The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Are Back – Mini Review
The heroes in a half shell are back in a relaunch that kicks off with the origin of Splinter and the boys. As a concept TMNT has always been one of the goofiest ideas around. Ninja turtles? It just sounds silly. I grew up with the cartoon, the horrendous live action movie, the video game and I even remember playing the TMNT role playing game (where you could create teenage mutant ninja anything, my character was a rhinoceros). But for all the inherent goofiness the turtles are still a lot of fun and anyone who is a past fan of any of the turtles iterations will enjoy the new comic.
The new book starts off with a face-off between the turtles and a mutant street fighter cat who has it out for Splinter (the whole cat/rat thing). The battle is intermingled with flashbacks to the turtles when they were still just that, turtles, being cared for by April (also from the turtle’s history). The opening issue does a good job at poking a bit of fun at the original turtles with cowabunga and pizza references. Overall the story sets up an intriguing return of the turtles, hints at future baddies and begins the story of their origin.
The story is solid and the artwork is more gritty than the cartoon I remember from my youth. Aside from Splinter occasionally looking more like a dog than a rat the darker look and feel of the art does an excellent job portraying action and emotion.