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 IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Series, It Ain't Easy Being Green On CBRev
Beezzi
 Posted: Dec 1 2015, 05:06 PM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
Posts: 2101




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A Very Basic Introduction to the IDW Series
(for those too lazy to Google it)

IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the first series of TMNT comics to be published since Nickelodeon snagged the rights off of Peter Laird, co-daddy of the green dudes and then sole rights-holder.

Now, Nickelodeon might be part of an evil conglomerate that sneers jealously at Disney’s IP portfolio, but at least they’re not stupid. So deciding not to be sour-pusses like the zombies lurching around Mousetopia, they commissioned a new cartoon and, for some totally unexplained reason, decided to give IDW an opportunity to re-launch the comic series as well.

This might seem like straightforward, good ol’ common sense on the surface. IDW is in the business of peddling nostalgia, and the Turtles are nostalgia gold, wrapped in the unfulfilled dreams of teens now in their late… late… late 20s. But let’s be honest: while the Turtles might’ve had illustrious careers as TV heartthrobs (the Mirage series, while unique, had some, uhm, challenges), Eastman and Laird’s TMNT issues had some pretty spaced out releases. (Though still not as bad as Fraction’s Hawkeye.)

The series also took some weird turns as time went on. The most notorious? April wasn’t human but actually a 'sketch' drawn by her father years before. (It’s technically more complicated than that, but f**k it, we’re all trying to forget it ever happened.) The characters and art were amazing, but the actually plots sometimes left a lot to be desired.

Luckily for everyone, IDW went all out for the relaunch and anointed the series with the pure awesomeness which is Tom Waltz - if only his glory could one day shine upon those graced with the X-factor at Marvel. Art duties were bestowed upon Dan Duncan, his energetic, at times melancholy style an apt throwback to the gritty overtones of the original series. IDW even called in co-creator and Turtles exile Kevin Eastman to help out with plotting, layouts, cover art and a spot of writing.

The secret to the current series' success is that it’s not trying to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it’s building a whole new Fiat using the best parts of older Ferraris. It seamlessly blends years of comic, animated, film and new canon into a solid whole, while never losing sight of the important themes that made the franchise tick - honour and family.

Plus it finally tells a logical origin story which makes actual sense! Ninja practicing rats indeed, smh.

IDW’s TMNT series might not have the bells and whistles of say a new Morrison debut title, but it’s bloody readable and has way more soul than any #1 Marvel is relaunching this week. There’s just something indescribable that pulls you in. I don’t expect anyone to love it as much as I do, but it couldn’t hurt to at least take a peek.

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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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Fringe Division
 Posted: Dec 1 2015, 11:42 PM
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Napkin Bracelet
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What order do all the micro series and such get read in relative to the main series? I might have asked you this already? Or someone else? I don't remember.

Also:

QUOTE
The series also took some weird turns as time went on. The most notorious? April wasn’t human but actually a 'sketch' drawn by her father years before. (It’s technically more complicated than that, but f**k it, we’re all trying to forget it ever happened.)


Wut?
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Beezzi
 Posted: Dec 2 2015, 07:35 AM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
Posts: 2101




QUOTE (Bird's Bird Rights BirdK15 @ Dec 2 2015, 07:42 AM)
What order do all the micro series and such get read in relative to the main series? I might have asked you this already? Or someone else? I don't remember.


Maybe...don't remember either, but here's the most up to date reading order: IDW TMNT Chronology

Leo's solo micro is one of the best books in the series and well worth reading. Casey's is great example of old and new mixing to create seamless canon.

(The TMNT/Ghostbuster's crossover isn't really necessary, but it's good fun.)

QUOTE (Bird's Bird Rights BirdK15 @ Dec 2 2015, 07:42 AM)
Also:

QUOTE
The series also took some weird turns as time went on. The most notorious? April wasn’t human but actually a 'sketch' drawn by her father years before. (It’s technically more complicated than that, but f**k it, we’re all trying to forget it ever happened.)


Wut?


It wasn't good. The next volume totally ignored it - I think it was never retconned out, so it's technically still kinda canon. There was also aliens, time travelling and nanobots mixed in just because...

April and Casey also had an "adopted" daughter named Shadow, who turned half werewolf....oh the weirdness of the later years of TMNT.

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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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Fringe Division
 Posted: Dec 2 2015, 03:42 PM
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Napkin Bracelet
Posts: 8030




Cool, thanks! I might start them later this month.

For some reason the not-human-but-a-living-sketch thing seems more ridiculous than werewolves and nanobots to me, I don't know.
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Beezzi
 Posted: Dec 9 2015, 12:01 PM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
Posts: 2101




QUOTE (Bird's Bird Rights BirdK15 @ Dec 2 2015, 11:42 PM)
Cool, thanks! I might start them later this month.

For some reason the not-human-but-a-living-sketch thing seems more ridiculous than werewolves and nanobots to me, I don't know.


It would've been, but most of that happened in the same arch...if you're gonna doodle-fy April maybe save the other gimmicks for the next one. Actually, I think aliens officially arriving on earth was the setup for the "doodling".


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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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Beezzi
 Posted: Dec 9 2015, 12:23 PM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
Posts: 2101




Actually don't know where to post this, but I'll leave it here and not start a new DC thread, because it's related and it'll keep clutter down. It's a short series anyway.


Batman TMNT #1


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SPOILERS:
Opening DC Universe:

- A clean energy research lab is attacked by an unknown group of ninjas (The Foot). The attack is foiled by a gang of giant green turtles like things … off panel. Don’t worry, Batman is on the case.
- A pizza guy delivers his goods to a sewer grate (why do they keep doing this?). A three-fingered hand grabs it and we get some pointless banter over pizza.
- In the Batcave, Alfred reminds Bruce about the untimely death of his parents (real sensitive) and the butler gets snooty over his boss's need to seek distraction activities. They refer to the turtles as METAHUMANS – is DC not allowed to say the word mutants? AWKWARD.
- The next attack will be on Wayne Enterprises.
- Cut to the sewers where Killer Croc and his thugs are planning to steal the Batdude’s ride (Dude, where’s my Batmobile?) but the gang’s being followed by four mysterious figures.
- Topside. Wayne Labs. The Foot are about to pull off the heist when the Dark Knight makes a dramatic entrance. Batman goes to town on them … off panel.
- Killer croc discovers the Turtles lair.
- In the lab, Batman forces info out of the only conscious Foot soldier. The ninja spouts something about turtles.
- Back underground, a fight ensues between Killer Croc and the Turtles … off panel. Sigh. April and Casey are missing.
- Lab: Shredder makes an even more dramatic entrance, threatens to burn Gotham to the ground and call pest control on the Bat before vanishing.
- Later – cue dramatic music – up on the street the Bat and the Turtles (plus Splinter) finally meet. Batman hits a dramatic mainstream hero pose.


I haven’t read a DC comic since “Battle for the Cowl” and I just skimmed the New 52 Bat comics. Saying that, Tynion's writing of the Bat bits read fine, but it won’t win any Pulitzers – it’s very stiff. The highlight is basically anything Alfred says. It’s snooty and largely sarcastic.

If you’re used to the IDW Turtles, these are not the Turtles you’re looking for. With the pizza scene basically snagged straight out of the first film, there’s no doubt that this is catering to non-IDW fans, which I guess is OK?

It’s just jarring to see the fours brothers being reduced to shallow past stereotypes. Leo is straight-laced Cyke, Ralph is angry Wolverine, Donnie is nerdy Beast and Mikey is Iceman. I get this is supposed to entice mainstream readers into trying the current IDW series, but won’t someone think of the existing IDW fans? I feel like the ugly stepsister being hidden away in the basement.

Another niggle is having three fight scenes off-panel. Flying fists and enemy’s getting pulverised is a mainstay of the current IDW series. This just felt like a editor wanted to keep the page count down and someone else didn’t want to draw the whole thing. Very today.

Williams’ art is good; he even draws proper, mostly detailed backgrounds and there’s no annoying timesaving gradieated shit *cough* *cough* Marvel lazy *cough* *cough*. Also, the man draws a bloody awesome Turtle. He’s like the less painterly version of Noto and he takes the “Bat” bit in Batmobile very seriously: the Caped Crusader’s ride is practically a vampire bat, fangs included. (Is this the way it looks in the current DC series? It's very '70s comic-booky.)

All in all, the whole thing is kinda meh. But it’s a first issue, and maybe things will get more entertaining now that all the setup is out of the way. Hopefully there’s a Shredder/Batman brawl in the works – and not off panel.

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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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Beezzi
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 02:22 PM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
Posts: 2101




Totally forgot among all the Behop and Rocksteady news.

IDW is giving TMNT's "supporting cast" a new ongoing in August.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #1

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I'm really hyped for this one - the universe has expanded so much over the last while that a lot of great characters were just not getting enough panel space, so this is a great opportunity to tell those stories (especially with everything going on with Casey right now).

Allor has done some of the TMNT mini's - it'll be interesting to see how he fares with an ongoing (Waltz and Eastman will be guest writers and are clearly still in charge). Damian Couceiro did some stuff for BOOM! - I don't really know his work, but let's see if he can draw a Fugtioid.

In other news TMNT #56 got a second print run off the introduction of fan favourite Leatherhead. They made us wait for it, but it was totally worth it.

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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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