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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW) #37 [Review]

teenagemutantninjaturtlesidw037Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Art: Cory Smith
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Shawn Lee
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Cover: Cory Smith
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

This is easily one of my favorite issues of the series so far…yet it’s not exactly one that would stand alone entirely as an introduction to the book. The fact that it deals deeply in established continuity, bridging the previous arc(s) and leading into the next is a huge strength for the issue.

When I first saw this cover (I get the “A” covers as a matter of principle) I almost grinned. Shredder and Krang facing each other as if an uneasy alliance or entering an alliance, with the under-construction Deathsta…er…Technodrome in the background? This could easily be a poster, and one I would frame and hang if I had it. So to say that the cover caught my attention in and of itself is an apt bit to note in an age of generic interchangeable covers and variants.

The interior art is similarly eye-catching, which makes sense–Cory Smith provides the interiors as well as the “A” cover. The characters’ appearances all look very good, fit established appearances from other artists, and on the whole I just can’t find anything disconcerting or off-putting that drew me out of the story or any negative reaction. I’m not typically an art-focused reader, but to put it simply: I really enjoyed the visuals to this issue.

The story opens on Shredder and Krang and immediately had me curious what they’d be up to in this issue, and half-wondering if it’d be a “talky” issue. We then shift to see what Alopex is up to, with Kitsune, and see that there’s definitely something building there. The story returns to Shredder and Krang’s conference, which doesn’t get either very far before violence breaks out and it becomes quickly apparent that the two will be at odds with each other even while having a common foe in the turtles.

This was indeed a bit of a “talky” issue…though moreso, it was Shredder vs. Krang (with a bit of Shredder’s goons vs. Krang’s goons thrown in for good measure). From the characters’ exchange I’ve realized I definitely–as I’ve somewhat suspected for awhile–missed an issue of the Utrom Empire series somehow. I found myself rather engaged throughout the issue, enjoying it immensely and wishing it wasn’t quickly drawing to a conclusion.

That the story credits three creators is something that I think has made this series extremely enjoyable for me: Eastman as original co-creator of the property, and three years in Curnow and Waltz have certainly established themselves. As a team they’re providing stories and character moments and concepts that have made IDW‘s TMNT continuity possibly the most well-rounded and pretty much my favorite of the myriad TMNT continuities out there.

There’s a definite nostalgia factor for me with Alopex–I’d initially thought she’d be a stand-in for the Ninjara character that appeared in the ’90s TMNT Adventures series…though that could yet be, just (like everything else with IDW‘s continuity) developing a bit slower and with more detail as we go along. I also far prefer this version of Krang to any other version, much as I prefer the comics Cobra Commander to the GI Joe cartoons’ version(s) of the character.

Koya and Bludgeon also remind me of TMNT Adventures characters–Koya of a character whose name I don’t recall offhand, and Bludgeon of the time-travelling shark Armaggon…whether or not these current characters have any bases visually or otherwise on the classic characters doesn’t much matter as I simply enjoyed seeing these, and have the freedom to “hope” there’s some sort of tie.

While I wouldn’t really recommend using this issue as a cold jumping-on point, it’s a strong done-in-one “interlude” that carries itself while bridging arcs and reminding readers of what’s come before that presumably will come into play in the next arc. If you’re a fan of Shredder and/or Krang this isn’t a bad issue, either, even if you’ve been away for an arc or few. 

(However, if you’re looking for the turtles themselves? They don’t appear in this issue’s story. And I’m more than fine with that–the conflict with Shredder and Krang was so engaging that as I read, I was hoping this’d be the case so as to not steal page-time away from the villains.)

As much as ANY comic is these days, this is definitely worth its cover price for the read, particularly as an ongoing reader of the series/continuity. Highly recommended.

When Will I Learn?

All these years later, and I’m still snagging these when they come out. When WILL I learn?


I watched this already tonight. I’ve never played the Arkham video games, nor even really know what their story is.

Maybe that would’ve helped.

I hardly noticed that this Batman was again voiced by Conroy. I really don’t like this “modern” visual design for Harley.

Perhaps much as I’ve let most DC comics go, it’s time to start letting these movies go. Next up is Throne of Atlantis. Another New 52-inspired animation.

I’d like to see Kingdom Come parts 1 and 2. Perhaps Prodigal. Or Zero Hour. Maybe a Reign of the Supermen. Or get into Vertigo and give us a Swamp Thing, or better yet–Hellblazer. If part of the appeal of this line is the PG-13 aspect, that they can cuss and show blood and be violent and even show some near-nudity…surely we could get a quality Hellblazer animated film!

At least I have an addition to my miniatures line from this. And if Aquaman–predictably–is the mini for the next one, I may break down and get that, too, if only FOR the mini.

Time will tell.

I’d recommend redboxing this if you’re interested. Or give it a few months and get it cheaper when it’s marked down a bit.

I Ain’t Never Hadda Friend Like Him

Virtually every time I see some celebrity’s name “trending”–whether on Facebook or Twitter or where-ever…my first thought usually would be that they’d died. Until recently. Having (finally?) realized that all sorts of things set someone to being a “trending” topic, so I’ve backed off on that.

And then…tonight.

Robin Williams.

Last I’d heard anything, he’d checked into rehab or some such, so I figured he’d checked himself back out, or someone caught some contextless soundbite or quote, or some paparazzi got some extremely unflattering photo that someone had captioned and it’d gone “viral.”


But to learn that no, he’d died…and apparently self-inflicted…there just ARE no words.

The Genie from Aladdin is one of my favorite Disney characters. That’s certainly got Robin Williams written all over it, so to speak. I’d always thought it fascinating how they imbued the Genie with so much of his personality, and animated stuff that would work for them to get him in to voice the character.

It was only recently that I “discovered” that it was most likely the reverse–that they’d’ve had him in for the role, and animated the character based on him. Which meant this character that’s been such a part of my growing up is far more Robin Williams than not.

aintneverhaddafriendlikehimI thought almost immediately of stuff other than Aladdin with Robin Williams, and recalled commercials I’d seen for Good Morning Vietnam (which I did eventually see years ago). There was Mrs. Doubtfire, and Patch Adams, and I quite appreciated Williams’ appearance on the Highlander tv show.

And somehow, I misplaced Hook until a friend reminded me, and I realized that was in there amidst Mrs. Doubtfire and Patch Adams, though it wasn’t until maybe 7 or 8 years ago that I kind of “realized” it was an “old favorite” and something I really did enjoy quite a lot. I’ve certainly come to appreciate it SO MUCH MORE as an adult than I ever did as a kid.

Most recently I enjoyed seeing him in a new show last Fall, though I didn’t keep up with it (hindsight can be 20/20…)

I’ve been seeing tons of posts on Facebook, but I’ve not clicked any of the links. I’m sharing all I have in this post, because this has hit me personally, stirring up memories, and I’m simply sad at learning he’s gone, if only for the selfish side of what it means to ME.

I never met him, never saw him in person or anything “live,” never knew anything about his family or personal life outside the occasional headline and such about some substance issues or such.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re reading my blog anyway. I’m not sharing this to “get clicks” or such. Robin Williams’ passing is far more significant than anything else I might’ve posted.

And truly, none of us ever had a friend like him.

Scoring All-American Prime for $2

After half-heartedly “keeping an eye out” for UltraForce toys, this year’s been pretty good actually finding them in-person. Typically I’m not a huge fan of variant figures (duh) but for $2 and it’s Prime? Yeah. Now, I still definitely want several of the other figures from the line–Hardcase, NM-E, and Prototype for sure.

I found this in a toy bin at JC’s in Cuyahoga Falls…a very pleasant surprise, which offsets a LITTLE bit of my frustration at the hassle of tracking down a NON-variant copy of Action Comics #34 this week.


Though the packaging is worn, doesn’t particularly bother me–I’m not looking for “mint in package” or “mint on card” or whatever…I just want to have the figures themselves.


I wouldn’t mind getting the whole line–Ghoul, Topaz, and Attalon–though I have no interest in the “vehicles”…it’s the characters that have meaning, not some random (pointless) vehicle(s).

Not My Ninja Turtles…

No fancy post. No photos, not even very much to say. Just…that was NOT “my” Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant or otherwise.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to re-watch the 1990 and 2007 films as a palette cleanser.

Yeah, some good stuff, small things. But I am really NOT impressed, and didn’t particularly enjoy the thing, and even the stuff that apparently was supposed to be funny…wasn’t. To me, anyway.

I won’t go so far as to suggest I “understand” Transformers fans.

This just certainly was not an incarnation that I care anything about, offhand. Maybe sleeping on it and further pondering will change my mind some or open to other insights and feelings on the thing.

The Weekly Haul – Week of August 6th, 2014

Not a horrible week, but not a tiny one, either…


Funny…for as much as I consider myself officially “Valiant-and-TMNT-only” I only had one issue fitting that this week.


A couple weeks with no new chapter of Doomed and now THREE chapters out today…


I skipped Infinite Crisis when it came out a couple weeks back, but my curiosity got the better of me…figure I can at least check it out, though I’ve little intention of following it.

Honestly rather frustrated with stuff this week–I had to go to two shops in order to get the NON-variant editions of all 3 of the Doomed chapters. And there were 3 chapters–two of them $5 annuals and a $3.99–all in the SAME week.

And yet, here I am buying a bunch of DC and wondering why I’m spending so much after getting back down pretty close to pull-list-stuff-only…

Concluding the Angry Birds Star Wars 2 Collection

Well, I never did find the Boba Fett pig in the 2-packs as advertised on the back of the packaging. But I think I got everything else I was interested in.


Picked up this bunch on clearance. After many, many months of just the same packs, there was finally a 2nd series…but hardly impressive, and certainly not nearly as interesting or seeming to be “worth” getting.


But with a $10 pack marked down to $3, and the $20 collector’s case marked down to $6…and this being clearance pricing obviously intended to clear the things out, I went ahead and got ‘em, figuring I might regret it later, especially for the price.


And with these being cleared out (at least at Target, I’m not sure about Walmart), it’s a good time for me to call it quits. Plus, my entire collection of the birds themselves and the stands fits in the case and then some (I picked up a bunch of the non-playable birds for the characters).

Even if this goes on a shelf somewhere for awhile…rather cool little collection, and quite cool to have the “official” case for ‘em as well…


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