Debunking the Myth of the Prepared Hero in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Macro-Series: Donatello

by Patrick Ehlers

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

Why does Batman win every fight? Because he’s prepared for every conceivable eventuality. Superman goes nuts? Batman’s got magic. Or Kryptonite. Or both. This same sort of logic has been applied all to all the genius superheroes. Sure – why wouldn’t Tony Stark have armor designed specifically to fight the Hulk? Even Infinity War (the movie) depicts Doctor Strange literally experiencing all possible outcomes until he stumbles upon the one way to defeat Thanos. But those stories never really take the time to explore what that process of hyper-perparation looks like, or the toll in takes on the heroes’ relationships. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Macro-Series: Donatello shows just how damaging it is to always only prepare for disaster. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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

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

Monstro Mechanica 1: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Mark Mitchell

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

Michael: Leonardo da Vinci is the Renaissance Man: inventor, painter, mathematician, historian — you name it and the man probably had a hand in it. His influence on human ingenuity is vast and varied. In fact, in the Comics realm, da Vinci’s “bat-winged” flying machine ended up being a visual inspiration for comics’ most popular figure: Batman. In Monstro Mechanica, Paul Allor and Chris Evenhuis make da Vinci’s marvelous mind the object of desire among devious forces at work in Florence. And while there is the titular “Monstro Mechanica” in the form of da Vinci’s mechanical man, Allor and Evenhuis cast some doubt on whether or not da Vinci’s marvelous mind makes him hero or villain. Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dimension X 1: Discussion

By Patrick Ehlers and Taylor Anderson

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

Patrick: I recently spent the week with my three year old niece. Like all three year olds, she’s totally incapable of not expressing her emotions — everything that upsets her triggers a screaming fit and everything that delights her… triggers a screaming fit, but just a different kind. Spending the day with her is, of course, equal parts charming and exhausting, but the thing that struck me the most was how honest that time is. She’s got no way of hiding, muting or dulling her emotional reactions. As a crusty ol’ adult, I’ve got decades of training tamping those things down, to the point where I have to actively attempt to express what I’m feeling. There’s a strength to being able to feel without filter, and the young simply haven’t developed that filter yet. Paul Allor and Pablo Tunica’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dimension X 1 explores how that strength manifests itself in our heroes as they visit a planet that makes emotions manifest physically. Continue reading

Clue 1: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Mark Mitchell

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

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Spencer: I made as much fun of the Battleship movie as anyone, as well as of the other movies based off board games (such as Connect Four) announced around the same time, but even so, I’ve got to admit that basing a story off a board game isn’t automatically a bad idea — you just need the right game. The 1985 Clue film found a way to turn the game’s murder mystery concept into a compelling narrative, becoming a cult classic in the process. Can Paul Allor and Nelson Daniel’s new IDW adaptation of the game do the same? Continue reading

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

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Time 1

tmnt in time 1Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Time 1, originally released June 18th, 2014.

Patrick: I’ve always considered Back to the Future Part II to the be only movie in the series that’s really about time travel. The first movie is kind of a send up of the ’50s (through the eyes of ’80s, all of which is hilarious in the ’10s), and the third one a fish-out-of-water cowboy story. It’s only really in the second film that the consequences of time travel become the subject of the story, and not just the result of the story. This isn’t a knock against the other flicks at all — you should never underestimate how much fun it is to put characters in a time which they don’t belong. Free from any worries about paradoxes and time-loops, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Time sets out to simply have fun plugging the iconic characters into a history that has no place for them. And holy shit, is it fun. 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