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Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #13
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #13

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #13
Story by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Script by Tom Waltz
Art by Andy Kuhn
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Letters by Shawn Lee
Covers by Andy Kuhn, Kevin Eastman, and Valerio Schiti
IDW Publishing
Release Date: August 22, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

For those who have been following this latest incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the series is likely a revelation. When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license was sold to Nickelodeon, there was a lot of consternation and wringing of hands among comics fans that the new series would be another cash-in aimed at children. Of course there’s still pleasure in seeing the characters you have grown with once again, but writers Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz have created something much closer to the original version, with enough tweaks that the series feels fresh and exciting enough to surprise you.

A lot of this work shows up in the turtles themselves. Their quirks — Donatello as the science geek, Leonardo the rigid leader, Raphael the hothead, Michelangelo the carefree bro — aren’t played up as such, but actually inform how each sees the world. They bicker and argue, not just for the sake of it, but because they disagree over how to handle a situation. Never before have they felt so distinct from each other and so fully realized as characters. When, for example, the turtles are presented with their own uniquely-colored masks, there’s a satisfying justification for it that helps build the themes of the story, and the differentiation feels earned. Elements like these are what makes the series fresh and familiar, and is the difference between reinterpretation and cash-in. Alright, sorry for gushing, now let’s get on to issue 13.

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Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Micro Series, Volume 1
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Micro Series, Volume 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Micro Series, Volume 1
Written by Brian Lynch
Art by Franco Urru, Andy Kuhn, Valerio Schiti, Ross Campbell
IDW Publishing
Release Date June 26, 2012
Cover Price: $17.99

I’m enjoying the heck out of IDW’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, but I didn’t pick up the TMNT Micro Series when the issues came out, which turns out to have been kind of a mistake. If you’re reading the main series at least half of the issues in this collection are of some import to the main series as they introduce elements that are fairly important. The other half are stories that haven’t tied in directly to the main series (yet), but are still fun.

There are four issues in this collection, each issue focusing on one of the main Turtles, and if I have to explain who the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are, you may have been asleep for the last quarter century and you probably have more important things to catch up on. Raphael goes out on patrol with Casey Jones and runs into a new mutant who may be part of a bigger threat. Michelangelo goes out on the town and spends New Year’s Eve at a party, until he gets caught up in a diamond heist. Donatello goes to a technology convention and makes a new friend who is kind of a jerk. And Leonardo goes out to kick some ass.

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Comic Review: Battle Beasts #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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IDW Publishing: Battle Beasts #1Battle Beasts #1
Written by Bobby Gurnow
Art by Valerio Schiti
Colors by Claudia SGC
Letters by Shawn Lee
Covers by Dan Brereton, Ulises Farinas, and Valerio Schiti & Claudia SGC
IDW Publishing
Release Date: July 11, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

A comic book based on a toy line from the 1980s. Hmm. Who would’ve ever thought. Well, in Battle Beasts #1, IDW goes above and beyond to make a really good COMIC, not just another licensed book. They got some great talent, who put together a really cool story based on these little toys.

Writer Bobby Gurnow tells a great story about an alien race of…well..beast in a story LOADED with all sorts of fantastic axes, swords, shields, maces, and other weapons. A long anticipated “call” that they’ve been waiting for takes them to Earth, where all Hell breaks loose. Hey, YOU try going about your daily business with a giant grizzly bear in golden armor breathing down your neck! As much as I kid, this is a GREAT, fun, action-packed comic book. What could be just another “alien invasion” story turns out to be something a little bit smarter than 95% of them that I’ve read before, and it’s much better choreographed than any movie of this type that I’ve seen. It’s certainly worth your time of you have even the slightest interest in the sci-fi genre.

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Comic Review: Infestation: Dungeons & Dragons #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Infestation: Dungeons & Dragons #1Infestation: Dungeons & Dragons #1
Written by Paul Crilley
Art by Valerio Schiti
Colors by Scarletgothica
Letters by Chris Mowry
Covers by menton3, Livio Ramondelli, Valerio Schiti, Scarletgothica
IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 15, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

My knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons comes exclusively from the 1980’s Saturday morning cartoon. I knew going in that Infestation: Dungeons & Dragons #1 wouldn’t be starring any of those characters, but I was curious anyway. What I found was about as different as you could get.

Writer Paul Crilley introduces the world of Dungeons & Dragons in a single paragraph printed inside the front cover, which pretty much set the tone for the rest of the book.

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Comic Review: Infestation 2 #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Infestation 2 #1Infestation 2 #1
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by David Messina, Valerio Schiti
Ink Assist by Gaetano Carlucci, Federica Manfredi
Colors by Scarlet Gothica, Eleonora Carlini
Letters by Robbie Robbins, Shawn Lee
Covers by Alex Garner, Livio Ramoindelli, David Messina, and Joe Phillis
IDW Publishing
Release Date: January 25, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Although summer is still months away, it feels like it’s here because Infestation 2 #1 feels like a big summer crossover/comic event. And in fact, it is.

Duane Swierczynski does a FANTASTIC job setting up this event. This issue is both set up AND execution. While none of the licensed characters appear in this issue, you get the origin of the monsters that are set loose to go and attack the Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the GI Joe team, and more. This is one comic that’s packed with action from start to finish. Any history or continuity points are revealed in between action sequences. This is a great first chapter to the next two months of Infestation comics.

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