Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It Begins Again


I was initially reluctant to give in to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze of the late ‘80s. I was already getting into Marvel superheroes, and dismissed the Ninja Turtles as some sort of kiddie, talking animal fad. A younger friend of mine converted to Turtlemania early on, and loved to show off his action figures to me. When I read the origin story of the characters printed on the back of the toy package, I realized that the Turtles actually had a comic book-style origin (later on I would realize their origin is partially a parody of Daredevil’s). Knowing that there was actually a reason why these turtles could think, talk, and practice martial arts raised my opinion of the franchise. I rented the VHS repackaging of the cartoon’s first five episodes and was hooked. No more Transformers or G. I. Joes for Christmas (those figures were starting to look lame anyway), I wanted Turtles. And I certainly wasn’t alone, as the franchise dominated kid’s pop culture throughout the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Since I was already into comics, it wasn’t a stretch for me to pick up Archie’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures. That series will be the focus of this blog for the foreseeable future. I haven’t read these comics, or watched the cartoons, since they were originally released. I don’t pretend to know anything about Turtles mythology, or what kind of fandom exists online. I do have a reprint of the first few issues of the original B&W series, and I’ll be rereading that to see how the origins of the kid-friendly version differ from the original comics. I have no idea what I’ll find in these comics, and I don’t know if they’ll spark any type of an interesting analysis. Basically, I don’t know how long I’ll keep this theme up, but it should be fun to rediscover one of the earliest series I followed as a kid.

I leave you now with Partners in Kryme's "Turtle Power," from the soundtrack to the first movie (I refuse to acknowledge Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap”).


8 comments:

wwk5d said...

I remember the first 5 episodes were actually good. The animation was good, the story moved along nicely, and there was actually a decent amount of action, where the turtles were actually allowed to punch/hit/kick their opponents. Later, it developed into the type of kid-friendly slapstick violence you saw in American cartoons in the 1980s.

As for the toys...love that pics on the back, they're hilarious.

evanmcb said...

Peter Chung (Aeon Flux creator) was the art director for the first five eps of TMNT, so I wouldn't say it's a coincidence that they were noticeably better than what followed ;)

Bizen 247 said...

TMNT Adventures are kind of hard to find since, to date, they've only recently traded some of the later issues as a volume titled "Future Tense."

Like you, I picked up this book as a kid and have the first 30 issues or so. I wish I could easily find the rest as TMNT Adventures quickly split from the cartoon and became more serious...and by serious I mean the creators understood over-the-top gore isn't what makes a story mature.

This was a good series. The original black and white series was great too and they've recently collected the first issues of that in a phonebook sized omnibus.

Jeff said...

I really enjoyed the Archie comics as a kid (although I seem to remember the art fluctuating wildly). Can't wait to see what you've got to say about it!

Matt said...

Strangely, I was just reading a recap of TMNT Adventures on Wikipedia a couple of weeks ago. I definitely can't wait for these reviews! I loved that series when I was younger, especially around the middle of the run, when they traveled the world. The later stuff with the future Turtles was less enjoyable, but still not bad...

Augie said...

Man, I once owned the Cassongle for that song. . .

Been a long time since I read those Archie comics, tho I still own them. Can't wait to see what you make of the giant floating talking cow head.

Teebore said...

I was a huge Turtles fan back in the day, watching the show and collecting the toys. The first movie still holds my personal record for the most viewings of any film in the theater: 14 (what? I was Turtle crazed the summer it was playing at the $1 dollar theater...).

I never actually read any of the TMNT Adventure comics though; my Turtle love began to fade just as I started getting into comics (though I've since read some of the original B&W stuff and thoroughly enjoyed it).

I'm excited to see what you find within these comics.

Oh, and it used to be a point of pride for me that I could recite all the lyrics to the Turtle Power rap (I still can, probably, though I'd need the recording itself to back me up).

Guille said...

i remember when a few years ago i saw the movie again after a long time and i couldn´t believe seeing sam rockwell there. luckily in this video clip he makes an appareance at 1:38 !!!
i like your blog and your reviews, keep em comin'
saludos de argentina

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