Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
Story by Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz and Art by Dan Duncan
I’m unsure if everyone else was as excited to see Kevin Eastman put out a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle title but I snapped this shit up as soon as I left work that Wednesday. Elated and apprehensive, I filed my issue in one of my many short boxes, firm that I would read it later. Well, here we are roughly four months later and I’ve barely had the time to check it out. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t get into TMNT until I was at least 20 and that was largely due to having a huge TMNT fanboy as a significant other. I wasn’t born when Eastman first published the comics under Mirage Studios and in the 90’s I may have seen the first movie once or twice. As I began to delve into the Turtle lore, I became enraptured and sucked up every bit I could. Granted I still can’t quote the movies word by word (unlike a certain fanboy) but it’s become a universe I love. I digress so we will depart from my personal feelings and get on with the review!
Story wise, I think this title is strong. Eastman starts off issue one with an old school rumble and it was full of epicky epicness as I cheered for my turtles. Splinter fights alongside three of his sons; Michaelango, Leonardo, and Donatello. Told from the viewpoint of one of the brothers, the solemn words strike a chord and certainly make an impact on the reader. Splinter’s teaching are law and each must obey and keep steady in the face of adversity. We learn that Raphael has been separated from the group, but how long and why remains a mystery. The scene switches to a lab 18 months prior to the fight and a young research assistant named April O’Neil coos over the un-mutated turtles, specimens of a genetic regeneration experiment whom she names after Renaissance artists (I’m gonna interject here and say I was moved to tears that poor Rafe is all by himself).
I immediately fell in love with Duncan’s art, in particular this panel where Rafe excitedly finds some pizza to eat. It’s frickin’ adorable and reminiscent of the goofy pizza eating scenes in the first movie. I’ve never seen anything Duncan has drawn before and I gotta say that I love his style. It fluctuates between stern and badassery to cute and is all around aesthetically pleasing.
I liked the little nods to hardcore fans of the 90’s cartoon and movies and I loved how the comic itself ended…I’m definitely excited to see how it continues. In my opinion, definitely pick this one up! Go Ninja, Go Ninja, GO!