Script: Tom Waltz
Layouts: Kevin Eastman
Art: Dan Duncan
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 follows two plots, the present day Turtles and Master Splinter searching for Raphael and the past, when they all became the heroes we know.
I should start this review off by saying that I am a HUGE fan of the Ninja Turtles, but from the ‘80s cartoon and the ‘90s movie series, so I wasn’t very familiar with their original comic series and their original characterization. So I went into this not knowing what to expect, and boy, did I love it. The Turtles of the cartoons and movies are great and all, but this more serious and dark version is just as interesting and, in this case, pulled off just as well.
The artwork is pretty loose and lacks some details for the more “talky” scenes from the past, but damn it, it still looks really good. Easily the best parts of the art are the stars, the Ninja Turtles. Unlike the cartoons and movies (but like the original concept), they aren’t differentiated by colour, but the artists do a great job of giving the turtles their own look that you can tell who each one is even without looking for what weapon they’re using. The art overall is very fitting for the Miller-eque style the original comics were going for.
As for the writing, it’s pretty solid stuff. It does what the first issue needs to do, which is to establish a tone and direction, as well as making you want to keep getting the book. The flashback scene is really well executed since its pretty much all dialogue, yet manages to set up each Turtles personality while they’re still regular turtles, as well as introducing a few very important characters. The issue ends with a scene that sets up Raphael (who’s been absent most of the issue), as well as introducing another very important character. If you weren’t planning on getting issue two by this point, I think that will convince you.
New Reader Accessibility Rating: 5. This is a new introduction to the Turtles and all they’re supporting cast, plus their origin story, so needless to say it’s a perfect jump on point.
Recommendation: BUY IT! If you were ever a fan of TMNT (and chances are you were or still are) then you’ll love this. If you weren’t a TMNT fan, then this is still a hardboiled action comic that’s pretty unique.