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The Weekly Haul – Week of July 23rd, 2014

As new comics go, this week is definitely one of the biggest in quite awhile, with a pretty significant haul just FOR the new-this-week comics!

batman_day_free_stuff

This was ‘Batman Day’, so there’s a free special edition of Detective Comics #27, reprinting the original first appearance of Batman, as well as a couple other features/reimaginings/retellings of the story, it looks like. The Vertigo Preview is the way I prefer my “previews”–a separate comic-sized thing, rather than several pages of “padding” in regular issues. The Portfolio of upcoming action figures and statues is interesting…and if I had the space/finances I’d definitely be interested in several of the statues!

masks_of_the_bat

While I was content to go simply with the Adam West mask, the store owner told me to go ahead and take one of each, so…got all four of the masks offered. Dark Knight, Original, New 52, and Adam West.

doctor_who_premieres

Two new Doctor Who series have begun, one focused on the Tenth Doctor, one on the Eleventh. I haven’t been particularly enamored with other Doctor Who comics, but was certainly interested enough to give these both at least a try for the first issue. And continuing my collection of the new Valiant chromium covers…

valiant_stuff

Two new Valiant issues including the regular edition of Armor Hunters: Bloodshot. And though the Gold Key line from Dynamite is not Valiant, they’re in the same vein and I’m filing them in my Current Valiant box.

tmnt_stuff

Latest Letter 44 and two new TMNT issues this week…

dc_stuff

And the latest of both of DC‘s current weeklies and the new issue of Superman. While I still loathe the Superman title moving to $3.99, I’m tentatively (case-by-case/issue-by-issue) onboard for the current arc with Johns on the writing.

Leonardos – July 2014

Seems there’s a new TMNT movie (or should I say NT movie, based on the toys’ packaging) coming out soon…

leonardosjuly2014

And so while I don’t like variants on figures within the same line, I’m willing to get the same character from different lines.

The new 2014 Movie Leonardo is front ‘n center. Current (2012-) cartoon Leo on the right. 2003 cartoon Leo 2nd row left, “classic” Leo in the middle, and the oversized deluxe Leo in back.

While trailers make it seem that the movie turtles are huge, frankly, based on the toys, it looks like any of the other Leos could take this one, easily…

I’ve also got the Raphael, and will likely also go ahead and snag Donnie and Mikey at least; probably April and the Shredder, thoguh I don’t like the look of Splinter (movie unseen) and not sure I’m all that inclined to try to get multiple Foot, and one lone Foot hardly seems worth it to me.

Time will tell, though…

TMNT: Turtles in Time #1 [Review]

tmntturtlesintime001Turtles in Time (part 1)

Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Ross Campbell
Colorist: Bill Crabtree
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

Two TMNT comics in one week? I’m not a fan of the $3.99 being doubled-up in the single week, but it IS TMNT, and this is a fun issue, so I’m not about to complain about “more TMNT” than less!

We pick up with the turtles randomly running from dinosaurs and utroms–either on prehistoric Earth or a planet much like it. The group is quickly split, with Raph captured by utroms, and the others chased off by the dinosaurs. As Raph recruits a baby Triceratops (he’s named her “Pepperoni”), the others mount a rescue operation that doesn’t go too badly…until the utrom military arrives. The turtles get some clue as to what’s going on when Renet shows up, but she’s not as helpful as she could be. Finally, the utroms’ military leader sees potential in what’s to be found on this world.

Visually, the Peterson cover is awesome…even if it is a bit misleading. It was rather jarring to go from that beautiful cover to the interior, which is a much different style. That gave me a bit of pause, and it took several pages to “adjust” but once I did, I quite liked the interior art as well. Though This is presumably set within current IDW-TMNT-verse continuity, their was something to the look that struck me as being almost more like the current animated series than the ongoing IDW book.

There’s a blurb on the inside of the cover explaining that this series takes place after the 2014 Annual, but that Annual is not yet out. Perhaps that’d be a bigger deal to me on other stuff, but for the TMNT, it doesn’t bother me too much. The “spin” of it being a “time malfunction” is just cutesy enough to be amusing, and could loosely be seen as a bit of “augmented reality” or whatever buzzword folks want to use for trying to immerse a reader in stuff related to the issue.

Story-wise, this actually ALMOST functions as a sort of one-shot. We’re as readers already thrown off a bit by being tossed into the middle of a situation-in-progress, and we end on a similar note in such a way that it sort of brings things full circle, even though the story whole is continuing into the next issue.

I like the characterization, particularly Mikey and Raph in this issue. I “heard” the voice of the current animated series’ Mikey in this, and chuckled at an amusing bit where an utrom unknowingly repeats something Mikey did, allowing readers to make an assumption as to what happened off-panel.

I don’t recall seeing any solicitation info or any blurbs in the back of any TMNT issues I’ve read mentioning this series, so its appearance this week was a pleasant surprise and definite “treat.” While it seems this story will spin out of the upcoming TMNT 2014 Annual, there’s certainly enough in-story context to bring one up to speed on what matters to the current story. Really, other than involving utroms and a mention of Krang this seems to sit alone quite well, not contradicting anything in continuity but not drawing from any specific moment in the ongoing series…so it’s well worth jumping in on this mini-series at least, even if you’re not following the ongoing in particular. And if you do follow the ongoing, this is a fun side-adventure that’s an enjoyable read…whether or not it plays much into the ongoing book.

Highly recommended!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW) #34 [Review]

teenagemutantninjaturtlesidw034Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Art: Mateus Santolouco
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Shawn Lee
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Cover: Mateus Santolouco
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

While heading to Harold’s lab to seek his assistance, Donnie and April run across Casey and Angel. Angel accompanies the duo to the lab, while Casey heads off on his own, still dealing with recent events. Harold’s been busy, and whatever his intentions with a security robot, the thing predictably-ish loses control, forcing the turtle and his human allies into combat…which leads to the introduction of another familiar name to this series. Meanwhile, Leonardo and Splinter discuss priorities, and we leave off with the latest development with a couple of uneasy allies.

Story-wise, not a whole lot to say for this issue. This definitely feels like a developmental issue…not really “treading water” or anything, but definitely <b>A</b> “middle chapter” of a middle chapter, so to speak. We do get some good development in Harold’s place in things, though that sort of adds to this middle sense–after City Fall and the quieter Northampton, this issue (and arc) feels like it’s more laying the groundwork for a coming showdown with Krang and his Technodrome.

We have the introduction of a familiar turtle robot, which is ok–I’m not a particular fan overall, though I’ve owned the action figures and not had a terrible problem with the cartoon episodes. This take on the thing put me in mind of the current animated series’ version…perhaps simply because that’s the most recent I’ve seen. Whatever my feelings about the use of the character (which works well even if I’m not the biggest fan)…I really like the visual!

Which leads to the issue’s art: I continue to really dig Santolouco‘s visual style with these characters! As I’ve probably said previously, I don’t care for April’s hair style of late, but that isn’t necessarily a comment on the art as much as one guy’s preferences. The visual take Santolouco brings to the book is enjoyable, and a bit different (moreso for the turtles), but has come to be another favorite of mine.

All in all, another quite solid issue of a series that–nearly three years in–continues to have me looking forward to each new issue, and marveling at the excellent blend of all the previous iterations of the TMNT that this brings to the fore: a sort of mash-up, taking the best of all the past and giving us this present continuity…a continuity that I’m coming to regard as a favorite in itself.

Given IDW’s short 4-issue arcs / 4-issue-TPB pattern, this is the 2nd chapter of 4, so not in itself a jumping on point, though still a strong “episode” in itself, worthy of reading for a casual fan–particularly one of Donatello–if not essential.

I enjoyed the read; the look of Metalhead, and exclaimed out loud at the recognition of Nobody.

TMNT at 30

While it’s just as likely that I’ve simply MISSED any such stuff already out there, it’s occurred to me that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Of course, half a decade ago at the 25th anniversary it was a huge deal for Mirage. Now just a handful of years into Viacom/Nickleodeon‘s tenure as the owners of the property, it may not seem a huge deal.

But to this fan of 25+ years…it is!tmntat30_02

I recall the 30th anniversary stuff for Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, etc. 35th Anniversary stuff, 40th, etc… but while those are significant milestones for THOSE characters…

The TMNT are a property created AFTER I was born. That I actually CAN reasonably fill in every last gap of the official comics and such, to have the entirety of the run (maybe not FIRST PRINTS, but I’m not concerned about which printing if I have the issue).

tmntat30_01

So, while I’ve had plans in the past to do more specific TMNT coverage in this blog, I’d like to think I’ll get into the swing of things with more this year, outside of spotting TMNT Toys in the WIld (Squirrelanoids, Kirby Bat and Casey Joines, etc) and get to more coverage of the various comics and such…and my own “history” with the characters through the years.

As always, time will tell.

TMNT Toys in the Wild – Kirby Bat and Casey Jones

While at Target this week, came across a couple more of the new TMNT toys, though I opted to pass on purchasing them for the moment.

kirby_bat_front

The Kirby Bat is much uglier than I’d thought it’d be, and the profile on the back reveals that it’s actually April’s father…a twist I didn’t see coming and really do not care for. Chance are, as such, this will be another figure I do not end up purchasing at all.

kirby_bat_back

kirby_bat_profile

Casey Jones has a bit of a different look than I’d expected from the tiny image I’d seen previously…and I very nearly bought the figure on the spot. Ultimately I left it behind, though–I have yet to see any of the 2nd season episodes, and after my hunts last year for “elusive” figures like Leatherhead and the Mousers and Turtles in Training and their abundance now…no need to rush; these’ll be around awhile yet.

casey_jones_front

I do have to reiterate that it’s great seeing such an assortment on the back of the cards…it really pulls the line together and emphasizes that it IS a line, and not just a bunch of arbitrary figures.

casey_jones_back

casey_jones_profile

Offhand, this leaves the Mutagen Man as one I want to see…and whatever that Rhazar is…figure that out, and I think I’m pretty much all set for a few months!

TMNT Toys in the Wild – Squirrelanoids

While there’s still a disturbing post-holiday absence of TMNT stock at Walmarts and Targets I’ve looked at lately, the other day I happened to find an all-new (to me) figure that I’d not known of until seeing it there in-person: the Squirrelanoid!

squirrelanoid_front_0202

This is a rather ugly figure…but then, the creature is rather ugly, so it’s not really a comment on the sculpt or such in and of itself. I tend to find squirrels rather cute, so not all that thrilled to see such a horrifyingly-mutated one such as this…

squirrelanoid_back_0202

I immediately noticed the obvious Aliens inspiration…the body, the tail, and the “inner-jaws” on the creature…

squirrelanoid_profile_0202

I also noted the continued use of ACTUALLY SHOWING NUMEROUS FIGURES IN THE LINE that I’m shocked more toy lines do not do. I’ve ALWAYS found this a helpful reference with the TMNT figures, dating back to the 1980s with the original line!

While I did not have any inclination to actually buy the Squirrelanoid, I did spot several OTHER characters that I’m interested in and will at least keep an eye out for!

others_casey_jones     others_kirby_bat

I’m quite glad to see Casey Jones shown…while I don’t like the looks of the skull-mask instead of the typical hockey mask, I look forward to finding the figure in-person to evaluate at that point. The Kirby Bat is interesting to me as–not having kept up with the tv show–I wonder if there was an adaptation of the Kirby story from the Donatello special from the ’80s. This also looks to be the closest I might get to a Wingnut figure…

others_mutagen_man     others_rahzar

This is definitely a different “take” on the Mutagen Man, and seems the only figure that would truly make sense to come with a container of “ooze” (as opposed to the turtle variants from last year). I recall the original Mutagen Man figure from the 1980s line, so will be interested to see this one in person, and perhaps to find the episode he appears in.

Unfortunately, while these others came out fairly clearly, Rahzar is blurry and I don’t have a better image at present. This character looks rather insectoid to me, though the name seems reminiscent of the mutant wolfling from the TMNT II: Secret of the Ooze film. I’ll be interested in finding this one just out of curiosity at what it actually is.

And below, the full assortment of figures shown on the Squirrelanoid’s card back.

other_good_guys0202

other_bad_guys_0202

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW) #30 [Review]

teenagemutantninjaturtlesidw030Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow & Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Art: Ross Campbell
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Shawn Lee
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Cover: Ross Campbell
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

This issue turned out to be somewhat like I expected based on the cover image, even though I hadn’t really thought too much about what its content would actually be. Recovering from their encounter with Shredder in Cityfall, our heroes are hanging out in Northampton, having (for now) left New York behind. Here, we find Mikey writing a letter to his friend back in the city, talking about the experience and how things are going. While Mikey’s writing is in broad strokes, the situation is fleshed out as we see the specifics of the characters’ interactions.

Visually, something seemed a bit “off” this issue that I wasn’t expecting. Yet, as I’ve said plenty of times previously, I’m quite used to and almost “expect” a number of different visual interpretations of the Turtles and cast. So despite the “off-ness” I really didn’t have any actual “problem” with the art. Despite that “off-ness,” Campbell‘s style here is similar enough to Santolouco‘s that if I wasn’t reviewing this I probably wouldn’t have paid attention to the credits to realize it WAS a different artist.

The story in this issue is a bit of a lull in the action, things are relatively low-key. And I very much enjoyed that! It also reminds me of one of my favorite issues of the original TMNT series by Eastman and Laird (for that matter, one of my all-time favorite issues of TMNT, or anything, period). I feel like I always enjoy this type of issue–just getting to see the characters interact, without there having to be some grand amount of action.

As usual, I enjoyed the “latest issue” of this series, and am definitely looking forward to the next. While I loathe the $3.99 pricing, this also continues to be a series I’d grudgingly pay that weekly for, provided it maintained its quality.

New Leonardos

I recently added a couple more Ninja Turtles to my collection. Last week I acquired a couple new Raphaels…this week I went the Leonardo route. I found a 2-pack of Mash-’Ems with Leonardo and a Foot Ninja–where you see exactly what you’re buying rather than a random blind-pack–and got the Pop! Vinyl figure.

new_leonardos

…and all my “main” Leonardos at present:

new_leonardos2

New Raphaels

I recently added two new Raphaels to my TMNT collection. The little guy is one of those Mashables squooshy things you can find in Target and Toys R Us in little green canisters. The bigger one is one of those Pop vinyl figures that have wound up with a huge assortment. I got this one at the local Booksamillion.

new_raphaels

And the entire Raphael collection at present:

new_raphaels2

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