Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1


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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1


  • Words: Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz
  • Art: Dan Duncan
  • Colors: Ronda Pattinson
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Aug 27, 2011

 A brand new series and direction for the “Heroes in a Half-Shell.”

The pair of Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz quickly burst out of the gates with a fresh yet vaguely familiar, new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story.  While friendly faces like Baxter Stockman, April O’Neil, Casey Jones, and the Turtles themselves make appearances, it is clear that this new series will be anything but a simple rehash of the past.  From page one, Eastman and Waltz greet readers with a grittier world, and several updated origins for the characters.

Like many readers, most of my childhood was spent watching and playing Turtles, so seeing the updated franchise is both nostalgic and exciting.  Being reintroduced to April, now a genetic researcher with a soft-spot for turtles, or witnessing the planting of a diabolical relationship between General Krang and brilliant geneticist, Baxter Stockman, is like being reacquainted with long-lost friends.  The first issue is not a total redesign, however; the turtles' personalities are left relatively unchanged, including Michelangelo’s ferocious appetite and Raphael’s chipped shoulder. 

Raphael’s split storyline is without a doubt the most exciting prospect of the new direction, moreover.  While not yet explained, Raphael has exiled himself from his brothers and Splinter, and walks the city streets alone.  This may seem like a depressing way to begin anew, but Raphael’s reaction when encountering a “Cowabunga” shirt on his lonesome walk is worth the cover price alone. 

To match the new direction of the series, Dan Duncan’s pencils are rough, gritty, and energetic, especially evident in the opening fight sequence, where Splinter and the Turtles lay waste to an entire gang of misfit thugs.  The flashback sequence reintroducing the characters has a unique feel to it, as well, with much lighter and friendlier designs, especially the infant Turtles who chomp away on vegetables.  Even the character expressions are quite expressive, most noticeably Raphael’s as he wanders the town and experiences both lonely lows, and delicious highs.

This new beginning for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will surely make long-time fans and new readers alike quite happy.  Thankfully, Eastman and Waltz choose to forge a new direction for their story instead of repeating the past.  While both friends and enemies have made their appearances, there is definitely much more to be seen in the upcoming issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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