Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals 2

tmnt mutanimals 2

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals 2, originally released March 25th, 2015.

Patrick: Himato Yoshi and his four sons were murdered by Oroku Saki and the Foot Clan. Hundreds of years later, and on the other side of the world, they are given a second chance to be a family as a quartet of anthropomorphic turtles and a wizened man-rat. Mutation is the ultimate blessing: it literally allows the Himato family to beat death and live together indefinitely. But they had the fortune to be among the only accidental mutants in the world of TMNT, and are therefore beholden to no agenda, no cause but their own. Under the leadership of Old Hob, the Mutanimals have taken on the identity of avenging victims, and writer Paul Allor explorers how their weaknesses make them strong (and, maybe the other way ’round too). Continue reading

Utrom Empire 1

utrom empire 1

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire 1, originally released January 22nd, 2014.

Patrick: Leadership is the damnedest thing. Unless the people you’re leading believe or value the same things you value, everything falls apart. Hearts and minds, right? Without ideological unity, imperialism fails. These are the kinds of thoughts that didn’t bother 9 year old Patrick — nor should they have — so I never considered the tenuous position Krang finds himself in constantly: fighting for an empire that no one even seems to give a shit about. In Paul Allor and Andy Kuhn’s Utrom Empire, Krang’s authority is tested at every turn, and the abstract concept of the “Utrom Empire” starts to take the mythical shape of a force bigger than any one character’s ambition. It’s about fear, it’s about power, it’s about survival. Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 23

tmnt 23

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 23, originally released June 26th, 2013.

Patrick: One of the most beautiful things about IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series is the relationship it has with the franchise’s past. And that’s an insane past. TMNT have been rebooted and re-imagined so many times in their 30-year history, there’s really no such thing as a definitive take on the characters. You’ll never be able to get two TMNT fans to agree on what constitutes canon for them – there are just too many movies, video games, comics, television shows and elaborately staged action-figure set-pieces played out on my bedroom floor. More than Superman, more than Wolverine, who these characters are at their core is left to the individual reader. The second issue of CityFall takes that concept of subjective history and makes it arrestingly explicit as Leonardo is forced to recontextualize the adventures we’ve been reading for the last two years. Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Microseries Villains 2: Baxter Stockman

baxter stockman 1

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Microseries Villains 2: Baxter Stockman originally released May 22nd, 2013. 

Patrick: One of my persistent questions about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been “why would Baxter Stockman put up with Krang’s bullshit?” After all, regardless of what he could offer, Krang’s ultimate goal is the destruction of the human race. Psst! Baxter, you’re one of those humans. There’s a bully component to their relationship, but Stockman also has this too-cool-for-school attitude, seemingly above intimidation. So why would he work so hard toward the completion of the technodrome? Same reason he does anything: because there’s something in it for him.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 16

tmnt16

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 16, originally released November 28th, 2012. 

Patrick: Killing. Your comic book heroes don’t like doing it. Famously, Batman has a no-killing policy, but if you look close enough, that mantra applies to just about everyone in a cape. But why? Is it the hero’s morality? Or is it the squeamishness of publishers that keeps their heroes from killing? After all, it’s such a neat dividing line: Green Lantern doesn’t kill, so he’s a good guy; Deathstroke does kill, so he’s a bad guy. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a special case – they are essentially children, after all. But they exist outside of society and mutanes – re-incarnated murder-victims, trained by a ninja master. The psychological profile that background suggests is staggering. So when Leonardo is forced to kill to protect his family, the decision Means Something.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2012

Alternating Currents: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual, Taylor and Shelby

Today, Taylor and Shelby are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual, originally released October 31st, 2012. 

Taylor: We are all irrevocably tied to the past. Everything that we are and everything that we hope to be is somehow tied to what came before the present moment. Even though many have tried to escape their past, they have done so only futilely, for no man can escape the firm grasp of time’s arrow. While regret is certainly a part of living with the past, so is the realization that it can serve to inform us and makes us better people and our pursuits nobler. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a past, one that is as checkered as any comic book to date. From its origins as a goofy and weird cult favorite, to the franchise-building TV show, and the franchise-crumbling movies, TMNT has truly experienced a varied life – to say the least. With all this cultural baggage built up, one would think it hard to revitalize the series while also staying true to its roots. However, Kevin Eastman, one of the co-creators of the series, has managed to pull off this feat in the annual edition of TMNT by acknowledging the past while at the same time taking a step toward the future.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 13-15

Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 13 – 15, originally released August 22nd, September 28th, and October 31st, 2012. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is supported by micro-series focusing on the adventures of a single member of the cast. These issues are supported by TMNT Micro-Series 6: Casey Jones and TMNT Micro-Series 7: April, released July 25th and August 29th, 2012. 

Patrick: It was great being a kid in 1990 and loving the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Since that time, however, can’t exactly say my love has been rewarded. That is, until I picked up IDW’s current run of the comic books. These are the TMNT rejuvenated, refreshed, and stripped of everything that made my affections wane in the first place.

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