a fairly emotional night. Who knew Mutant Town was such a small place. Running into former friends, especially those we left on bad terms, is an awkward situation we’ve all been through. Revel explores these themes well as Jennika’ s responses to her situation feel authentic and well-written.
Following the main story is a separate side tale I found to be a nice little glimpse into Jennika’s past. Pattison’s writing provides the character with a tender side that made her instantly endearing. The way it is then used to tie back into her present-day situation and provide Jennika with some inspiration is a lovely finish.
The art of this story does a great job of working with its writing. The story presented is a small one and the art does a great job of not overdoing the visual presentation of it. Little smiles and soft moments are allowed to be little. It’s too easy sometimes in comic books to overdo everything. Sometimes though, smaller is better. Nishijima’s appreciation of the light touch goes a long way for this small, heartfelt story.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 was, in the end, a bit of a mixed bag. While its storytelling was mostly on the strong side, it’s visual presentation left much to be desired. The character is given some solid moments to shine and is built up well as someone I could care about. However, given the vast options currently available in the comic book space this book doesn’t do enough to really make itself stand out from the crowd.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 is available on February 26th.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #1 was, in the end, a bit of a mixed bag. While its storytelling was mostly on the strong side, it’s visual presentation left much to be desired.