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TMNT Revisited: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #19

tmnt_adventures_revisited

tmntadventures019The Man Who Sold the World

Script: Dean Clarrain
Pencils: Garrett Ho
Inks: Dan Berger
Letters: Gary Fields
Colors: Barry Grossman
Cover: Ryan Brown, Dan Berger
Editors: Scott Fulop, Victor Gorelick
Published by: Archie Comics
Cover Date: April 1991
Cover Price: $1.25

The turtles and Mondo hang out on a rooftop, contemplating recent events. They’re soon joined by Splinter and April, who tells them Splinter’s begun training her in use of a katana. They’ve also been researching the logo on the building that caught their attention and found it’s owned by a man named Null. We then cut to Null, who has agreed to assist Maligna’s agents however he can, in exchange for taking his businesses off-world in perpetuity. Meanwhile, Man Ray has found the meteorites and while he considers their almost deliberate placement, one lifts off and hits him, carrying him to the beach Jagwar and Dreadmon have called home for some time…while the three get acquainted, Dreadmon notices the flying rock has begun to crack open.

Back in New York, our heroes wrestle with whether or not to break into Null’s building, breaking the law for a greater good. Kid Terra ambushes and tries to warn them, but Raph arrives (back in his usual getup) and knocks Kid out before he can tell them whatever he has to say. The group is then further ambushed by Scul and Bean. One of them “drops a bomb”–some sort of explosive, gaseous goo that knocks everyone else out. They’re then thanked by Mr. Null himself, finally revealed: Lex Luthor with small devil-horns.

I’m not really sure what this issue’s cover has to do with things…it puts me soundly in mind of Cherubae checking in on the turtles and Dreadmon via the Turnstone…which isn’t really possible given how that story ended. It’s not a bad piece, and looks kinda cool…it’s just fairly generic, moreso than I’ve noticed in quite awhile.

We have a new penciler on this issue–Garrett Ho. I don’t consciously recognize the name, and this stands out more because I’ve gotten used to Mitchroney and Lawson‘s alternating work. The art’s not bad at all…a bit different of course, but everything works, and I can’t really complain.

The story itself is solid, and things are finally coming together as we get involvement from (if not everyone interacting with everyone) Man Ray, Jagwar, Dreadmon, Mondo Gecko, the turtles, April, Splinter, as well as Scul, Bean, and Kid Terra. There’s a lot going on, but it does feel like everything’s touched on just enough to keep stuff moving forward.

I believe this is the first issue to end on an actual “To Be Continued” note since #12 heading into The Final Conflict. This time, however, the issue is continued into a spin-off mini: Mighty Mutanimals…which stars a number of our “mutants of the month,” providing some solid payoff to the scattered introductions and limited appearances so far.

I’ve been really looking forward to getting to this point, to the Mutanimals, due to where I firmly got “into” this series for the long haul originally.

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TMNT Revisited: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #17

tmnt_adventures_revisited

tmntadventures017Fight the Power

Script: Dean Clarrain
Pencils: Ken Mitchroney
Clean-Ups: Buz McKim
Inks: Dan Berger
Colors: Barry Grossman
Letters: Gary Fields
Cover: Ryan Brown, Ken Mitchroney, Steve Lavigne
Edits: Scott Fulop, Victor Gorelick
Published by: Archie Comics
Cover Date: February 1991
Cover Price: $1.00

Though we left off in the previous issue with the turtles on a beach and Mikey noticing a shooting star, we pick up a bit later here. Of course, that wasn’t so much a cliffhanger last issue as it was simply “where the issue ended,” with Bubbla’s burial. A meteor heads toward Earth, carrying Scul and Bean–agents of Maligna, the insectoid queen we were introduced to back just before The Final Conflict in TMNT Adventures #12. Though Krang was defeated and never followed through on his bargain with her, Maligna’s set her sights on Earth. Back to the turtles and April–Man Ray has them riding humpback whales for the final leg of their journey back to the US.

The group stops one last time at a derelict ship sitting out in the open, where Man Ray discovers some shrimp-trawlers are not using Turtle Extruder Devices, and ambushes the ship. He’s captured by the pirate captain of the ship, prompting the turtles to mount a rescue and put an end to the use of illegal trawling nets and subsequent killing of turtles and other sea life. Then as the issue ends, we learn that the mysterious Mr. Null has allied with Scul and Bean.

In a lotta ways, this is a fairly generic issue on the whole. We have the bookending of Scul and Bean’s arrival and revelation of alliance with Null; between we have a generic-ish one-shot of the turtles and a random “threat of the month” in the pirates’ illegal trawling. While we’d seen Scul or Bean before, I don’t recall either of them being named, so their appearance and naming in this issue qualify them for the “mutant of the month.” They’re also the main forward-movement of this issue’s story for the overall plot of the series.

Despite that, we DO get the turtles’ arrival back in the US after several issues away, and a lesson in nets used for shrimping and such, that devices exist to preserve sea life while allowing shrimp to be caught, and the threat posed to sea life when these devices are not utilized. And somehow I found this issue, this instance of such lesson-teaching far less preachy and a lot more “personal” than prior such cases. Perhaps that we see a dead turtle and our heroes are mutated turtles; perhaps it’s that this is shown as something much closer to home rather than on another continent, I don’t know.

This is another Mitchroney-drawn issue, maintaining a consistency for several issues now, that I’m definitely enjoying. No real complaints or problems with the art. The writing itself keeps things moving forward even though the “core” story is generic with a one-off villain/threat in the pirates.

Probably most significant for me is that this issue was the first single-issue of TMNT Adventures that I recall owning, bought at a flea market The Red Barn in Columbus (Ohio). I’m not sure if the edition I have here on-hand is the original copy I’d bought or a newer copy (without a barcode, perhaps) I picked up sometime since then. I went from this issue to my next being #25 some time after…whether this was new at the time or a “back issue” I’m not certain.

And probably FOR being my earliest issue, the cover stands out to me and is probably one of my favorites. There’s an ad in this issue for a poster one can get of the cover by joining a conservation group…I might have to see if I can track a copy down.

All in all, a good issue, the reading of which brought back some good memories, and certainly remind me that even as a 10-year-old I had no problem with the turtles looking a bit different than the cartoon; April not being dressed in yellow; this Man Ray character that I recall wondering at the name (I knew him as “Ray Fillet” thanks to the action figure), and had no idea about Scul, Bean, Kid Terra, Null, or why the turtles were “returning” to the U.S., etc. Yet I don’t recall any problem with it or not “accepting” it…everything just “was,” and didn’t discourage me from getting later issues once I figured out the series was ongoing.

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