Peace is Hard-Won in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 21

By Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Yesterday, surprising news broke that the Trump administration had secret meetings with North Korea and that it now intends to engage the estranged country in peace talks. This comes as a particular shock because it was not too long ago that Trump and Kim Jong-un were exchanging insults, the likes of which caused the Doomsday clock to tick forward in anticipation of some sort of nuclear incident. It’s hard to say whether these talks will actually take place, or, if they do, if they’ll be productive at all given the disposition of the two leaders involved. But should it happen, it will be peace hard-won, just like the peace between the Triceratons and Utroms in TMNT Universe 21.

With nowhere else to go after their failed invasion of New York, the Triceratons have escaped to Burnow island where they hope to strike a peace with their former enslavers, the Utroms. The Utroms, for their part, have to accept the Triceratons’ overture of peace, because if they don’t they could well be destroyed by their former soldiers.

This isn’t exactly stable groundwork for a lasting peace, but that’s the point of this issue. Peace, even when it is achieved without war, is hard. Anyone who has been in an argument knows how hard it is to concede anything and that’s doubly true when you’re dealing with issues that may go back for generations. This proves to be true with the Triceratons and Utroms, who find no humor in Donatello’s jokes given the deep-seated distrust they have of each other.

Donatello doesn’t really understand just how much the Triceratons and Utroms hate each other. There are real world examples of this throughout history and all over the globe, but you only have to look at the Middle East to know that hatred can run deep and make peace seem all but impossible.

I don’t often expect to find verisimilitude in a TMNT comic (even though by now I know I should), so it’s wonderfully rewarding to see the series comment on our world in such a profound and truthful way. While the peace being forged in this issue is between two alien species, its content couldn’t be any more human.

For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to Comixology and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?

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