web site hit counter Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1

Availability: Ready to download

Rediscover the underground roots of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, starting with this special edition hardcover collection of Mirage Studios'' issues #1-7 along with the Raphael one-shot by creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird! With over 300 pages of mutated-martial arts action, this volume is perfect for fans to relive the glorious days of the Turtles'' origins as well a Rediscover the underground roots of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, starting with this special edition hardcover collection of Mirage Studios'' issues #1-7 along with the Raphael one-shot by creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird! With over 300 pages of mutated-martial arts action, this volume is perfect for fans to relive the glorious days of the Turtles'' origins as well as an excellent place for new readers to see where the TMNT phenomena began. Book Details: Format: Hardcover Publication Date: 1/10/2012 Pages: 320


Compare

Rediscover the underground roots of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, starting with this special edition hardcover collection of Mirage Studios'' issues #1-7 along with the Raphael one-shot by creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird! With over 300 pages of mutated-martial arts action, this volume is perfect for fans to relive the glorious days of the Turtles'' origins as well a Rediscover the underground roots of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, starting with this special edition hardcover collection of Mirage Studios'' issues #1-7 along with the Raphael one-shot by creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird! With over 300 pages of mutated-martial arts action, this volume is perfect for fans to relive the glorious days of the Turtles'' origins as well as an excellent place for new readers to see where the TMNT phenomena began. Book Details: Format: Hardcover Publication Date: 1/10/2012 Pages: 320

30 review for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lono

    Hidden deep in the bottom of a cardboard box at the back of my closet was one of the most mortifying secrets of my adolescence. Nope, it wasn’t a stack of Hustler magazines (they were under my bed), a bag full of my neighbors underwear (not really my thing), or a rubber fist (I actually didn’t have one of those until I was in college). It was my collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics. There, I said it. I was/am a turtle fan. As if being an overweight role-player wasn’t enough to make Hidden deep in the bottom of a cardboard box at the back of my closet was one of the most mortifying secrets of my adolescence. Nope, it wasn’t a stack of Hustler magazines (they were under my bed), a bag full of my neighbors underwear (not really my thing), or a rubber fist (I actually didn’t have one of those until I was in college). It was my collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics. There, I said it. I was/am a turtle fan. As if being an overweight role-player wasn’t enough to make losing my virginity a near impossible task. TMNT might have been my first exposure to indie comics and I LOVED it! My turtles didn’t skateboard around ordering Domino’s or shout COWABUNGA every other panel. My turtles were killers. The ninjas they didn’t cleaved with a katana or impaled on a sai got pushed off a roof top. My turtles all wore red masks and the only way you knew who was who was by actually paying attention (or their weapons, of course). A couple of things made the transition to the Hollywood version of the TMNT that continues to enthrall children everywhere. April made the cut. And as much as I enjoy staring at Megan Fox, she loses me as soon as she starts “acting”. Casey Jones made the first movie and some of the cartoons I believe, although the psychotic vigilante factor got toned wwaaayyy down. Vanilla Ice….I’ll just leave it at that. I know there were some other things as well. But that wasn’t my turtles. The comic really went for a more gritty tone, not quite Sin City, but it certainly wasn’t targeting little kids as its audience. This collection of the first 7 issues of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original masterpiece and the Raphael 1 issue micro-series is awesome. Eastman and Laird’s dark and cartoony vision of the turtles still does it for me. The first couple issues and Raph’s micro being the best of the bunch. Of course, Raphael was my favorite of the group, the angry tough guy thing speaks to me. The stories aren’t exceptionally well written and the art is pretty basic by today’s standards and I don’t give a fuck. The original origin tale is a classic. Clearly they were riffing on other popular works of the day, but I can’t get enough. From Shredder, to the Foot Clan, to man-eating Mouser robots, this one’s got it all. I’m not as crazy about some of the sci-fi stuff the guys included towards the end of this one, but it was still fun. This book (along with a short list of others) was groundbreaking stuff for me. Little did I know that when Eastman and Laird would eventually make their mint and wisely sell their creations in return for what I hope was a butt-ton of money, I would be forced to hide my TMNT collection for fear of being doomed to rely on my right hand for companionship for the rest of my days. These oversized hardcovers are the only way to truly appreciate these books. Beautifully bound on nice paper with great extras including interviews with the creators and a couple sketches. I was actually lucky enough to stumble upon a “Red Label” edition super cheap that was signed by Eastman and had a kick-ass slip cover, but that stuff isn’t really necessary to enjoy this book. I would imagine that anyone with a fondness for the turtles will appreciate this collection and the beautiful black and white artwork it showcases so well. If you’re not a turtle fan or prefer the more mainstream version of the quartet, you might not appreciate this one as much as I do. Get this review and more at:

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    A young boy knocks an old blind man out of the way of a truck and is hit by a canister falling off the truck, striking him blind but amplifying his remaining senses. But the canister didn't stop there, it shattered as it struck a fishbowl containing four turtles and fell into a sewer. Now, fifteen years later, the turtles have returned to the surface as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I've been a comic nerd my entire life but somehow I never got around to reading the original Teenage Mutant Nin A young boy knocks an old blind man out of the way of a truck and is hit by a canister falling off the truck, striking him blind but amplifying his remaining senses. But the canister didn't stop there, it shattered as it struck a fishbowl containing four turtles and fell into a sewer. Now, fifteen years later, the turtles have returned to the surface as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I've been a comic nerd my entire life but somehow I never got around to reading the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics until now. As you can tell by the intro, I knew Eastman and Laird pinched Daredevil's origin and bolted TMNT's origin on to it. I also knew the general beats from the 1980s cartoon and the movies that came shortly thereafter but was surprised by all the differences but I'll get to that in a minute. The first thing about the first issue was how murky and overdone the art was. I was actually more impressed with the writing. Secondly, the art style wasn't what I expected either, showing more of a Richard Corben and Robert Crumb influence than anything else. The layouts had some Marvel influence though, showing some dynamic, Kirby-style action. As the series progresses, and the guys get more comfortable, the art improves dramatically. Quite a bit happens in the eight issues contained in this volume. The turtles emerge from the sewers to confront the Foot Clan and its master, The Shredder. And he dies in the first issue. See what I mean about differences? Not only that, April is a lab assistant to mad scientist Baxter Stockman, who is black in this iteration and not a human fly at this point. Anyway, there's Baxter Stockman holding the city ransom, Splinter going missing, Raphael having a solo adventure with Casey Jones, and an interstellar saga that reminds me of early Fantastic Four issues. The double page spread on pages 2-3 of issue #6 is spectacular. The comics are quite a bit different than the cartoons and the movies. The turtles all were red masks. Michelangelo isn't an annoying surfer dude, there is no mention of pizza, and the guys kill quite a few people. It's good shit! There are notes by Eastman and Laird after each issue, giving extra insight into what went into them and vindicating me when I mentioned Richard Corben being one of their influences. I find it crazy that these guys were making a living putting out four comics a year and that a cultural phenomenon started with a self-published black and white comic. By the end, I was hooked. It was great seeing the characters develop but I think I enjoyed watching Eastman and Laird getting more confident as artists even more. I'm in for another volume at least. Four out of five stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Malum

    I got into the Ninja Turtles around the time of the original cartoon, so they had already been rebranded as a family-friendly property. Going back to read the original comics was a real treat! Nothing is too over the top here, but it is certainly not something I would give to a kid. We have some mild cursing, sexual innuendo, nipples poking through clothes, etc. But the real interesting thing here is the violence. The Ninja Turtles have no problem gutting their enemies and chopping them to bits. I got into the Ninja Turtles around the time of the original cartoon, so they had already been rebranded as a family-friendly property. Going back to read the original comics was a real treat! Nothing is too over the top here, but it is certainly not something I would give to a kid. We have some mild cursing, sexual innuendo, nipples poking through clothes, etc. But the real interesting thing here is the violence. The Ninja Turtles have no problem gutting their enemies and chopping them to bits. They also get as much as they give, and frequently get slashed and beat bloody. It is also fun to see how different the common Ninja Turtle tropes are. Shredder is just a minor player here, and he wears business suits and regular clothes more than he does his more famous costume (although that's here, too). April is not a reporter, but instead is some kind of lab technician. The turtles don't eat pizza, don't say cowabunga, and all have red masks (at least in anything they are in with color). There isn't just one Krang, but a whole bunch of them, and they may or may not be evil (you will have to read to find out!). I absolutely loved the art in this. It is black and white, and yet there is a lot going on and a lot of detail put into the panels. The plot gets a bit convoluted with space travel, aliens, and robots all thrown into the mix. I can't take stars away for that, however, because the Ninja Turtles are supposed to be a bit gonzo.

  4. 4 out of 5

    TL

    Side note: I love the old and new equally :) (If you don't agree that's fine.. respect my opinion and I'll respect yours:) ) --- I don't remember the original cartoon all that well (I was a little kid) but I do remember falling in love with the first two movies (the Japan one, not so much). I would watch them over and over on my VHS tapes (April getting attacked scared me when I first watched it) and try to copy some of their kicks :). Raphael was always my favorite, not entirely sure why still... Side note: I love the old and new equally :) (If you don't agree that's fine.. respect my opinion and I'll respect yours:) ) --- I don't remember the original cartoon all that well (I was a little kid) but I do remember falling in love with the first two movies (the Japan one, not so much). I would watch them over and over on my VHS tapes (April getting attacked scared me when I first watched it) and try to copy some of their kicks :). Raphael was always my favorite, not entirely sure why still... Jessie would say its because we both have an "attitude problem" hehe. My favorite weapon though I remember being Leonardo's Swords but if I were a part of their universe, I bet Don's Bo would be my weapon... just a gut feeling. I wasn't a comic book/graphic novel girl so I put off trying these for a long time but decided "what the hell" and requested it from the library. The results? very pleasing for the most part... I loved the artwork once I got used to it and seeing the original storylines the creators had come up with. Bits and pieces from the movies playing in my head as I read along :). Raphael's solo "adventure" was my favorite of the bunch, wish it had been a bit longer though *pouts* The four star rating: only because of the issues with the Turtles in Space... while the plots were somewhat intriguing, they had trouble keeping my attention and my eyes glazed over a few times. I did speed read some to get back to #7 (sorrynotsorry)... the last story was okay, better than the last two and the final scene was hilarious :-D. It'll be intriguing to see how April develops into the reporter we know now (not looking ahead, want as little spoilers as possible haha) and to see more of Casey Jones eventually. The little notes at the end of each issue were fun to read, getting some insight and history into the process of TMNT. The little panels at the end were a nice bonus as well. All in all, would recommend if you are curious about the beginnings of our boys, happy reading!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    Okay seriously probably the best thing I've ever read. It was better than the 1980's cartoons or the live action movies. I'm a TMNT fan for life and these story lines are the best turtle stories, even with the funny Star Wars references and the guy's asking for beers. My absolute favorite thing was the origin story told in this book versus what I've already seen. TCRI versus TGRI, and Krang type aliens being responsible for the ooze (or mutagen depends on who you talk to). I really did have the Okay seriously probably the best thing I've ever read. It was better than the 1980's cartoons or the live action movies. I'm a TMNT fan for life and these story lines are the best turtle stories, even with the funny Star Wars references and the guy's asking for beers. My absolute favorite thing was the origin story told in this book versus what I've already seen. TCRI versus TGRI, and Krang type aliens being responsible for the ooze (or mutagen depends on who you talk to). I really did have the best time reading this and comparing. What this book did best of all is introduce Shredder, it makes so much more sense that Hamato Yoshi killed Oruku Saki's brother and that's why he was so bent on revenge. I also loved all the insight by Eastman and Laird between each comic, it was so lovely learning about the beginnings of my all time favorite guys. There's nothing that will stop me from continue reading it's too good.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Terrific, gritty representation of the teenage mutant ninja turtles. These comics are much more dark and adult oriented than the television show but they are incredible if you are a turtles fan. Fabulous artwork, storyline, and the annotations by the creators are the proverbial icing on the cake. Essential to any TMNT collection and a must read for turtles fans. Loved these comics. Very nostalgic.

  7. 5 out of 5

    K.T. Katzmann

    Crazy science fiction actions abounds as four young mutants quickly dispose of some guy called "Shredder" before tackling crazed robots and adventures across space! Wait. What? I was eight just as the TMNT hit America, and lucky enough to have a really good comic store in the vicinity. It was just the right time to be into the new wave of merchandise while being able to grab reasonably priced back issues of the original black and white series. Believe me, no one on the playground believed when I to Crazy science fiction actions abounds as four young mutants quickly dispose of some guy called "Shredder" before tackling crazed robots and adventures across space! Wait. What? I was eight just as the TMNT hit America, and lucky enough to have a really good comic store in the vicinity. It was just the right time to be into the new wave of merchandise while being able to grab reasonably priced back issues of the original black and white series. Believe me, no one on the playground believed when I told them that the Turtles killed Shredder off in the very first issue. I loved those weird, transgressive stories, and they are just as fun in this amazing reprint. First of all, the book is amazing quality. It's oversized, so the crisp black and white art can be seen for all the crazy detail. There's fun annotations after every issue where the Turtles' creators breakdown the creation and influences in every issue. And, holy crap, I can't believe I never saw the Jack Kirby. Going back in, I assumed I was going to be bathing in Frank Miller love. After all, the whole TMNT saga started as a Daredevil quality. From the beginning, Eastman and Laird point out how the frenetic action and page layout are tributes to comic master Jack Kirby, even pointing out which sequences are influenced by which of Kirby's work. From the in media res openings to the detailed alien technology, I can finally see the Kirby. Aliens? Oh, yeah. The boys spend more time encountering aliens and being warped across the galaxy than they do fighting ninjas, and it was wonderful. The great appeal of the Mirage Studio books is the anything-goes nature of the stories, where you can never foresee what's coming up next. And yet it works. Despite that fact that issue #1 was writing by two guys who never believed there'd be an issue #2, the eight issues reprinted here create a full, satisfying storyline that wraps itself up in the end. These early TMNT days are fun comics, a bolt of creativity from two guys who loved what they did and couldn't believe that they were making money off of it. It takes two or three issues for the different personalities of the turtles to come out, probably because Eastman and Laird suddenly realized they could keep making issues and said, "Holy crap, we need to differentiate these guys!" I didn't care. It was fun from the beginning, and great once they hit their stride. I can sit and stare at some of the art for minutes on end, and the joy of creation is transparent in every annotation. This is what fun comics should be. Now I have to find an uncut reprint of Tales of the TMNT . . . PS. The wraparound cover of TMNT #7 is one of the greatest comic covers of all time. Come at me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Way, way back in the 1980s, like many kids, I was obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I couldn’t tell you just how many toys I had or how many times I watched the cartoon show and when the live-action movie hit theatres in 1990, my fandom rose to a whole other level.  Its sequel, The Secret of the Ooze, had been watched so many times in our household by my brother and me, I think we wore off the printing on the VHS.  But even with my obsessive love for the heroes in a half-shell, th Way, way back in the 1980s, like many kids, I was obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I couldn’t tell you just how many toys I had or how many times I watched the cartoon show and when the live-action movie hit theatres in 1990, my fandom rose to a whole other level.  Its sequel, The Secret of the Ooze, had been watched so many times in our household by my brother and me, I think we wore off the printing on the VHS.  But even with my obsessive love for the heroes in a half-shell, there had always been a blind spot when it came to the original comics.  Luckily for me, it seems that the majority of the original black & white collections seem to be on sale through Comixology (can I briefly say how much I love reading comics on my tablet with their guided-view technology?  I almost prefer it to physical copies at this point).  So, I declare this the summer of TMNT! I was familiar with the turtle’s origins (the theme song for the cartoon basically lays it out for you) and with the original movie leaning more on the comics, I had a certain expectation for what I would read.  What I didn’t expect was the level of violence!  I don’t want you to think that these are blood-soaked pages of brutality, but to see any blood whatsoever in the world of TMNT is shocking to say the least. I was actually surprised at just how much was introduced in the first seven issues (and the stand-alone Raphael one-shot).  You have the arrival and subsequent killing of The Shredder, mad scientist Baxter Stockman shows up, vigilante Casey Jones bursts onto the scene and the introduction of April, the gang’s best human friend.  Even the species that shares the origins of future super-villain Krang makes an appearance! With that said, I wasn’t too crazy about the outer space stuff, but I knew it made up a big chunk of their origins, so I can’t say I was that put off by it.  I really liked the art here, but without the trademark colors of each respective turtles bandanas, it was hard to tell who was who unless specifically mentioned in dialogue as all the turtles were identically drawn aside from their weapons. Honestly, I tried to temper my expectations given how revered this series is.  I was very much raised on the cartoon and the movies, so I wanted to keep an open mind.  I did enjoy this though for the most part.  So, I’m off to volume two!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    I am astounded at how much I liked this. I got it from the library thinking "This will be stupid haha fuckin' turtles," but it is legitimately one of the best comics I've ever read. It's of course ridiculous with the ooze and the aliens and the turtles, but it's also boldly drawn, well-plotted, and strangely earnest in its premise. I think I might actually be, like... into the Ninja Turtles now. I am astounded at how much I liked this. I got it from the library thinking "This will be stupid haha fuckin' turtles," but it is legitimately one of the best comics I've ever read. It's of course ridiculous with the ooze and the aliens and the turtles, but it's also boldly drawn, well-plotted, and strangely earnest in its premise. I think I might actually be, like... into the Ninja Turtles now.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ma'Belle

    I'm one of the millions of kids who grew up in the '80s and '90s being obsessed with the Ninja Turtles via the Saturday morning cartoon and the live action movies. Now in my early thirties I'm taking the time to catch up on the comic that started it all. This collection was much more similar to what I remember than I expected. I always heard that the comic was "dark" and "mature," but that must only be because more baddies get killed. The annotations by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in this recen I'm one of the millions of kids who grew up in the '80s and '90s being obsessed with the Ninja Turtles via the Saturday morning cartoon and the live action movies. Now in my early thirties I'm taking the time to catch up on the comic that started it all. This collection was much more similar to what I remember than I expected. I always heard that the comic was "dark" and "mature," but that must only be because more baddies get killed. The annotations by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in this recent Ultimate collection were the biggest disappointment for me. The comics themselves are very fun and competent at what they're trying to do, but Kevin's commentary in 2011 makes him sound like he hasn't matured as a writer since the '80s whatsoever. 75% of his banal thoughts end in exclamation marks. I felt like I was watching a PSA or "Behind the Scenes" special hosted by the cartoon's Michaelangelo [sic] rather than gaining insight from a successful comic creator. I do really respect the two creators for their working and publishing methods (co-writing, co-drawing, co-inking virtually every single page). I just don't know if I can keep reading the rest of these Ultimate collections unless the storylines really grab me and show the series to be something truly special rather than just a mimicry of Jack Kirby and Frank Miller (the creators' biggest stated influences).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Growing up, my first introduction to the Ninja Turtles was the 1987 cartoon. I was 3 and apparently hooked for life. I had all the action figures and practically every issue of the Archie series of "TMNT Adventures" comics. All that said, I kind of missed out on the original iteration of these four mutant turtles. And for anyone that knows, the Archie and cartoon Turtles are very different from the original comic. The Ultimate Edition collects the original series done by Eastman and Laird into a Growing up, my first introduction to the Ninja Turtles was the 1987 cartoon. I was 3 and apparently hooked for life. I had all the action figures and practically every issue of the Archie series of "TMNT Adventures" comics. All that said, I kind of missed out on the original iteration of these four mutant turtles. And for anyone that knows, the Archie and cartoon Turtles are very different from the original comic. The Ultimate Edition collects the original series done by Eastman and Laird into a really beautiful oversized book (issues 1-7 in this volume). It's a great platform for these illustrations – they are absolutely gorgeous. Practically every page could be hung as a work of art. And the stories compliment the artwork well – great pacing and the right balance of "grit" and wit. All in all, I'm so glad I revisited the books that set the stage for my biggest obsession as a kid. They're far too good to go unread!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zack! Empire

    Oh, man, I loved this! So happy I decided to finally read some of the original TMNT comics! Like any kid who grew up in the 80's, I've always been a fan, but, surprisingly, I've read almost none of the TMNT comics! (Unless you count some appearances they had in someone else's book.) I finally went for it and I'm so glad I Did! Easily the best book I've read this year. It was just so damn fun! The art is really good, but it's pretty far from mainstream. It was a self-published "indie" comic, after Oh, man, I loved this! So happy I decided to finally read some of the original TMNT comics! Like any kid who grew up in the 80's, I've always been a fan, but, surprisingly, I've read almost none of the TMNT comics! (Unless you count some appearances they had in someone else's book.) I finally went for it and I'm so glad I Did! Easily the best book I've read this year. It was just so damn fun! The art is really good, but it's pretty far from mainstream. It was a self-published "indie" comic, after all. Still, there is some really great splash pages here, and the fight scenes are great! The story is really fun as the turtles are really going from one adventure to the next, but in a way that feels organic and not just forced. Really loved reading this book. I will definitely be picking up the next volume!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    This collection was my first dip into the TMNT comics, it included the first 7 issues plus the one off where Raph meets Casey Jones (pretty much straight from the first movie. LOVED IT). It honestly reminded me of the cartoon from the late 80s. Clearly the comics are darker, with blood and people or creatures actually dying. But the last three issues the Turtles go to a different dimension and things feel more galactic compared to the streets of New York with the Foot/Shredder. I'm more in favor This collection was my first dip into the TMNT comics, it included the first 7 issues plus the one off where Raph meets Casey Jones (pretty much straight from the first movie. LOVED IT). It honestly reminded me of the cartoon from the late 80s. Clearly the comics are darker, with blood and people or creatures actually dying. But the last three issues the Turtles go to a different dimension and things feel more galactic compared to the streets of New York with the Foot/Shredder. I'm more in favor of the smaller scale stories than when they fight a bunch of triceratons, but either way love reading Turtles, no matter where they go. 5/5

  14. 5 out of 5

    Abe Something

    This book is pure enthusiasm. Eastman and Laird are the ideal model of two friends making a thing, for themselves and to the best of their ability, and then that thing working. They are taking chances while staying close to the established rails of 80s comic storytelling. The origin story is fun/funny. Splinter’s design is a delight. The mousers are terrifying. The TCRI/triceratons/fugitiod story may be a shade too long, but that is more than made up for in the ink work and page composition that This book is pure enthusiasm. Eastman and Laird are the ideal model of two friends making a thing, for themselves and to the best of their ability, and then that thing working. They are taking chances while staying close to the established rails of 80s comic storytelling. The origin story is fun/funny. Splinter’s design is a delight. The mousers are terrifying. The TCRI/triceratons/fugitiod story may be a shade too long, but that is more than made up for in the ink work and page composition that the duo begins to display. This run of comics achieves god level in the amateur class of art making.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    A few days ago, I reviewed Palladium's 1980s RPG based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license, and since then have launched a short (or maybe extended if folks want it to keep going) campaign using that system, and so thought it was a good time to go back to the roots and read these original stories in black & white (I think, but am not 100% sure, that there are colorized versions of these, too).* For some backstory if you are just unsure what the crud I am talking about in general, see **. A few days ago, I reviewed Palladium's 1980s RPG based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license, and since then have launched a short (or maybe extended if folks want it to keep going) campaign using that system, and so thought it was a good time to go back to the roots and read these original stories in black & white (I think, but am not 100% sure, that there are colorized versions of these, too).* For some backstory if you are just unsure what the crud I am talking about in general, see **. There is a lot of fun to be had by going back to the early days where not only was the lore/world being developed in something like real time, but the mode of publication (written and printed over an extended time by a small production team who worked closely together and having no real oversight besides their own interests and fan reaction) allowed the team to take this lore/world in strange an unexpected directions. The turtles are mutated essentially by the same accident/canister that blinded Daredevil (or at least it can be taken as something of a parody of that event). They wear "masks" to hide their identity but since their identity is basically four identical humanoid turtles...yeah. Casey Jones (introduced in this volume's side-story issue dedicated to Raphael) is a parody of Batman & Punisher types but rather than a tragic backstory, he's just a slob who watches a lot of bad television and straps on sports equipment to beat down criminals. Most striking to something like editorial sense is how imbalanced the stories can be, and how off-the-rails they can go. The original Shredder-arc is a single issue (intended originally, I think, to be the only issue and it ends with them "killing him" [dun dun dunnnnn]). One issue is mostly dedicated to a prolonged vehicular chase sequence where the cops mistakenly chase the turtles and April down the street through a variety of wacky hijinks [this would have been a couple pages of filler in every other title]. And, to top it off, by issue 4 the story switches dramatically towards heavy sci-fi territory and involves a multiple-issue arc in outerspace with alien warfare and transmat beams and cool asteroid bases and gladiatorial combat. This black-and-white indie comic is basically able to tell whatever story it wants to tell, and good decisions be damned. In a couple of scenes, the turtles are written as being efficient killers. Others scenes portray them as closer to how we now know them (excellent fighters, but rarely trying to outright maim folks). Sometimes they are kind of goofy, other times pretty dark. Originally, there was little to properly distinguish them besides their weapons: it was a black and white comic and even when the covers started being in color they all wore red-bandannas. Personality-wise, Raphael was the only real stand out. This does not change much in the course of this volume. They are generally likable characters, and you root for them, but with action that ramps up unexpectedly or sometimes (such as the bit with Stockman's "mousers") is depicted as more dire than the reader feels, you rarely feel much stress or tension in the story. Wounds are inconsistent (one blade cut slows a turtle down for a few scenes, others are walked off in a couple of panels at most). The aforementioned tension is malleable. Eastman and Laird shape it to whatever they wanted to tell at the time. See also: pace, common sense, and theme. The art style is similarly distinctive and malleable. One page might be filled fairly sparse lines. Others will be thick and textured. Most are somewhere in between: a bit goofy, a bit gritty. Sometimes the panels are small and quickly flowing, many are larger and spaced variably. A shot or two manages to work in some mild titillation. Some panels involve a bit of blood/violence, though others depict the roughest bits off "camera" (one shot has Donatello presumably stabbing someone with his broken staff, but this one is not shown while we saw other stabbings/slashings in prior panels). The character design is intriguingly rough and prone to slight alteration. It feels like a proper indie title with all polish being in what the creators wanted to polish for their own enjoyment. Had the series only continued in such a gusto style without the limitations that its increasing popularity forced upon it, I have no idea how it would have ultimately fared. It feels like a David facing the Goliath of bigger publishers by holding to a strategy of going faster and harder into its own wild horizons than those longer/larger titles could accomplish because of a number of reasons. With that being said, it very much feels like a precursor (admittedly, alongside several titles by the major houses) to the grimmer/darker storylines that...plagued (I'm going to say plagued)...comics in the 90s, but far more enjoyable than the majority of the major grimdark storylines. This is a treasure of a certain time and a capsule of a certain effort. Nowadays, such a humble start would possibly have lead to a webcomic (weird to think we are sort of past the hey-day of those, isn't it?) and without the physical stress of making and selling the individual issues, the need to get everything they want into every issue they made would have been diluted...and so would have some of the charm. Each and every issue at this stage could have broken the company down had it gone too poorly (and there were printing mishaps and decisions about what to focus on that changed some things, according to the commentary). These are not necessarily good comics collected here...but they are great ones. ======= * It actually took a minute of digging to make sure I had the original stories, because there is so many variations and volumes and relaunches that the field gets a bit...murky.** ** TMNT is something of a meta-series. Most/all the variations tend to include... four teen-aged "brothers" [usually implied/confirmed, but not always, to be biologically so], who are turtles, who got "mutated" into humanoids roughly about human size but often slightly shorter, who got named after Renaissance artists by the same humanoid rat mutant who trained them in ninjitsu, Splinter. and now these four ninja-trained turtle-mutant teenagers go up against a series of foes that tend to derive from... Shredder and The Foot (a clan of ninjas and their leader) other mutated animals criminals in general, especially gangs of thugs aliens mad scientist types like Baxter Stockman (occasionally) prejudiced law enforcement other and you get a few common themes on their personality and identifiers—Raphael is prone to anger, Donatello is good with machines...—and by now they are also known by signature weapons and (perhaps most importantly) by colors of cloth they wrap around their eyes like masks (yes, it is silly, yes that is sort of the point...). Since the 1980s era cartoon, the show has largely been associated with younger demographics, and such quick identification is necessary so that kids can go, "I want to be the smart one with the purple bandanna and the staff!" With that being said, the property has gone through a pretty large variety. Sometimes Splinter was the pet rat of a ninja-master who fled in disgrace and he was mutated after his master was killed by Shredder (the original). Sometimes Splinter is the master himself who got turned into a rat-type. Sometimes Splinter is something/someone else. Usually, the turtles were mutated by the "ooze" which might be alien tech, or scientific experiments, or other...though there are still other origins. The degree the personalities stick out depends on the version. Sometimes Raphael is really angry and Michelangelo is really goofy and other times they are less so. Shredder is sometimes a rival ninja who hated Splinter and/or his master because of a love triangle, sometimes it is Shredder's brother who was the rival. Sometimes the aliens are more neutral or positive. Sometimes they are more straight up hostile. Every ally goes through shifts (April started out as more down-and-out, and lately has been more a teenage friend, but several versions have her as an adult with a job).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lissibith

    It can be hard to look at this book just on its own merits. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have spawned three cartoon series, a collection of movies and specials, crossovers galore and more random merchandise than you can shake a stick at. This past issue of Previews had a Michelangelo pizza cutter, and my only thought when I saw it was "we're only just now getting this?" Add to that, I'm of an age where the original TMNT cartoon was a big part of my childhood, and I come into this book with a It can be hard to look at this book just on its own merits. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have spawned three cartoon series, a collection of movies and specials, crossovers galore and more random merchandise than you can shake a stick at. This past issue of Previews had a Michelangelo pizza cutter, and my only thought when I saw it was "we're only just now getting this?" Add to that, I'm of an age where the original TMNT cartoon was a big part of my childhood, and I come into this book with a lot of memories and expectations. It's just impossible to separate the two. So, I think if I had read this book in individual issues without any of the background... maybe this would be a three-star book? The art is often fascinating, wearing its inspirations on its sleeve, and the stories are fantastical, varying and chock full of... well, joy. These books just ooze with the amount of fun the creators were having with the concept, especially in the first few issues. But on the other hand, it can be hard to tell the turtles apart when they don't have their weapons, since only Raphael has a solidly formed and obvious personality in the first couple issues. Leonardo follows pretty quickly, and Michelangelo is working on it by the end. But still... hard to tell. And sometimes the story just takes diversions away from the action for a surprising number of panels. So, sure, three stars would probably do it. But this particular collection not only also rides some nostalgia, but it also bumps up because of the explanations put between each chapter where one of the creators talks about not only the overall process of working on the issue but the series as a whole. It also breaks down the action in pages or chunks of pages, sometimes just pointing out bits he liked but often explaining their reasoning for various artistic choices. It's also a beautiful hardcover collection - something I'm super happy to have in my collection.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Olsen

    Nostalgia and Surprise The Teenage Mutant NinjaTurtles bring back feelings of nostalgia. The Saturday morning children's cartoon of the 80's was one of the most positive memories I have from my childhood. I used to watch it every weekend an thought it was the greatest thing in the world. Now the cartoon comes off really corny and hard to watch. But the original comics had been unknown to me until about 2 years ago, when a coworker had the first volume and showed it to me. I found copies and began Nostalgia and Surprise The Teenage Mutant NinjaTurtles bring back feelings of nostalgia. The Saturday morning children's cartoon of the 80's was one of the most positive memories I have from my childhood. I used to watch it every weekend an thought it was the greatest thing in the world. Now the cartoon comes off really corny and hard to watch. But the original comics had been unknown to me until about 2 years ago, when a coworker had the first volume and showed it to me. I found copies and began to devour them. By this time I had a couple of major graphic novels under my belt ( V for Vendetta, The Watchman, etc), and had more appreciation for the comic art form. The origins story created by Eastman and Laird was a breath of fresh air. Considering my introduction being the 1980's cartoon. The story made more sense, is very connected and entertaining and the often intriguing nature of doing them in black and white led to more appreciation of the art form. For the most part the story and writing both in pictures and words was solid and had a continuous flow. The annoyed portion contains references to why the story was created in such a way by the authors that gives any fan of the story additional info that is nice to have but not necessary. It is well paced, with some well placed action scenes. Often telling a story completely in pictures as well. It moves pretty quick and can before you know it you're done. I would recommend this book who enjoys a good comic/ graphic novel akin to the older style with Star Wars, Frank Miller and Jack Kirby influences.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Moore

    Arguably the most successful independent comic of all time is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Eastman and Laird's first seven issues and Raphael one-shot collected in this hardcover over sized volume. Eastman and Laird give great notes after each issue to give greater insight into the making of these landmark issues. The art is gritty and a little rough around the edges. Although once you get deeper into the book you enjoy the quality and style it does have. The fight scenes and the writing are v Arguably the most successful independent comic of all time is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Eastman and Laird's first seven issues and Raphael one-shot collected in this hardcover over sized volume. Eastman and Laird give great notes after each issue to give greater insight into the making of these landmark issues. The art is gritty and a little rough around the edges. Although once you get deeper into the book you enjoy the quality and style it does have. The fight scenes and the writing are very good. I have to point out half of this book is more space opera and not what you maybe expected from these characters. The issues flow into one another very well even with the words from the creators, who bridge the gap in not only the storyline but the story of how they came to be. The things that make this book great is a list that never really stops. The only things that holds the book back are issues of taste. The serious tone, the art style, the type of stories told. These are all small gripes of seemingly flawless book. Die hard fans of the films and cartoons will get a whole lot from the ultimate collection, but this volume in particular maybe a bit harder to swallow. It is the history of the book and characters, the pandemonium caused by them, and the experience of getting these stories in such an amazing format that makes this book well worth your time, money and open mind if needed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Patrice

    While I've had a general knowledge of the TMNT's comic origins, this has been my first opportunity to read it for myself and it has exceeded my expectations. I really love Eastman and Laird's unique art style and was surprised (and pleased) by how quickly the story escalated into a multi-issue plot. Given that they were writing the stories for themselves, using their own studio which they didn't entirely expect to materialize (hence the name Mirage), I thought the first several issues might be o While I've had a general knowledge of the TMNT's comic origins, this has been my first opportunity to read it for myself and it has exceeded my expectations. I really love Eastman and Laird's unique art style and was surprised (and pleased) by how quickly the story escalated into a multi-issue plot. Given that they were writing the stories for themselves, using their own studio which they didn't entirely expect to materialize (hence the name Mirage), I thought the first several issues might be one shot stories. I was wrong. This was impressive and I look forward to reading more. Additionally, I also liked how each issue was followed up by Eastman and Laird's (mostly Eastman's) annotations which gave a lot of extra insight into the stories, artists and creative process.

  20. 4 out of 5

    [Name Redacted]

    Ahhhh, the classics never go out of style! This is a volume with HEFT, both literal and metaphorical. It's amazing how much I had forgotten about the comics thanks to the television series and the films. For instance, the Shredder dies early on; Krang's species is peaceful; Splinter was actually a rat; April O'Neil was a scientist and lab-assistant; and Baxter Stockman was black! The annotations and explanations from Eastman & Laird are well worth the price, and the art...good gravy! The art! Th Ahhhh, the classics never go out of style! This is a volume with HEFT, both literal and metaphorical. It's amazing how much I had forgotten about the comics thanks to the television series and the films. For instance, the Shredder dies early on; Krang's species is peaceful; Splinter was actually a rat; April O'Neil was a scientist and lab-assistant; and Baxter Stockman was black! The annotations and explanations from Eastman & Laird are well worth the price, and the art...good gravy! The art! The scene of the Triceraton "homeworld" alone left me utterly bewildered. I think I said "wow!" out loud so many times that I alarmed my cat.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Clint the Cool Guy

    Slow start but gets better I've always wanted to read the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, just to understand why they were such a big deal. At the beginning, I didn't feel like these comics were very good though. The artwork seemed hit and miss, and the stories didn't seem very good. But by the sixth issue or so, things started getting really interesting. The storyline improved, and so did the art. Now I am looking forward to reading the rest of these volumes! Slow start but gets better I've always wanted to read the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, just to understand why they were such a big deal. At the beginning, I didn't feel like these comics were very good though. The artwork seemed hit and miss, and the stories didn't seem very good. But by the sixth issue or so, things started getting really interesting. The storyline improved, and so did the art. Now I am looking forward to reading the rest of these volumes!

  22. 4 out of 5

    sixthreezy

    A hefty book, with 7 issues of turtle awesomeness. Casey Jones makes an appearance, and there are parts of this that seem to be in the first TMNT live-action film. Black and white comics aren't my favorite, I would prefer it was in color but.. It's the Ninja Turtles so I enjoyed it! A hefty book, with 7 issues of turtle awesomeness. Casey Jones makes an appearance, and there are parts of this that seem to be in the first TMNT live-action film. Black and white comics aren't my favorite, I would prefer it was in color but.. It's the Ninja Turtles so I enjoyed it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

    As much nostalgia this brings to both my 5 and 12 year old self, this isn't the Saturday morning Ninja Turtles that you looked forward to seeing as a child. But as a hardcore TMNT fan of nearly two decades, I was obviously going to take a look at the true origin of my childhood heroes. As much nostalgia this brings to both my 5 and 12 year old self, this isn't the Saturday morning Ninja Turtles that you looked forward to seeing as a child. But as a hardcore TMNT fan of nearly two decades, I was obviously going to take a look at the true origin of my childhood heroes.

  24. 5 out of 5

    James

    I've been a TMNT fan for almost my entire life. I remember that around the time the original cartoon came out that I had a pet box turtle (the amazing T. Winner, who managed to win me $10 in a local turtle race), and at that point it seemed like destiny. As I recall that while I loved the cartoon, the first movie scared the crap out of me. It was certainly more violent, more adult, and one of the turtles even said "damn". I found out later that this was because the movie tried to be a bit closer I've been a TMNT fan for almost my entire life. I remember that around the time the original cartoon came out that I had a pet box turtle (the amazing T. Winner, who managed to win me $10 in a local turtle race), and at that point it seemed like destiny. As I recall that while I loved the cartoon, the first movie scared the crap out of me. It was certainly more violent, more adult, and one of the turtles even said "damn". I found out later that this was because the movie tried to be a bit closer to the original comics than the cartoon. My young self would then become much more pleased with the second movie which had more of the cheesy humor like that found on Saturday morning television, but then quite upset that the third movie was just plain garbage.I Even though I've seen a large chunk of the original cartoon, most of the movies (I've not had a huge burning desire to see the 2nd Liebsman movie), and played all of the video games up to the SNES era, this collection was my first real foray into the Eastman and Laird comics. I read one once on a road trip long ago and perused through a couple in the grocery store, but they were well above my sensitive cartoon-minded head and I felt like my parents should have yelled at me for reading them. The comics definitely present a grittier, angrier, weirder turtle than we are accustomed to seeing. We see these kids stab actual human enemies, drawing blood and often killing them in the process. Holy crap. There are plenty of robots, too, as we are used to seeing from the tv show and games, but they're relatively minor characters. We see that April was originally an assistant to Baxter Stockman (who threatened to topple one of the World Trade Center towers with his mouser robots...), never a reporter, and she meets the boys in green shortly after they've killed off Shredder at the end of the very first comic. "What?! Where can they possibly go from here..." The first few comics are grounded in NYC and provide us with some backstory and character development (in the first issue it feels like the four turtles are essentially carbon copies of each other, just with different weapons, but as the story advances we see more of the personalities we have come to know), but then at some point they're immediately whisked away to outer space in a dinosaur version of Star Wars. What. I'd expect to see that in the tenth year of publishing when the artists feel like they've ran out of ideas, not in issue number 5. Surprisingly, there is no pizza, nor "COWABUNGA!"s. I had heard that the creators had very little input on the cartoon and subsequent movies, and yeah, you get the sense the source material was heavily mutilated for sensitive eyes and ears. Raphael asks April for a beer at one point, and she obliges. I don't think my parents would have been ok with that. These first few stories are fun, nothing deep or complicated. As a fan it is really cool seeing the original artist intent behind the character and stories that later became toys. Toys of which I still have melting away in the attic. I always love the fact that the TMNT were created in 1984, the same year I came into existence. And that per the annotations provided in this tome, Michaelangelo (objectively the best turtle) was the very first one drawn. Know your roots!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ollie

    The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a force that transcends generations. My version of the heroes in a half shell involves the Saturday morning cartoon on TV in the early 90s: what I consider to be the “right” content for turtles fan. I just couldn’t get enough of them, and considering how slim the pickings were for a kid growing up in the Caribbean, I did pretty well for myself. My consumption of the TV show involved rented VHS copies, the Archie Comics, and Spanish-dubbed episodes on TV, topp The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a force that transcends generations. My version of the heroes in a half shell involves the Saturday morning cartoon on TV in the early 90s: what I consider to be the “right” content for turtles fan. I just couldn’t get enough of them, and considering how slim the pickings were for a kid growing up in the Caribbean, I did pretty well for myself. My consumption of the TV show involved rented VHS copies, the Archie Comics, and Spanish-dubbed episodes on TV, topped with a terribly unhealthy dose of action-figure collecting. I wanted to know everything about them and couldn’t get enough. And even though I’ve since outgrown them (punk rock and comics was a fruit ripe for the picking), the Ninja Turtles’ viral content has since firmly embedded itself into my DNA. TMNT was originally envisioned as a funny take on the dark Frank Miller Daredevil comics from the 80s (strange considering the lighthearted form the turtles have taken over the years), and now IDW that has collected the original issues in these magnificent hardcover ultimate editions, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to learn how it all started. First off, these issues are not exactly easy to find, so the fact that they’re now so readily available is truly a treat. Second, the books are marvelously put together. In a hardcover oversized print, the ultimate collections contain the beautifully restored original stories of the turtles, along with commentary and notes from the creators. You don’t just get to experience the turtles in their raw birth, but Eastman and Laird take you through the process of making every issue, where they wanted to take the story, and how much fun they were having in the process. Having been a fan of TMNT so long ago, it was surprising how many ideas the show borrowed from these grim and gritty comics (Shredder, Krang, April, Baxter Stockman and the Mousers all make an appearance at this early stage) and how quickly the story takes off. These issues are raw and storytelling-wise definitely borrow from Jack Kirby (oh, those splash panels!) and it’s surprising how much there is to hold onto as Eastman and Laird start to expand their universe. Over the years the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have mutated into different but familiar forms, hopefully leaving some influence to new generations along the way. The Ultimate Collection is a well put together and important document for both fans and pop culture in general.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rex Hurst

    This book collects the first seven issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles put out by Mirage Studios (so called because it was just a room in Laird’s house, so to say it was a studio was just a mirage) and the Raphael one shot comic. If you think that isn’t much, let me remind you that the early TMNT comics were all essentially double sized issues, averaging about forty pages- so the material is the equivalent of fifteen issues in this volume. Also included are comments and annotations by the aut This book collects the first seven issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles put out by Mirage Studios (so called because it was just a room in Laird’s house, so to say it was a studio was just a mirage) and the Raphael one shot comic. If you think that isn’t much, let me remind you that the early TMNT comics were all essentially double sized issues, averaging about forty pages- so the material is the equivalent of fifteen issues in this volume. Also included are comments and annotations by the authors on each issue. As the issues are in black and white, you’ll notice that the turtles are only known by their weapons (rather than the different colored masks they wear later on), and when they are colored on the covers, they’re all colored red. The next thing you’ll notice is that the turtles are pretty violent. Not cartoon violent, when they fight, they aim to kill. Not capture, not maim, but to put their enemies in the ground. This was rather refreshing back in the day and it is further punctuated by them killing the Shredder in the first issue. From there it goes a whole lot crazier introducing April O’Neil, the Second Time Around junk shop, nutcase vigilante Casey Jones, the TCRI aliens (Utroms), the Fugitoid - little note, the actual origin issue of the Fugitoid is not in this volume. The authors felt that it wasn’t necessary as a synopsis is given in the TMNT #4. While the material here is good, you can see that the artists are still developing their skills. The action is sharp, but there are still a few awkward angles and panels, the smoothness of later scenes and stories are not there altogether. What takes me out there the most is the mild attempt at swear words often employed by the turtles and their antagonists. Someone nearly falling off a moving truck and yelling “dung” instead of “shit” just is bizarre. If they didn’t want to use profanities they should’ve gone to the old standby of substituting “[email protected]#%&” instead.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    High literature this ain't, but I don't think that really matters, and it's all part of the fun. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of those concepts that is just stupid enough to work, and the comics collected here of the Turtles' early years are admittedly one of the better representations of what indie comics from the '80s have to offer. There's plenty of action here, with more than just a little bit of science fiction, and the fact that the comic doesn't take itself too seriously works in it High literature this ain't, but I don't think that really matters, and it's all part of the fun. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of those concepts that is just stupid enough to work, and the comics collected here of the Turtles' early years are admittedly one of the better representations of what indie comics from the '80s have to offer. There's plenty of action here, with more than just a little bit of science fiction, and the fact that the comic doesn't take itself too seriously works in its favor. In fact, the stories collected here work as an excellent parody of comic books themselves; without losing its own sense of identity, the comic traverses multiple genres, from interstellar science fiction to gladitorial combat, from the martial arts craze of the late '70s to the stories of industrial wastelands and radioactive mutagens. It's a really weird hodgepodge of different ideas and conventional plots with unconventional eccentricities, but it all feels tonally consistent and well-executed. Indeed, the execution is all of the book's charm. The gritty, black-and-white illustrations fit well with the spirit of '80s teenage angst and mirror a lot of the similar development going on in mainstream comics at the time. The book itself, though, is clearly trend-setting, and I think the art and general visual direction for the book's storytelling is ahead of the grade of mainstream offerings. All in all, this particular collection might lack some of the visual acuity of previous printings, but the story itself as collected in these early issues is pretty interesting, and definitely worth reading for the first time.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Driscoll

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had once read the very first issue of TMNT, but never the following ones, so it was interesting to go back and revisit the roots of the comic. The storytelling was kind of uneven I think, but the art was sometimes spectacularly detailed, and it was pretty interesting to see the early takes on characters like Baxter Stockman, April (who is a computer scientist here), Krang, and Triceraton. Triceraton was always one of my favorite toys and I played with him all the time, so it was cool to see a I had once read the very first issue of TMNT, but never the following ones, so it was interesting to go back and revisit the roots of the comic. The storytelling was kind of uneven I think, but the art was sometimes spectacularly detailed, and it was pretty interesting to see the early takes on characters like Baxter Stockman, April (who is a computer scientist here), Krang, and Triceraton. Triceraton was always one of my favorite toys and I played with him all the time, so it was cool to see a whole army of them in this comic. It was really weird to find Krang... or rather his species portrayed as benevolent! I like that, though. Fugitoid gets a surprisingly deep role as well, for being a really minor character in the original cartoons. Anyway, fun stuff for fans. One of the most interesting parts for me was that I recognized individual pieces of the artwork used in individual panels because I had seen them repurposed for advertisements in the 1980s for things like the TMNT video games and so on. I vividly remember those ads from my old comics because I always thought the Turtles looked weird in them. Turns out they were from the original line-up! One thing I am glad most of the later versions got rid of: the tails. The early comics portray the turtles with tails, and some of the shots really look like the turtles have penises emerging from between their legs due to the angle and the stubby quality of the tails. I just didn't want to see that.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ray Palmer

    These are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they were originally conceived. And it’s not very kid friendly. There’s the mild cussing. When April asks them if they want anything Raphael asks for beer, not pizza. And let us not forget about the gritty, blood-splattering, onomatopoeic violence. Listen, the art and the writing doesn’t compare to the greats. But there are some artists who, in spite of their lack of refined skill, imbue their work with such an abundance of energy and enthusiasm, who These are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they were originally conceived. And it’s not very kid friendly. There’s the mild cussing. When April asks them if they want anything Raphael asks for beer, not pizza. And let us not forget about the gritty, blood-splattering, onomatopoeic violence. Listen, the art and the writing doesn’t compare to the greats. But there are some artists who, in spite of their lack of refined skill, imbue their work with such an abundance of energy and enthusiasm, who demonstrate such a full-throttled untethered imaginative quality, that you can’t help but be swept up in it. Like Edgar Rice Burroughs at his best, Eastman and Laird’s early TMNT work is irresistible. Their artistic style is unique, and the density of the black-and-white artwork is dizzying at times. Some panels are explosions of chaos that you have to look at for a while for them to make sense. And the action is relentless, with barely room to breath between fight scenes. But even when the Turtles are traveling across the galaxy there’s a smallness and intimacy to the narratives. The Turtles don’t save the world. They stumble across their adventures in back alleys, sewers, abandoned buildings, and empty rooftops. You know, the kind of places were mutants, ninja gangs, killer robots, and aliens hang out.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pearce

    I first came to the Turtles through the roleplaying game, which I got my hands on probably in 1986. I couldn't get my twelve year old brain around the rules so I didn't end up playing it for a few years, but the illustrations and the short comic "Don't Judge a Book" got me super interested in finding out more, and managed to get hold of the first two volumes of the colourized comics. I absolutely loved the combination of sci-fi pulp, violent martial arts and anthropomorphized animals. Shortly aft I first came to the Turtles through the roleplaying game, which I got my hands on probably in 1986. I couldn't get my twelve year old brain around the rules so I didn't end up playing it for a few years, but the illustrations and the short comic "Don't Judge a Book" got me super interested in finding out more, and managed to get hold of the first two volumes of the colourized comics. I absolutely loved the combination of sci-fi pulp, violent martial arts and anthropomorphized animals. Shortly afterwards the first animated series came out, and I had my first experience of adaptation disappointment as I watched everything of interest drain out of the characters and situations to be replaced with generic tv cartoon pap. Instead of doing things like taking intergalactic trips to fight warmongering triceratops, they mostly just eat pizza and fight the same four comically inept villains over and over. I checked out the first live-action movie, and though it was a bit better and the Jim Henson costumes were cool, I wasn't really impressed. And that was basically it for me and the turtles for about twenty seven years. On re-reading them now, these early comics are clunky but they still have some spark to them. I'm looking forward to finally pushing forward and reading the ones I missed first time around. Maybe they'll suck, but so far they're pretty agreeable.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.