Friday, October 19, 2012

Retro Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

This issue is an absolute classic. If you were to write a book on the history of the last three decades of comics you would be remiss not to include this. Two guys wrote and drew this in a basement now they both sleep on a pile of money. The American dream.
I can't imagine I have many readers who don't know who the Ninja Turtles are, so I'm not going to go into any sort of history of the franchise other then to say I was fucking obsessed with the Turtles 80's cartoon. And I had a shit ton of the toys too.
This issue starts out with the Turtles fighting some gang members in an alley. The obligatory intro scene to show off your hero or heroes. We then give the story of their origin, the ooze that turned a rat and four turtles into Splinter and the Ninja Turtles. We see splinter's owner getting killed by the Shredder. Cut to the present day and the Turtles have been training to avenge Splinter's owner's death. They confront Shredder and manage to defeat him. Shredder attempts to destroy them all, himself included with a grenade but Donatello knocks him off the roof and he is seemingly killed by the grenade. He would return by issue ten though.
You used to be able to read this and many more Turtles issued for free on but since Nickelodeon recently bought the franchise that's no longer the case. However IDW has been reprinting these both in single issue and in hardcover collections and if you haven't read them you should.
The art work to these early issues is very amateurish, but in a very charming way. You can just sense the incredible amount of heart Eastman and Laird poured into this book. Go find yourself a reprint, I can't recomend this issue enough.

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