Comic Vine Review


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1


Those ninja turtles you know are back in action guided along by creator Kevin Eastman. In a combination of a new story along with a flashback to their origin, new and old fans will be able to dive right into this new series.

We've seen different versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles over the years in comics, movies and animated series. If were talking about ninja characters with deadly weapons, you would expect action and violence. With a new series and new cartoon in the works, it's easy to have some doubt as to who this series would be intended for. Luckily the story by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz shows us that this isn't going to be a watered down series aimed at younger readers.

The Good

The issue begins with a fight. People should know the origin of the Turtles. I was thankful that we got to dive right into a showdown with Old Hob. There is talk of being cautious of killing. Of course we can't have the Turtles killing anyone but the fact that it's mentioned means they have the ability to do so. That along with other weapons the bad guys used reassured me right away that this could have a more serious tone. There is also blood...and it's red. I'm not asking for hardcore violence but it's great to see it can be subtly used rather than have the series shy away from it.

Kevin Eastman does the layouts and the combination of Dan Duncan's art with Ronda Pattison's colors gives the series a really nice vibe. The characters do have a cartoony look but there is also a bit of a hard edge given to them. The important thing is the Turtles look like turtles, Splinter looks like a rat, the thugs look like...humans, etc. The fight scenes are what you would want. There a chaotic mix but each panel gives you a feeling of what is all going on at the same time.

The comic isn't all fighting action. There is a story plot that leaves us wondering what happened before the opening events. This is where the issue does flashback to their origin. Having it come later in a flashback works and you get the feeling that it is indeed being updated a little. New readers will appreciate finding out the story along with a possible mysterious connection or influence. Old readers shouldn't mind seeing the origin fleshed out a bit.

The Bad

Since we are jumping into the story and the Turtles are already established, it might be a little confusing for some. The fight at the beginning isn't really explained. What is Old Hob's story? Why does he have a gang of humans and is fighting the Turtles? Part of allowing this world to have already been established gives the feeling that you might have missed something before. We have to assume that the flashback use will fill us all in with what is going on. How much of their previous adventures from past comics holds true? The flashback gives us a time frame and an idea how long they've been mutated.

The Verdict

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back in comics where they belong. With an upcoming cartoon, it would have been easy for those involved to turn this into a watered down kiddie version of the characters. Luckily we do have some mild violence and a sense that things could get darker if the story calls for it. The characters and their world are already established but we do get a flashback to their origins to appease both new and old readers. Part of having the characters already in action gives the sense of mystery to the story as some event has occurred to cause some...tension. The art and colors compliment each other and we get a good amount of fighting, which is what you would want and expect from ninja-based characters. The use of a little easter egg joke reassures us that we should have a more serious comic without resorting to some of the more annoying traits that turned me off of them years ago. The series is off to a great start and hopefully will continue to impress.