Ryan Thomason

From the Comic Hold: TMNT The Secret History of the Foot Clan #1

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What fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles doesn’t want to know how the Foot Clan started and how the Shredder came into power?


TMNT: The Secret History of the Foot Clan #1
Writer: Mateus Santolouco , Erik Burnham
Artist: Mateus Santolouco
Publisher: IDW Comics
Release Date: January 9th, 2013
Price: $3.99

If it wasn’t for my five year old son and two year old daughter being crazy into everything Ninja Turtles right now, I’d probably had passed on this comic book. I’m glad that they’ve re-kindled a very fond part of my childhood. I’ve never gotten into this current run of comics, which I’ve been told is more in line with the original grittier version than the “Cowabunga Dude” Pizza fest that we all remember from our childhood. I’m going to be rectifying that and reading these comics more.

Lets start with this though, if you’ve been wondering how the Foot Clan came around, this first issue essentially lays it all bare, all the way down to it’s founder and his quest for revenge and everlasting life. How Oroku (Shredder) came into power and Splinter telling the boys what he knows of the history. See, some uppity professor found a lost book written by the founder of The Foot Clan, and well, things might quickly take a turn for the worse now that Shredder found out.

The man who started it all, Takeshi Tatsuo, is helped by a witch that can morph into some kind of three tailed fox, she serves a god of sorts, The Iron Demon. If you know your TMNT lore good enough, it took a couple of times for that to click over in my head, and well, the last page puts it pretty solidly.

I’m not used to this kind of TMNT, it’s darker, gritter, and not like the show I sit down on my couch every Saturday morning with my kids on my lap enjoying the world of the turtles. Actually, I’m glad that I get to have this variation all to myself. It’s like getting to be in the world of my youth, but experiencing it in adult form. While some people have knocked the artwork, I love it. Mateus Santolouco has a look to the turtles that make them look more battled hardened. His storytelling (he pulled double duties, sharing writing also with Erik Burnham) is compelling, it’s really easy to tell bad stories about Feudal Japan, this is definitely not the case.

If your any kind of fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you owe it to yourself to pick this up. This is the background information we’ve been waiting to absorb and catalog for that day when it proves useful in a conversation. With the resurgence in TMNT, that day may be closer than you anticipate. At least, when it comes to my kids, I have details and I give to them that only add to my illusion as a TMNT know it all to them. I might as well do it while I can, and before my ruse as a know-it-all is discovered.

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