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Infestation: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

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Infestation: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

Credits

  • Words: Tristan Jones
  • Art: Mark Torres
  • Colors: Jay Fotos
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Mar 7, 2012

The Ninja Turtles are back, and they're facing off against an interdimensional horror the likes of which only the Transformers, GI Joe, and more from your youth have fought.

Infestation has proven to be an interesting, if not outright enjoyable, attempt at a multi-franchise crossover from IDW. While it may not be the 1980s Marvel world (where the Transformers, Spider-Man, and Godzilla could all interact with each other), IDW's crafted a way to have the various franchises face a common threat, without actually interacting with one another; we're (likely) not going to have Shredder wield Megatron in battle, or Duke and Lady Jaye roll characters with the Dungeons and Dragons cast. For the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this comes at a time where they are just now regaining their foothold in the comic book world, and the pop-culture scene at large. With Nickelodeon now outright owning the characters, they're producing a new animated series, and getting IDW to publish comics based on the heroes in a half-shell.

The Ninja Turtles in this book seem to be a mishmash of what's come before. They have the multicolored headbands (Michelangelo is orange, Donatello is purple, Leonardo blue, and Raphael red), instead of the uniform red of the original era. They live in the sewers, but don't seem to fight Shredder or the Foot Clan, but "a gang led by a pirate cat man", and there seems to be largely more supernatural elements to the book. Still, the personalities are the ones from the iconic cartoon, with the crew eating cereal, watching TV, and generally being friendly… until they start saying "Hell" and cover their swords with monster blood. It's an odd mix that works, but seems to be bringing some "grim and gritty" to a series that featured a "radical rat". Tristan Jones seems to embrace the best of all worlds of the series, and it works.

Artistically, Mark Torres does wonders with the book. Instead of being traditionally designed, it plays with the fact that the main cast members aren't human. It all comes off very much as a Hellboy/Mignola book, only aided by the colors of Jay Fotos. The Turtles themselves most closely resembled the white-eyed, angular versions from the TV series by 4Kids, as interpreted through the world of BPRD. It's a look that works wonders for the cast, and should be the standard for their hand-drawn appearances.

While the Infestation has crept up on the Ninja Turtles, to them, it's just another interdimensional threat that needs to be taken care of. The heroes in a half-shell have a great introductory issue that shows their strengths, and as a crossover book, it's fully approachable.

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