“Leave Heaven Alone” is the start of the next major arc for TMNT Adventures. Most of these stories take place one after the other anyway, but this is clearly the beginning of something very new. We also have a new rotater in the artist pool in Donald Simpson, who does a more than adequate job with his realistic take on the Turtles.
Cuddly the Cowlick drops the Turtles off on Earth as promised, but not to New York. He leaves them in Brazil instead. This was a part of the series’s second credo: get the Turtles out of New York. And it’s going to work very well.
Quickly upon arriving, the Turtles are greeted by an anamorphic jaguar named Jagwar. In tune with the rest of the series, he’s not a mutant, but actually was born this way. This is another fine twist on the conventions of the cartoon series.
Unfortunately Jagwar is very wordy, and spends most of the issue expositing about the destruction of the rainforest. The Turtles team up with him to save April O’Neil, who has been kidnapped here while on assignment.
I know that sounds unlikely… and it is, but April hasn’t been seen in this series since issue #4, so that makes it a little easier to swallow. Maybe this is where she’s been.
Anyway, the Turtles and Jagwar save April and we get a closing shot of a new villain called Null, hidden behind a chair a la Doctor Claw.
This issue, as stated, is just too preachy. I thought maybe that it was just me as a child not getting it, but no, it’s this story. The plot exists solely to allow Jagwar to teach you about the rainforest, and while I applaud such efforts to make kids learn, I prefer a more subtle approach that also makes for a good story. 4/10 for being overbearing.