Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Allies and Enemies
Authors: Mike Costa, Ben Epstein, Barbara Randall Kesel, Mike Henderson (Illustrations), Marley Zarcone (Illustrations), and Ben Bates (Illustrations)
Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Synopsis: The spotlight shines on some of the Turtles best friends and fiercest enemies! These individual stories focus on Casey Jones, April O'Neil, Bepop & Rocksteady, and General Kraang of the current ongoing series.
Review: I will never pass up the opportunity to read a TMNT comic, especially when it goes into individual stories based on characters who aren't Leo, Mikey, Donnie, and Raph. I was especially excited to see that the villians featured in this comic included Bebop and Rocksteady, so obviously I snatched it up as soon as I possibly could!
This entire comic is only around 84 pages long, so it's a very quick read. Especially if you break it up and read one story at a time. There's actually a lot more background in these stories than I thought there might be - we get to see Casey's home life and his alcoholic father, a little bit of April's past, and some of how Kraang rose to be the fearsome general that he is. There's not a lot of new information here, but the stories do have parts that take place in the present, and that was really fun to read.
Since these stories focus on the allies and enemies, the Turtles are really not as present as you would imagine in a TMNT comic. They make quick appearances, but the focus really is on Casey, April, Kraang, Bebop, and Rocksteady. Other enemies make cameos too, so that was pretty neat! I just love that this is such an established universe and other characters can op in and out without having to explain who they are or why they're there. Everything is so interconnected, even when it doesn't seem like it should be.
The artwork is reminiscent of the older style of the Turtles - very gritty and dark - and less like the current Nickelodeon cartoon. I actually think this style captures the Turtles better, so it was nice to dive back into that world, where everything isn't always sunshine, rainbows, and pizza. I think both longtime and new fans of the TMNT would enjoy this comic, especially if you want to see more of the supporting cast. And Bebop and Rocksteady! Because they're my favorite. 4/5!