Cowabunga. First let me say, I grew up on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I had all the toys, watched the tv show and had all the movies (the live action ones, not the CGI filled mess we have now). So I am a bit biased, but I must say, even after all these years, reading this issue brought me right back to being a kid again. If this issue is any indicator of the series, they get it, they understand what they’re doing and the TMNT roots and history. Which makes sense, since TMNT creator Kevin Eastman is writing this. They cover it all: teenage humor, mutants, ninja action sequences, and of course, some turtles. All that was missing was a slice of pizza, but I’m sure they’ll eat some soon.
To catch you up to speed on what’s going on, General Krang, remember the big guy with a little brain looking alien in his stomach, that guy, has been defeated and imprisoned in an alternate dimension for his war crimes. The turtles have to wear oxygen masks because they are in the toxic environment of the Technodrome (Krangs base which has alien atmosphere) to find out who has killed several Utroms (Krangs species) and disabled their friend, the Fugitoid (robot who has the mind of Professor Honeycutt). Suddenly signs point to a new mutant, who has been nothing but helpful, is behind this, Leatherhead, a big mutant alligator. Up to speed? Great.
This series is clearly deep diving into the world of the Ninja Turtles. It seems as if pieces of every incarnation of the Turtles history is being used, and it’s exciting. Aliens, mutants, and ninjas seem to be prominently feature. In this issue, the mutant Leatherhead’s origin and the reasons for his actions are revealed to the Turtles. There is an interesting and complex take from the perspective of a mutant, one that I cannot recollect has been portrayed before. I love where this character is going and the depth he has.
To be honest, I haven’t been excited about any new Ninja Turtles since the TMNT movie in 2007 and the Michael Bay incarnations to follow have soured my love for them. I even refused to read the Batman/TMNT crossover series, even though Batman is my favorite character. This single issue has changed my views, at least for the comics. If you have ever enjoyed the Ninja Turtles at any point in the last 30 years, I suggest you start reading with me. I plan to stay consistent with this promising series and to catch up on this whole run as soon as I can get my hands on the collected editions.
I end this with words of a wise man: Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.