Understanding History is Key in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 77

By Taylor Anderson

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 77

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The past is a powerful thing that both enchants and horrifies. It’s amazing that a simple picture of a familiar place can bring on nostalgia. On the other hand, the past can be misremembered as being better than it was, leading people down a dangerous path to recreate a time and place that never existed. The Triceratons, who haven’t had a home planet for ages, know their history, and unfortunately for Earth, that means they long for a time, the Creatacious period, that they feel is rightfully theirs. Continue reading

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters II 5: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson and Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Taylor: Sticking the landing is the hardest part of any endeavor. It doesn’t matter if it’s landing a plane, finishing a gymnastics routine, or writing the end to a story: it’s just plain difficult. In all of these examples, sticking the landing is hard because they require one final flourish of skill before the tension in the situation is resolved once and for all. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters II has to stick its landing in this, the final fifth issue. It does so successfully but in a way that is overshadowed by the brilliance that came before it. Continue reading

The Mystery of Triceraton Humanity in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 16

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

In the main TMNT series, the newly freed Triceratons have returned to Earth after millennia of servitude to the Utrom Empire. For a hulking army of dinosaur-men, they make first contact in a surprisingly sensitive way. Their ultimate aim may be to re-claim the planet, and they go in bearing axes and laser blasters, but they make an attempt as peaceful, civil discourse first. Where does that come from? If you tried to string together the most monstrous series of adjectives possible, you’d end up hitting some prime Triceraton descriptors: cloned, warrior, prehistoric, dinosaur. In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 16 writer Chris Mowry and Giannis Milonogiannis find the humanity within these beasts reveling in the mystery of their origins. Continue reading

Mining the Overlap in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters II 4

by Drew Baumgartner

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ghostbusters II 4

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I love the idea of Platonic Forms — that there are ideas bigger and more perfect than any one example could ever be. The easiest examples are shapes; a “sphere” is a simple enough concept to imagine, but any real-world example of one, from the smallest subatomic particle to the largest star, isn’t quite as perfect, and is tied down to specific properties (weight, size, color) that have nothing to do with the idea of a sphere. And this is true of so much of our world. You can read the words I’m writing because you can identify every letter, but the same would be true if the letters were a different weight or color (or size or font, if I could figure out how to change those). In this way, we might imagine some kind of “pure” form of each letter that each example hints at, though I tend to prefer to think of it as the center of a disperse cloud of what each letter can be. Intriguingly (and increasingly), media franchises work in this same way. There may be a “pure” form of Batman that each comic, movie, cartoon, tv show, radio serial, etc. points us towards, but our reality gets to be much more interesting, as each actual manifestation highlights something different about the character and his world. The messiness of those different manifestations — the shape of the cloud they create — seems to be exactly what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters II  was designed to celebrate. Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 76: Discussion

By Drew Baumgartner and Ryan Mogge

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 76

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Drew: If there’s a sci-fi equivalent to “boy meets girl…” it might reasonably be “alien race comes in peace, humans react badly.” Where it goes from there depends a great deal on what type of story is being told, but the premise of an earnestly peaceful alien race forced to defend itself against panicky earthlings is full of the kind of themes sci-fi writers love, vilifying the xenophobia and shortsightedness that hold humanity back. Indeed, the human attack on the aliens is so despicable, storytellers have to go out of their way to make the aliens seem somehow suspicious — perhaps they look scary or seem to be keeping some kind of secret from us. That is, while we may come to sympathize with the aliens, there’s often some ambiguity to their intentions. This is decidedly not the case for the Triceratons in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 76, whose intentions are clear to everyone — especially the reader — from the moment they arrive on Earth. It sets them up as the unequivocal good guys, allowing Agent Bishop to really cut loose as the issue’s villain. Continue reading

Intriguing Character Pairings in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters II 3

by Spencer Irwin

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ghostbusters II 3

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Crossover stories are meant to be fun, but like all the best stories, they also have the potential to explore and deepen characters in unique ways. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters II writers Erik Burnham and Tom Waltz take advantage of this opportunity by splitting their two teams up into unique pairings, each with the potential to draw something new out of their characters. Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters II 2 is Like Childhood Fun

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

As a kid, I had a lot of action figures. Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, G.I. Joe, Star Wars — you name the franchise, I probably had at least one figurine from it. Part of the fun of having such a large collection was that I could mix and match the toys in any way that made sense to my imagination (which means it required little sense at all). This meant that sometimes Donatello would drive the Millennium Falcon or Peter Venkman might drive the Pizza-Cycle. This spirit of boundless play has been all but beaten down in me by society, but luckily it lives on in TMNT/Ghostbuster II 2. Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters II 1

by Taylor Anderson and Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Taylor: There’s something about a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters crossover that just works. There are the obvious reasons why, like both groups being made up of four dudes with similar personalities, or the fact that they both live in New York. While that explains why the crossover is convenient, it’s not why it works. No, the reason that the Turtles and ‘Busters can merge stories so well is that both groups routinely deal with strange shit. That, and that alone, might just be why there is a second crossover event for these two franchises, and if the first issue is any indication, it is also reason enough for it existing. Continue reading

Ghostbusters: Answer the Call 1: Discussion

by Ryan Mogge and Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Ryan M: Beginnings have a sense of weight to them. Readers expect that the moment has been chosen with care, to best set up the story that follows. When readers enters the world, they are especially sensitive to the status of the characters. This is the point where a creator can offer a lifeline in the form of a point of view character. Alternatively, we can begin in a state of flux, so that the reader naturally finds the “new normal” along with the plot. Ghostbusters: Answer the Call 1 starts the series with the main characters in a comfortable rhythm with each other and their world. By not challenging their status quo, Kelly Thompson and Corin Howell let the Ghostbusters remain entertaining but not affecting. Continue reading

The Truth Lets Us Down in The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth 2

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The truth is a powerful thing, to be sure, but popular media seems to have the idea that the power of the truth can overcome any obstacle — the second the truth comes out armies rebel, court cases are immediately solved, etc. etc. Pierrick Colinet, Elsa Charretier, and Daniele Di Nicuolo seem to have a more complicated view of the truth throughout Infinite Loop: Nothing But The Truth 2, crafting an issue where the truth isn’t actually all that helpful — and, in some cases, is actually part of the problem. Continue reading