Review IDW TMNT #1

August 2011 marked the beginning of a new TMNT comic book series.  A lot of hype has surrounded this comic release with Kevin Eastman back on the creative team of the Turtles, this is something we could all look forward to.  I know I have been excited ever since I heard Kevin’s name was attached to the comic.  It took me a few weeks to get the book, as the first store I checked was sold out and I didn’t know the area well enough to know of another store to go for the new comics.  After I finally went to one, I read it on the subway train ride to my next location.

The story starts off with the fight that was in the TMNT Ashcan (please read our review here).  This fight still led us to feel the Turtles we know and enjoy, though as soon as you get pass that part there’s something new. Months earlier we’re in a lab with April O’Neil, even Baxter Stockman, but the biggest surprise, is four Turtles and a rat. 

As we read on, we find that April is new to the job as an intern and she takes a liking to the Turtles, even giving them names.  Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo. April is a student, taking a History of Renaissance art class.  And the rat?  It was named before she even got there, Splinter.  This here gives us the impression that this could be where the Turtles get their start, named not by Splinter, but by April; and pets to a lab being tested on and only months from the Mutation and not teenagers at all.

My hope is that this is misleading us to another story, and April’s real reason for naming the lab turtles is because she knows the real Turtles.  I personally don’t mind the idea of changing their origin story a little bit, but to take out Hamato Yoshi’s past that connects the Turtles to Japan, does trouble me a little.  Still I pushed on to read this comic, as my first thoughts were really discouraged.

We go back to present time where we get to see Raphael finding Casey in trouble, being beaten by his father.  Raph comes in to save the day and we have the end of the comic.  This here could turn into a fun and interesting story line, curious of what they’re going to do with this.

Onto the art work, the parts for present day style was what we saw in the Ashcan.  It was fun, had back grounds with nice details, and just felt good for the characters.  Though when they went into the past, which was only 18 months back it had less filled in detail, the look of April was very simple, yet not how I could normally see April.  They managed to get the yellow jumpsuit into the comic.

An example of art I wasn’t fond of in this issue is when April is saying “The Rat, though. Not so much.”  Over all I don’t look at that drawing and feel it’s April, and the hand is so big..  I realize it’s because the hand is in front of April they’re trying to work with perspective, but instead it looks like a man’s hand.  The art would look better with shading done, to help show the depth of where April is compared to the arm.

The sad thing for me is seeing Kevin Eastman’s drawn notes for the comics.  They got more detail to them, you can see these in the back of the comic.  There’s the first page, if you compare it to the first page in the book you will see the detail and depth you’d come to love and know for a TMNT Comic Book.  I hope to see more depth in the art work as the comic goes on.  And I really do hope that the reason the art of the past really got me, was because they were looking to give it a different feel from the present day art work.

My favorite thing about the comic is the first fight, getting to see the Turtles in action again. And meeting Old Hob, as we saw in the Ashcan.  That part of the comic gave me that feel from the original comics that I do enjoy.  You get to see action from each of the characters there including Splinter.  Revealing that there’s history between Old Hob and him.  This fight here was really well handled, drawn and had a great flow.

Overall I have to say I’m still interested in reading and following the comic to see where it goes, but at the same time I’m a bit disappointed with the comic as well.  The first TMNT comic that Eastman and Laird put out in 1984 had a full story in it, where you got the feel of the world, the feel of the characters, and a great ending where you craved more.  Though this comic felt more like it was throwing us into an adventure where only fans of the characters will read on and new readers could loose interest fast with no real pull to keep them.

This is not the first time where first issues threw us into an adventure right away.  Though we’ve always gotten more of the Turtles than we did in this issue.  Another thing with the other series that had big missions in the first episodes was that they were picking up from the Volume before them.  This is a fresh reboot, and with how slow it moved it doesn’t give you that satisfying feeling when you’re done reading... it felt more like ‘that was it?’

I have a lot of hope for this creative team, with Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman and  Dan Duncan.  I’ll keep reading the comics.  Thank you IDW for bringing us a new comic to look forward to, I got a feeling that once the story picks up and we start to realize more that is going on, things will start to fall into place.  Please do note that each of these reviews are my personal thoughts.

Please join on the discussion about this comic on TMNT-L.

Entertainment Earth



Man, reading this makes me almost not wanting to read the new comics, than again it does make me want to at the same time. I'll just have to read it for myself.