Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe (#11) – Rich Douek

3 out of 5

There’s a pleasingly ramshackle vibe to this Mutanimals one-shot – Man-Ray and Susan tracking down the likely mutant cause of Jersey Devil claims, who turns out to be the IDW version of Dreadmon – that recalls the seat-of-the-pants method of some of the Archie-era / Fred Wolf cartoon stuff, which is maybe why interest starts to dwindle during the moments when writer Rich Douek tries to tackle more serious concepts. There’s also a bit too much going on here for either Douek or artist Aaron Conley to consistently tackle, with mutate-at-will Null soldiers tasked to bring Dreadmon in for… Null stuff; this of course turns into a half-issue length battle, but there’s an unwillingness to do any lasting damage to either side, leading to a repeated set-up of one-liner, punch, one-liner, punch, that gets fairly tiresome. Overall, it’s a fairly rowdy good time, though – reminding me of older Tales issues in its approachability – and especially with the energetic Conley depicting things and a nice use of pop colors from Triona Farrell.