Comics Reviews

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Gave Raphael a New Job

Raphael has just taken on a brand new role as Mutant Town’s official peacekeeper, but playing sheriff has nearly gotten him killed on the very first day of the job.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #122, available now from IDW Publishing.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have just pulled through a vicious attack on their new home, Mutant Town yet, and they have managed to finally free their home of the Mutanimals’ influence. Now that a new era of peace and progress can begin in the neighborhood populated by mutants, nearly everyone has been given a chance to take on the kinds of challenges they could only dream of before.

For Raphael, that means giving himself the opportunity to atone for his part in creating Mutant Town in the first place by acting as its resident peacekeeper. As perfect as it might seem, policing Mutant Town is no short order, and the job has already put Raphael in the line of fire in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #122 by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Sophie Campbell, Jodi Nishijima, Ronda Pattison, Bobby Curnow, and Shawn Lee.

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The Turtles and their allies have been redistributing the stockpiles of food and medicine that the Mutanimals had hoarded. Although Old Hob is still locked up, there is also the question of who will keep Mutant Town safe from anyone who might try and take advantage of the town’s inherently unstable situation. Thankfully, Raphael is willing to step up and take on that challenge. From where Raph is standing, this might even be the shot at redemption he has been looking for ever since unwittingly helping Old Hob to set off the Mutagen Bomb which transformed some residents of New York into mutants in the first place.

When the Turtles are ready to take Mutant Town’s youngest out for their first Halloween, they find that the Weasels are nowhere to be found around the dojo. Deciding to head back to the former Mutanimals headquarters that’s been repurposed as city hall, the heroes catch Raphael just before he heads out for his nightly patrol. They also find the Weasels letting Old Hob and his cronies out of their cells. The young mutants, having been convinced that setting Hob free will let them be a proper family, are overjoyed to see the Turtles, while Hob himself takes off running upon their arrival. The Turtles waste no time giving chase, with Raphael leading the pack in a frenzy.

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Unfortunately, that quickly dissolves as an option when Hob reveals the two firearms that he Weasels smuggled for him and unloads a round into Raphael’s arm. Though the wound is far from life-threatening, it is still enough to leave Raphael down for the count. As the others tend to his injuries, all Raph can do is watch as Old Hob once again escapes any real justice for his countless crimes. It’s a sobering moment for everyone involved, most of all Raphael himself, who has been chasing Hob for years to make up for the damage he inflicted as part of the Mutanimals.

Even if Raphael wasn’t able to bring Old Hob back in, there is no question that he fought as hard as anyone to do so. It’s also assured that he will be the one working twice as hard as the rest to hunt Hob down, especially now that he has taken on the job of keeping Mutant Town’s streets safe. Assuming he bounces back from his injury without any lasting effects, it will only be a matter of time until these two come face-to-face once more. Considering how much bad blood there is between them at this point, their next meeting might even be their last.

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