Monday, October 22, 2012
Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)
I'm completely on board with this. I’ve always loved the Turtles and while they’ve gone through the ins and outs of popularity over the years, all children of the late 80’s remember being inspired by the cool, witty and zany appeal of this franchise.
I think Eastman and Laird are highly under-aprpeciated in the field of comics. I think TMNT sort of set this new bar for entertainment.
TMNT sort of winked at the camera a little bit more than other comic books and cartoons did. It took itself seriously enough to be incredibly cool, but didn’t take itself so seriously that the characters couldn’t comment on the absurdity of the surreal situations they were facing.
The comic made science fiction funny in this accessible way. The very title itself is funny: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. How could these things possibly go together?
And, in keeping with the spirit of the title, the Turtles are constantly caught up into truly absurd and outrageous 1950’s-esque circumstances. So you know, it’s the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fighting against the Rockmen from Dimension X.
TMNT embraced being over the top and provided readers and viewers with self-referential humor. I actually think this kind of self-conscious humor became entrenched into the minds and hearts of an entire generation and was capitalized on in The Simpsons, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Arrested Development, just to name a few.
That might seem like a stretch, but I really believe this. I think The Simpsons really spoke to our generation, but the current renaissance of American humor in pop culture started with TMNT.
I actually dug that CGI reboot they had out a few years back. And at the time, I remember hearing that they intended to dish out at least one more animated feature. I wouldn’t have had a problem with this in the least and I'm almost a little sorry to see this take on the turtles universe come to a close as soon as it opened up.
As far as Bay, I'm not sure what to say. Aliens? Of course, the internet has been panning this idea like crazy. But like a lot of things Bay does, what sounds silly on paper has an epic and gripping feel when the finished product hits the big screen.
Here’s what I suspect. Like Transformers there will be enough of what you loved about the product in there for it to feel relatable and identifiable. It will almost certainly take on a life of its own, however, and evolve into its own kind of TMNT. Bay will sort of add his own twists and takes to the legend and everyone will go home mostly very satisfied. And toys and comic books and video games will sell like hotcakes in the meantime.
Actually, I’m kind of surprised that G.I. Joe isn’t being given a better go at it. I’m sort of psyched for the new movie, but for some reason it just seems like second-string film making to me. The first movie was neat, but didn’t quite capture enough of what I loved about the original series and movie to feel epic the way Transformers did.
And honestly? G.I. Joe deserves it. I know it hearkens back to the days when parents lobbied concerns about violence in toys and kids shows, but I’m just not going to be satisfied until an all-out G.I. Joe/Cobra land battle breaks out on film.
I’ve heard rumblings, too, about He-man, Voltron and Thundercats. Actually, the new Thundercats cartoon/anime is pretty satisfying for the hardcore fan. You know, I’m even getting so nostaligic these days I actually wouldn’t turn down a He-man reboot. If they did it right…