Battles Break Out Everywhere In TMNT #99 As City Of War Intensifies

by James Ferguson

New York was already in a state of chaos with war raging between rival factions of the Foot Clan, the Mutanimals, the mob, the EPF, and more. Old Hob just threw gasoline on the fire by unleashing a mutagen bomb, transforming dozens if not hundreds of citizens into mutants. They are no longer in the shadows. They’re front and center for the world to see.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #99 is jam-packed with action. Every single facet of this epic storyline is touched upon. Writer Tom Waltz bounces between them with deft precision. Each one will leave you on edge as we build towards the monumental issue #100. It’s no wonder this issue is practically three times the size of a standard comic. This book represents everything this series has been building towards so far. We’re talking years of development to get to this point and the payoff is extraordinary.
Much of TMNT #99 consists of incredible fight scenes. Artist Dave Wachter has outdone himself here. It helps that the stakes are so high all around. For example, when Donatello squares off against Metalhead, it’s not just his life on the line, but those of his brothers, not to mention the safety of the city if Metalhead succeeds with his plan. This leads to a war of words as well as fists. There’s a painful scene where Donny’s head is crushed against a wall and you can see how he’s struggling to keep everything together.

One of my favorite moments comes as Splinter works to break free from his prison. It’s another scene where someone has to dig deep to persevere. Wachter frames it with four vertical panels with the sides of each representing the walls that Splinter is literally trying to knock down. His bloodied fist pounds on them, breaking pieces free with each blow. It’s a fantastic visual.
Colorist Ronda Pattison raises the intensity of this sequence with a bright red background coinciding with each punch landed. She uses color similarly during later fight scenes to add to the excitement with bright yellows. One of my favorite effects comes with the blood red background that explodes when Karai unleashes an attack. This matches up to the inner rage that’s been bubbling up with her for some time, enhanced by her cursed blade.

The gods like Kitsune and the Rat King even get into the fray with TMNT #99. When they were the primary focus of the series, I was a little put off as they seem out of the Turtles’ league. These are street level heroes so what business to they have fighting back gods? The effects of these deities’ manipulation can be seen in City at War to great effect. The Rat King is just as slimy as ever, taunting Splinter in his cage. I like how letterer Shawn Lee uses a faded yellow color for the character’s word balloons. It gives him an ancient, yet dingy feel.

My head is still reeling from the wall-to-wall action contained within Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #99. This book has delivered in spades with some of the best fight scenes the series has ever seen coupled with incredible character development. This is a blockbuster action movie playing out in comic book form. No film could ever hope to capture the sheer awesomeness on display in these pages.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #99 from IDW Publishing is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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