For as long as I can remember I have loved the Ninja Turtles. I loved the cartoons, the games, the comics and especially the first two live action movies. To my knowledge there has not been a long running TMNT comic series for along time. So you can believe my surprise when I found out that there is indeed a new ongoing Ninja Turtles comic series. I’m not going to pretend I knew about this series since day one. I basically stumbled across it while looking on amazon for other comics. (nerd, remember?) Honestly I would not have been as intrigued as I was if the art wasn’t so to my liking, and it really, really is Dan Duncan’s art is the perfect meld of what is needed to make it stand out from anything before it. I really was not expecting what was to come.
Now for those of you who don’t know, I’m guessing that is a great many of you. There has not really been a lot of different origin stories. In fact I don’t think there has ever been a origin story for the turtles at least in that its “4 turtles fall down into sewer and are trained by a rat after having ooze fall on them causing them to mutate”. I know the 80’s cartoon kinda had a different thing going with Splinter actually being Homato Yoshi turned into splinter by the ooze but its the same basic outline. But in this series you could argue its the same thing but it is indeed different.
There is gonna be some spoilers here. Basically April O’Neil is working at a laboratory where they have animals for testing. Mainly they have a rat and 4 turtles. April is the one whom actually names all of the turtles and splinter. Now if you think that’s crazy or outrageous, its really not nor is it a big deal. Here is where the big change comes. The lab gets broken into and the turtles and rat end up outside where the ooze falls on them blah, blah, blah. Then a cat attacks! Who also got some ooze on him. Again not too odd or even strange but. Its what this cat who becomes the main antagonist for at least the first trade paper back. What the cat does is that it steals Raphael away long enough that he doesn’t get knocked into the sewer with the rest of the turtles and splinter, and basically has to learn everything on his own. The turtles don’t have to grow up like they did in the moves. After what i think might be a couple hours they are all full size and can talk.
I honestly don’t know what to think about this. I’m really of a mind and a half about it. Going into this I did not know it was going to be a re-boot I kind of thought it would just pick up in an arbitrary place. I was quite surprised but one look on the back would have told me exactly what I needed to know. “This is made for the old school TMNT fan in mind. It’s not a continuation its an new take on the series . And that’s it has Kevin Eastman attached helps give this re-launch a lot of weight.” Says the pull quote from Kittyspryde.com If i had have read that when I went into the series I don’t think i would have had the same reaction.
After my initial reaction of shock and almost dislike. Which I’m kinda disappointed in my self in. I felt like a check-list “moe” fan where everything has to be the same or else its no good. I did a complete 180 and I think its the best thing they could have done to change it up. It seriously feels a lot heaver and more thought out. Now there is a real reason why Raphael is the more hard edge one in the group. I really do quite like it and I think any TMNT fan worth their salt would love it. I think that it has the potential to be one of the seminal works of the franchise.
If you are interested in reading this series or picking it up, Its 12$ on amazon. Link is in the picture at the top. You could do much worse with your frivolous spending.