Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #118 Review

Writer: Sophie Campbell
Artist: Nelson Daniel
Publisher: IDW
Release Date: June 23rd, 2021
Reviewer: PlasticFrank

IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #118 puts April in mortal danger and sets her up for life as a fugitive. Mayor Baxter Stockman’s secrets are in danger of being exposed. Oruki Saki secretly saves the day, repeatedly.

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Issue #118 is the first issue since the conclusion of the disappointingly anticlimactic Battle of the Bands arc. The Battle of the Bands became a major plot point in Future Lita’s fight to save her family from an apocalyptic future. That future has been successfully averted and Lita has returned to her time.

The inhabitants of Mutant Town have been struggling to deal with a myriad of challenges. Supplies are scarce. The mutants of Mutant Town live in squalid neglect and are misunderstood by the outside world. To make matters worse, Baxter Stockman had been sending monstrous creatures into Mutant Town to further destabilize the community.

Reincarnated by Splinter’s sacrifice to save NYC, the man formerly known as the Shredder, Oruku Saki has been lurking unseen around Mutant Town and Splinter Clan.


The issue starts with a flashback to when future Lita first arrived in present day. She has a lengthy talk with Oruku Saki about his role in the lives of the Turtles and their friends.

We then cut to present day, where Saki is acting as a guardian angel, watching over and secretly helping various members of Splinter Clan.

Working for Mayor Baxter Stockman, April O’Neil witnesses something alarming she wasn’t supposed to see. April confronts Baxter, threatening to expose his dangerously criminal machinations to the media.

Baxter and his henchmen attack April to protect their secret. April gives chase and manages to escape to Mutant Town thanks to the secret aid of Oruku Saki.


The art takes a dramatic change of pace in TMNT #118. Regular TMNT artist Sophie Campbell is replaced by Nelson Daniel. Campbell’s art is missed here but she retains writing duties on this issue.


The creative team seems to be having scheduling issues on TMNT. This issue is being released a mere two weeks after the previous. I’m not sure if Sophie Campbell will be returning as artist. Nelson Daniel is scheduled to draw issue #119. I would be quite disappointed if Campbell doesn’t return to art duties.

I have yet to acclimate to the concept of a benevolent Shredder. The Darth Vader of the TMNT franchise is concerned about everyone’s well-being? That’s hard to accept. But I guess the analogy is apt as Darth Vader redeemed himself in the end.

It looks like the Turtles and friends are on track for a confrontation with Baxter Stockman. IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #119 is scheduled for release July 14th.


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