Tales of the TMNT #39

Hello, I’m a unicorn. Teenage Mutant Ninja Were-Turtle. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes it is as good as it sounds. Okay, a little back story. According to Wikipedia, Tales of the TMNT was an anthology series published to fill the gaps in continuity  from the main series. It was published in two volumes, sixteen years apart from each other. This  comic in particular is from the second volume.

There is a bit of continuity behind this, so let’s get it out of the way. In the original 80’s run of Tales of the TMNT, there was a Halloween special issue (later adapted into an episode of the 2003 series) called “All Hallows Thieves.” The basic plot is that a mysterious fellow and his associate, Hadji, want to steal an idol and become the King of Thieves. The Turtles stumble upon them because the idol made its way to April O’Neal’s shop. If you want to know what happened, I suggest reading the comic or watching the episode. This comic is a sequel to that Halloween special.

The basic plot is that Raphael accidentally gets sent to a future where the mysterious fellow I mentioned earlier has allied himself with werewolves and wants to take over the world instead of the vampires who already rule it. All of the Turtles are dead except for Mikey, who escaped after watching his brothers die. He and Hadji, who had been betrayed by the man who would be King of Thieves, lead the resistance until Mikey was turned into a werewolf. The sorcerer, Hadji’s former boss, needs the idol to get to the past and become King of the Werewolves. (You’d think he’d learned from the last debacle and set his aspirations a little lower. Duke of the Werewolves, maybe. Good to see that still he has ambition though.) Raph needs to stop him and return to his time by destroying a Turtle skeleton, the only connection to the past the sorcerer has.

This comic is actually pretty good. I noticed that in a lot of my Tales of the TMNT comics, the art is either ugly on the Turtles, contorting them in ugly or blocky ways, or ugly on the people, making their faces unpleasant to look at. This isn’t the case with this comic though. The art looks great. The black and white makes it moodier and the Turtles’ faces are extremely expressive.

The story is excellent. The writer did a great job of mixing sadness, humor, and pure awesome. In this story, a giant mutated turtle fights werewolves. That, folks, is why I love comics. In any other medium, a scenario like this will shatter any suspension of disbelief. I would like to note though, that the story isn’t original. If you watched the 2003 series, you may remember the episode “Same as it Never Was” that came out two years before. In it, Donnie was sent to a future where he’d disappeared and the team was destroyed. That is the basic plot here too. I’m not saying that the comic ripped the episode off because there was an equal effort in creating an emotional reaction on this story and in that episode. It’s just something I noticed.

Overall, it’s worth a read, especially if you’re a TMNT fan. The art and story is great even if it isn’t 100% original. It’s a great Halloween story and a fun read. So what are you waiting for? Read it now.

“Hey Textbox, Have you seen my broadsword?” Kirin called as she rifled through a box in the storage room of her basement.

“I’m the disembodied voice in your head. How can I see anything?” Textbox pointed out. 

“Obviously you can see some things on your own. You couldn’t follow me when I left, so you probably can only “see” the layout of my house. Or you constructed the layout from my memories. You never quite explained how this whole voice in my head thing works anyway.” Kirin sat up, vainly hoping to hear an answer. When none was offered, she gave a sardonic laugh.

“What? Deadpool’s textbox is at a loss for words? Somebody call the presses, I think history has been made!” she announced. The creature listened to this exchange with interest. There was tension between the two. Definitely something he could use to his advantage. When Textbox remained silent, she tried a different approach, “You know, it’s pretty rude to show up, crash in someone’s mind, and annoy the heck out of them. All without an explanation.”

Ah-ah-ah Kirin,” Texbox began, “Remember what I said: I would if I could–“

“But you can’t, so you won’t. Yeah, yeah. What else is new?” Kirin shifted the box she was rifling through out of the way and opened another one labeled dolls. “Ah, here it is.” Seeing it behind the box, she pulled a broadsword in its scabbard out from a crevice between the doll box and a box of Christmas ornaments. Unsheathing the sword, she examined the blade. “Hmm…could use some polishing. Maybe a little sharpening. Just enough to get off the rust,” she muttered thoughtfully. She stood up and walked upstairs.

Kirin? Watcha doin’?” Textbox asked as she stepped outside. She walked to a scarecrow she’d set up for Halloween and unsheathed the sword.

“Eatin’ chocolate. What’s it look like I’m doin’?” she muttered as she swung the sword, stopping a hairsbreadth from the scarecrow before swinging again. After a few practice swings, she dashed, ducked, swung, stabbed and jumped as though she was fighting an invisible swordsman.

“What did that scarecrow ever do to you?” asked Textbox as she lobbed off an its arm.

“Nothing. I’m just practicing. Last night I was taken by surprise by that intruder. Next time, I want to be ready.”

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