Thanks to funny, witty dialogue and a novel change of setting, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DIMENSION X #4 is a delight. The story and art style successfully move at a brisk pace akin to action films.
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New York City needs to move over because there’s a new town where the galaxy’s biggest criminals and low-lives gather: Palmadise City. It’s here on planet Palmadise that the Turtles find themselves looking for a duck on the run from the city’s wealthiest mob boss. Place your bets on who will get to the duck first: The Turtles or Palmadise City’s ruthless bounty hunters. Welcome to TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DIMENSION X #4 written by Ryan Ferrier with art by Chris Johnson and colors by Mark Englert.

READ: Need a refresher on last’s week issue? Catch up with our review of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DIMENSION X #3

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DIMENSION X #4 throws the Turtles into the heart of Palmadise City–a departure from previous issues which took place on desolate planets and an asteroid. Engaging in illicit activity and gambling are the denizens of Palmadise City’s past-time which plays a huge role throughout this issue. While Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael ponder where to begin looking for the witness they need to testify at the Trial of Krang: Ace Duck; Michaelangelo gets curious and wanders off to look around.


Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

Smokin’ Ace

Ace Duck is a military veteran who is a fugitive on Palmadise City because he blew up a huge weapons shipment. The Turtles learn that Ace has a bounty of one million dollars placed on his head by Papa Chum, a Don Corleone-like mob boss. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DIMENSION X #4’s plot takes a page from THE RUNNING MAN as Ace is on the run from Papa Chum’s bounty hunters and the Turtles have to intercept him. They finally meet Ace by saving him from a cyborg assassin named Thurk which leads to a humorous exchange between them. After Ace mistakes the Turtles for bounty hunters, they reveal that they need his help because of Krang.

READ: New to the series? Here’s our review of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DIMENSION X #1!

Eventually Ace takes the Turtles to his hideout where we learn about his connection to Krang. The duck reveals that he participated in the war against the Utroms as a member of a special ops unit. Unfortunately, Ace and a unit of fighter jets were shot down, forcing them to surrender. Because Ace is on the run, there is a constant sense of urgency to the story even during calm moments. Danger is constantly present until the climactic showdown with Hakk-r which gives this issue an action movie vibe.

Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

The Ace in the Hole

In this issue, Ryan Ferrier doubles down on duck jokes that come hard and fast. Characters play off of Ace to humorous effect beginning with the Turtles wondering what kind of duck they’re dealing with. For a character that is battle-scarred and has PTSD, Ace is funny and charming all the way up to the final page. For example, when Ace initially meets the Turtles, he calls them Botticelli, a reference to the Italian Renaissance painter, Sandro Botticelli.

READ: What do Autobots and shaving have in common? Our interview with John Barber and Steve Kurth on SHICK HYDROBOT AND THE TRANSFORMERS ONE-SHOT!

One can’t help but root for Ace even though he tries to give the Turtles the slip numerous times throughout the story. Ultimately, it’s fascinating to see Ace go from being selfish to selfless. At the end of the day, while he lost his team, he gained a new one: the Turtles.

Also as noted earlier, money plays a vital role around the Turtles. Michelangelo literally wins the lottery at one point. As a result, Raphael hilariously points out that Mikey might have a gambling problem.

Palmadise Lost

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DIMENSION X #4 fully takes advantage of the urban setting that is Palmadise City. Chris Johnson’s pencils and inks depict a city that is both futuristic and alien in the sense that the Turtles are out of place. At the same time, the city often feels like New York City with massive screens reminiscent of Times Square and a subway. In fact, the urban environment feels quite refreshing and is a welcome addition to the series.

READ: Want more IDW Publishing comics to check out? Here’s our review of CLUE #2!

The city gives off a JOHN WICK vibe thanks to Mark Englert’s colors. Throughout the issue the neon palette makes the city feel like a vibrant, concrete jungle, making the panels feel frantic. The colors work well with Johnson’s realistic, whimsical take on the Turtles. The scene where Mikey splits from the group to go people watch and makes some hilarious observations is one best showcases of color in this issue.



Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

Closing Comments

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DIMENSION X #4 moves at a fast pace once the action gets going. Duck puns hit like a one-two punch even when things get serious. Like previous issues, Johnson does a great job with underlying mature themes while continuing to make Hakk-r an imposing villain. I look forward to seeing how the series wraps up with issue 5 because each team has been consistently hitting it out of the park.

Issue 4 is available online and wherever you get your books/comics today. 

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