Monday, August 29, 2011

21: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 4

Due to internet issues, this post has been back-dated!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 4
Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird
Published: 1989

Why?: Can you tell I was born in the early 80’s? I fell in love with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, which was much cuter and fluffier than the original comics. The TMNT comics were a part of the 1980s black and white comic wave, and they’re much edgier than the old cartoon, but still with a sense that the authors know what they’re dealing with here is giant talking ninja turtles.

I had on the wrong setting and totally messed up the cover shot. Whoopsie.

Many of the early TMNT comics were collected into four main compilations; of the four, this is the best, though reading the others is the best way to understand the entire story. Much of this storyline was adapted into the first TMNT movie, which was admittedly more “adult” than its target audience (I remember, as a child who grew up in a no-cussing household, being uncomfortable with the number of times Raphael screamed “Daaaamn!” in the movie!).

The original Eastman and Laird compilations aren’t available new anymore, largely because of the break-up of the original creators, but they can be found used. These stories have a special feeling that later stories, largely written by Eastman alone, lacked. Although TMNT is pretty cliché these days, it was groundbreaking and fun for it’s time. (Also, my little nerd is still alive in my heart, it’s true!)

Gist: During a Christmas celebration at April’s house, Leonardo is nearly killed while traveling alone in the middle of the night. After April’s apartment and store are trashed, they escape to an old farmhouse, where each of the brothers has to come to terms with everything that’s happened. This is the first book to really establish separate personalities for the four boys, which would develop more as the comics progressed.

Screwed up settings = moody action shot?

Bonus Trivia:
TMNT gave rise to a number of imitators and parodies, involving everything from mutant rabbits to hamsters. For more info, see my geektastic post here.

Perfect For:
13+, people with a strong sense of nostalgia

Genres: Fiction, Graphic Novel
Keywords: Adventure, Science Fiction, Drama

The gritty 80s style art really riveted Gomez's attention. Yes, yes. Definitely!

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