Donatello’s Peace in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 22

By Taylor Anderson

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

It’s always easy to say that peace is worth fighting for when we’re talking about cessation of hostilities between two groups of people. It’s not quite as easy to say that peace is worth fighting for when the type of peace being discussed is the inner kind. While the idea of inner-peace is always talked about with a special reverence, it’s uncommon to find it placed at the forefront of importance. That means a lot of inner turmoil for a lot of people, but what if both inner and outer peace could be achieved at the same time? If that sounds difficult, it is – just ask Donatello in TMNT Universe 22.

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Peace is Hard-Won in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 21

By Taylor Anderson

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

Yesterday, surprising news broke that the Trump administration had secret meetings with North Korea and that it now intends to engage the estranged country in peace talks. This comes as a particular shock because it was not too long ago that Trump and Kim Jong-un were exchanging insults, the likes of which caused the Doomsday clock to tick forward in anticipation of some sort of nuclear incident. It’s hard to say whether these talks will actually take place, or, if they do, if they’ll be productive at all given the disposition of the two leaders involved. But should it happen, it will be peace hard-won, just like the peace between the Triceratons and Utroms in TMNT Universe 21. Continue reading

Finding Another Way in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 80

By Spencer Irwin

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

Of the many crimes The Man of Steel committed against Superman, its greatest was having him snap Zod’s neck at the end of the film. Superman is a hero who not only doesn’t kill, but who is always supposed to find another way, a better way, to deal with his problems. Forcing him into a situation where his only option is to kill not only shows a grave misunderstanding of the character, but a lack of imagination on the part of the writers. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 80 places Splinter in the role of Man of Steel‘s Superman, the “hero” who believes he has no choice but to kill, but the Turtles have to believe they can find another way to deal with the Triceratons. Writers Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz reveal their priorities to be in line with the Turtles’ when they unveil that better way. Continue reading

Learning Your Parents Aren’t Perfect in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 79

By Taylor Anderson

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

When I was 15 my parents got a divorce, which, in so many words, sucked. I’m not going to bore you with all the details of my emotional state at that time, but one important and hard lesson I learned is that my parents aren’t perfect. The splitting up of a family is difficult and makes for ripe pickings for acknowledging the shortcomings of your loved ones. That being said, this lesson isn’t unique to me or other people whose parents have split. At some point, most children realize that their parents aren’t perfect and that they are indeed very flawed, just like we all are. This lesson is tough, but as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 79 shows, acknowledging it is a key step in the maturation process. Continue reading

Unfortunate Allies in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 78

By Patrick Ehlers

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

There are obvious advantages to teamwork. You could argue that that’s one of the defining qualities of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — they support each other, cover for each other’s weaknesses, and the quartet is stronger for it. But Mike, Leo, Don and Raph are brothers, and have earned the right to trust their eternal alliance through multiple lifetimes of shared experiences. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 78 goes outside our main heroes to explore the possible dangers of teamwork. Continue reading

Is That Chris Ware in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 18?

by Taylor Anderson

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

Chances are, if you’ve ever shown an interest in comics or graphic novels, you’ve come across Chris Ware’s work. In some ways, it could be argued that he’s America’s most well-known comic artist, given his widespread acclaim and the fact that his work frequently shows up in places like the New Yorker. However, one place I’d never expect to see his work is in a Teenage Mustant Ninja Turtles issue, but lo and behold: issue 18 of TMNT Universe. Continue reading

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

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

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