Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #1 (@IDWPublishing)

"Doctor Cluckingsworth! Explain yourself!"

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are staples of pop culture. They've endured decades as some of the world's most recognizable reptiles, but they always seem to be squaring off against opponents with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #1 from IDW Publishing features the aforementioned reptiles in a slightly less gloomy predicament. The issue is written by Landry Q. Walker, illustrated by Chad Thomas, colored by Heather Breckel and lettered by Shawn Lee (back-up story by James Kochalka.

If you thought four giant turtles was crazy enough, then you clearly haven't entertained the notion of even more animals in the fold.

On the surface, most of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #1 doesn't feel too different than any other TMNT stories. Dig a little deeper and you'll find that Walker has infused the story with a bit more of a childlike sensibility. Sure, the four Turtles are on full display, but there are new allegiances created in the issue that might seem a little counterintuitive to many of the property's older fans. More so than other TMNT stories, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #1 focuses completely on the anthropomorphized aspect of the TMNT universe, featuring characters who are animals first and foremost. Walker's script moves along pretty amusingly, yet it still manages to give the reader plenty to sink their teeth into.

Matching the all-ages feel of the story is Thomas' illustrations. His renderings of the Turtles live primarily on the exaggerated side, as each of the four ninjas is presented in a way that's very cartoonish. Gone are the more dour and fierce Turtles, replaced by characters who feel a lot more cuddly (despite having no fur). Even the fight scenes full of combatants feel more like friendly skirmishes as opposed to brutal battles--a testament to Thomas' ability to lighten the mood with his art. Breckel's illustrations are appropriate and completely match the tone of the work well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #1 is a very lighthearted take on very established characters. There are some interesting story twists involving familiar characters that work to reinvigorate the franchise in positive ways for the purpose of the series. Walker makes the story feel accessible and friendly, despite the seemingly adversarial confrontations shared across many of the characters. Thomas' art is light and fun, adding a bit of levity to characters who more or less thrive on impending disaster. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #1 is a great first issue that fans of the animated series will definitely want to check out.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #1 is in stores now.


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