Monday, September 14, 2009

TMNT Adventures #13 – August 1990

Stump Comics Presents: The Final Conflict

Credits: Dean Clarrain & Ryan Brown (plot), Dean Clarrain (script), Ken Mitchroney (pencils), Buz McKim (clean-ups), Dan Berger (inks), Gary Fields (letters), Barry Grossman (colors)

The Turtles, along with Wingnut, Screwloose, Trap, and Leatherhead face the children of Maligna, as Stump’s cameras broadcast the event. During the fight, Leatherhead is tossed out of the arena, and conveniently lands right next to the missing Turnstone. He could use it to restore his human form, but decides to summon Cherubae. Using the Turnstone, he frees her from the Sons of Silence. Cherubae explains that she turned Jess Harley into Leatherhead knowing all along that he would be the one to discover the Turnstone. Leatherhead doesn’t believe her, but he does hand back the Turnstone.

Cherubae uses the Turnstone to paralyze the Turtles’ enemies and send them away. Bebop and Rocksteady are sent to a planet dominated by wild animals, which pays off Rocksteady’s dream from the previous issue. Shredder is sent to an Earth prison, while Krang is banished to the toxic waste planet of Dumpworld. Donatello, who’s apparently forgotten that Cherubae is a warlord, comments that this seems harsh.

Cherubae then summons the Turnstone out of existence, claiming it’s too powerful for anyone to hold. Stump’s men are given Krang’s ship to return home, while the Turtles are handed a one-way ticket on the Cudley Express.

Review in a Half-Shell: This is the all-action climax of the first lengthy story arc, and while the fight scenes work pretty well, there is the odd matter of Cherubae. Even within this issue, she’s referred to as a warlord, yet she’s seen smiling throughout the story (and it’s not an evil grin, either), behaving selflessly, and thanking the Turtles for helping her save billions of lives from Krang. What kind of a “warlord” is this? I also don’t know what role the Sons of Silence were supposed to play, as they essentially do nothing throughout the story, and we’re never told what their connection to Krang was, or what they wanted to do with Cherubae. Despite the nitpicking, Mitchroney handles the action well, and there are a few decent character interactions during the fight.

Absolutely Approved By The Comics Code Authority: Leonardo disapproves of Trap using guns against Maligna’s hive, claiming that guns aren’t “honorable.” I guess we’re supposed to believe that the Turtles’ ninja weapons are just as harmless here as they are in the cartoon (and how does Leo justify the guns on the Turtle Van, hmmm?).

I Love the (Early) 90’s: The fight with Maligna’s hive is described as a “whirlwind of flashing weapons amidst a slam-dance of wounded air.”

Pizza References: One. Michelangelo tells Cherubae that she should’ve conjured up some pizza before wishing the Turnstone out of existence. Leonardo and Raphael agree.

Turtlemania: TMNT skateboard pads are advertised, offering you a choice of four colors (guess which ones).

1 comment:

Matt said...

As I recall, the Sons of Silence return way, way later, so maybe their purpose is revealed then...?

Perhaps Cherubae was too benevolent, and that's why she was exiled from Dimension X to begin with? Or maybe in Dimension X, "warlord" is all-purpose term to describe anyone who rules someplace, regardless of whether they're war-like or not?

In my youth, I was very surprised by this issue's writing out of all the bad guys! I think I still hadn't quite grasped that the series was forging a path different from the cartoon. I remember Bebop and Rocksteady returning much later (like in the 40s, maybe?), I think with Krang... I know Shredder pops up a couple more times, but I don't think he ever teams up with his former allies again!

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