TMNT Review: Mutant Origin : Leonardo/Donatello

MutantOriginLeoDonsmGoing through Target I found a new Ninja Turtle book sitting on the shelf.  I know I often review things like cartoons, comics and toys though it has been a long time since I reviewed a book.  So I picked this up, on the cover it says “Two Books in One!” as it has Leonardo jumping forward with a sword.  This image is used in the TMNT 2013 Calendar that came out.  On the back side it had Donatello.  Seeing this might be different from the other TMNT products I’ve been going through this year, I got this book and would like to share my review of “Mutant Origin: Leonardo/Donatello” with our readers.


When you open the book the first few pages are brightly colored CGI images of Leonardo with a short bio telling who Leonardo is and sharing about his weapon.  Once you get past that you see a black and white drawing of the same image on the cover.  Reading inside this adaptation is by Michael Teitelaum based on the teleplay “Day One, Part Two” by joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilla.  The book is published by Random House.

While the book says based on “Day One, Part Two” I do believe what they meant is based on “Rise of the Turtles”, the first two episodes of the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.  Though this book does it in a totally different way, with Leonardo telling the story from his point of view.  Recently I was disappointed with the IDW comic version of “Rise of the Turtles” because it followed the show to the point of even having the animated images instead of fresh artwork.  This book here is what I was hoping for in a story.  While it retold a story that I know, it told the episode in a fresh fun way worth the read.

For the most part I really enjoy how they write Leonardo’s character through this part of the book.  I love how everything is what Leonardo sees and hears, not what his brothers are doing.  This brings us more into Leonardo’s thoughts.  I really love the detail they give of Hamato's past with how the fire started which killed his family.  They go into it a bit more than the cartoon does.  The only pet peeve of mine is one that I also have with the cartoon, which is how Michelangelo is treated.  This was something we see in the show, so it’s not out of character for the new series.  It just a bit mean towards the personality of Mikey.  Which I’m hoping is something they grow out of.

To read the rest of the book you have to flip it over for Donatello picking up the story where Leo left off, once they break into the Kraang’s base to try and save April.   It starts off much like Leo’s side of the book with some brightly colored pages explaining who Donatello is and about his weapon.  There’s the intro pages and then goes into the story.  As Donatello walks us through the rest of the “Rise of the Turtles”.

They really caught Donatello’s personality and even came up with ways of Don being able to talk about a few things that he was not in the scene of.  My favorite is how he spies on Leonardo and Splinter at the end, to find out if they were going to say anything about April.  I also like that they added in, April mentioning about her Aunt’s place, before they got there.  I enjoy Donatello’s inner thoughts as Raphael is doing his mocking.

Really this was the best way to do a book.  It gave this episode I’ve seen many times now, a whole fresh new feeling.  I enjoyed reading it.  I couldn’t wait to see the Turtle’s reactions to different parts of the story.  This was truly an epic book and worth the buy.  True it’s meant for kids, but adults can totally enjoy it as well.   If you like the Nickelodeon TMNT Series I highly recommend this book.

Have you read Random House’s Mutant Origin?  If so please let us know what you think of this Childrens book?  Please post all reviews, comments and questions below.

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