One of the staples of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon was the contentious partnership between the Foot Clan and the Utroms. Having kept the two sets of Turtle enemies separate until this point, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37 brings the groups together as the Shredder makes an offer of an alliance with his old enemy General Krang. Not surprisingly, both characters plans on ruling the world leave little room for partnership as the meeting ends in bloodshed.
The battle with Krang means the return of Koya and the first appearance of Bludgeon as the comic’s mutant character pool continues to build. The comic’s B-story features Alopex still on her own after abandoning both the Foot and the Turtles, but after the fox is approached and bewitched by a vision of Kitsune it appears Alopex’s freedom will be short lived. As someone who would like to see her stay firmly on the side of the Turtles this isn’t a development I particularly like, but it should at least give us more of the character in the coming months. Worth a look.
Playing on the Donatello‘s well-established crush on April (both in the comic and current cartoon), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #14 finds the smartest Turtle get into trouble in an attempt to create a pheromone spray to cause April to return his feelings. Things go wrong pretty quickly for Donatello as the spray doesn’t effect April but does cause the various bugs in the sewers and New York streets to seek out the Turtle leaving his brothers to clean up the mess.
The issue’s back-up story centers Michelangelo‘s short attention span which gets him kidnapped by Baxter Stockman and imprisoned in the mad scientist’s latest robot creation sent after Raphael, Leonardo, and Donatello. Mikey uses his brains (sort of) to save the day leaving his brothers both impressed and exasperated (as usual).
The pair of goofy stories both center around well-established character traits and fit well into the comic’s existing catalog. Worth a look.
- Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
- IMDb: link
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles, Wrath of the Titans) and produced by Michael Bay, it’s not really a surprise that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t a good movie. What is surprising is the fact it isn’t mind-numbingly awful, and at times it even borders on even being dumb fun and mildly entertaining.
Taking more than a few liberties with the comic, television, and toy franchise, the script by Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, and Evan Daugherty offers an origin story for our four amphibious heroes (who are mistakenly referred to as reptiles), their first meeting with Channel 6 reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox), and the start of their battle against the Shredder (Tohoru Masamune).
Highlighting the fact that Leonardo (Johnny Knoxville), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) are mutant teenagers, and downplaying he fact that they’re actually ninjas, the film makes some bizarre casting and script decisions that remove much of the oriental influence of the franchise.
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The latest issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures offers a pair of strong stories highlighting individual characters while also including the final chapter of the origins of the LEGO Turtles who face and defeat the Shredder.
In the opening story April puts both her smarts and ninja training to work when attending a school field trip at the zoo where she discovers the Kraang have plans to mutate all the animals into their new mutant army. Alerting the Turtles, but unable to wait for their arrival, April proves capable of dealing with the situation on her own earning the praise of the team.
The other story included features an injured Raphael ignoring Splinter‘s repeated orders to rest his shoulder. It takes Raph getting buried alive while taking on some leftover Mousers for the Turtle to finally learn his lesson. Worth a look.
With his brothers dealing with Old Hob and Slash (see last issue), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #36 centers on Leonardo and Splinter and the introduction of a new mysterious and meddlesome character who will likely cause the Turtles more than their share of grief in the months to come.
Although we learn the Rat King‘s origins are tied to Kitsune (whom he refers to as a sister), the comic keeps the origins and past (aside from his time as the Pied Piper of Hamelin) obscured. What is clear is the Rat King has plans and designs beyond what Splinter and his son can currently upderstand and believes the Turtles may be the perfect pawns enabling the creature to put his plans into action.
Far less goofy than the character from the classic or current cartoons, this Rat King is more consistent with the comic versions we’ve seen in the past. Whatever the creature’s end goals, the introduction here makes him a major player going forward who likely could tip the balance of power in the Turtles’ war against the Shredder (if only to serve his own ends). Worth a look.
The main story of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #12 features a wide range of supporting characters all suspecting the Turtles’ attempt to retrieve a package from the Post Office must make it incredibly valuable. Not realizing Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo are only attempting to retrieve a training video Michelangelo sent to a reality TV-show, Karai, the Kraang, Pigeon Pete, and Jack Kurtzman all attempt to get their hands on the mysterious package whose true contents are only damaging to April‘s self-esteem. The chaos provides plenty of humor and action ending with Mikey getting his just desserts.
The issue also includes a short back-up story involving April outwitting the Turtles to share the final two slices of pizza with Splinter and another chapter of the LEGO adventures of the Turtles showcasing their origins in LEGO form for the first time. Of the two, the LEGO tale is the more interesting back-up tale, but it’s the main story that makes this one worth picking up.
- Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Vengeance is Mine
- wiki: link
Despite Splinter‘s (Hoon Lee) objections, Leonardo (Jason Biggs) leads the team into the Shredder‘s (Kevin Michael Richardson) lair to break Karai (Kelly Hu) out of the Foot Clan’s dungeon. Although Michelangelo (Greg Cipes) is injured, the plan is a success. Reuniting father and daughter, Splinter attempts to curb Karai’s need for revenge while still being truthful and sharing his history with Shredder and the events which lead to the death of Karai’s mother.
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Michelangelo‘s choice to visit Slash alerts the Turtles to Old Hob‘s genetic experimentation (resulting in the humorous but ridiculous Pigeon Pete) and the kidnapping of a Stockgen scientist who the mutant believes can make things work better the second time around in his attempt to create his own mutant army.
The confusion after releasing Lindsey leads to the reveal of Old Hob’s possession of Splinter‘s blood and just what it can do as Slash’s limited intelligence and understanding grows quickly to mirror that of his brothers after choosing to inject it into his body to prove he’s a true hero. The change in the character may loose Mikey a playful pal, but it opens up new possibilities for Slash moving forward (not all of which might be good for the team once Slash begins to think for himself).
Offering a little more of Angel in Harold‘s Exo-Suit, the B-story sends the former Purple Dragon to the aid of Casey whose father Hun and his goons plan to beat to death on the grave of Casey’s mother. Not exactly a Hallmark moment. Worth a look.
- Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Plan 10
- wiki: link
Interrupting an early experiment by the Kraang involving their latest invention which allows the alien beings to transfer their minds into human leaders around the world paving the way for the Kraang’s takeover of the planet, Raphael‘s (Sean Astin) mind is accidentally switched with that of a Kraang.
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- Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Legend of Kuro Kabuto
- wiki: link
When master thief Anton Zeck (J.B. Smoove) is hired by Steranko (Fred Tatasciore) to steal the Shredder‘s (Kevin Michael Richardson) helmet the ensuing chaos creates an opportunity for the Turtles to save Karai (Kelly Hu). Although his brothers are less than convinced that Karai is worth saving, Leonardo (Jason Biggs) leads the team into action as they attempt to keep the helmet away from both the high-tech thief and an assortment of enemies including Tiger Claw (Eric Bauza), Rhazar (Clancy Brown), Fishface (Christian Lanz), and the mutated Baxter Stockman.
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