Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TMNT Adventures #8 – February 1990

Wild Things

Credits: Dean Clarrain & Ryan Brown (plot), Dean Clarrain (writer), Ken Mitchroney (penciler), Dan Berger (inker), Barry Grossman (colors)

More new characters! This issue introduces Wingnut and Screwloose, an anthropomorphic bat and mosquito pair that are throwing rocks at skylights and causing havoc throughout the city. I don’t think Wingnut and Screwloose were specifically created for the Archie series, because it seems like they had an action figure early on, and the indicia lists their copyright as Mirage’s. (According to the Lavigne/Brown blog, Wingnut first appeared in the mini-comics that came in the Turtle cereal.) Interestingly enough, Stephen Murphy (Dean Clarrain) has a copyright notice for Huanu, Wingnut and Screwloose’s home planet, and also “Strieboids,” a word I can’t find anywhere in the issue (I guess it’s the name of Wingnut’s race, but it doesn’t come up in the story). So maybe Mirage owns the characters but Murphy owns the rights to their origin?

After the Turtles witness Wingnut and Screwloose destroying a blimp on live television, they board their own blimp and search for the duo. Their blimp soon meets the same fate as the previous one, but thankfully all Turtles merchandise is multi-faceted.

After chasing Wingnut and Screwloose through the storm, the Turtles finally capture them on top of the World Trade Center. Screwloose explains that the duo isn’t evil, they’ve just lived through a lot. Their planet Huanu was attacked by Krang, leaving Wingnut as the last member of his race. Screwloose claims that he’s the only thing keeping Wingnut from total insanity. Wingnut breaks through his restraints and flies away with Screwloose, proclaiming that Krang must be behind one of the skylights, so he’ll break them all. Cudley the Cowlick appears, promptly slurping Wingnut and Screwloose into his giant cow mouth.

(Notice that Cudley's cuteness quotient is greatly increased now that Ken Mitchroney's drawing him). Cudley apologizes, saying that his trip to Earth allowed Wingnut and Screwloose to enter through a dimensional doorway. He takes the duo away to Stump Asteroid, where his boss has plans for them.

Raphael is concerned that their civil rights are being violated…

…but all is forgotten a few pages later as Michelangelo searches for more disgusting pizza toppings.

Review in a Half-Shell: It’s fun, and thankfully Ken Mitchroney is back. The tone of the book is pretty odd, as after twenty pages of wacky adventures, we get a flashback describing the genocide of Wingnut’s race. Raising the question of whether or not it’s okay to allow Cudley to take Wingnut and Screwloose against their will, and then immediately forgetting it because it’s pizza time, is also strange.

I Was Not Aware of That: Steve Lavigne and Ryan Brown offer some insight into why this series began running original material, and why Stephen Murphy worked under a pen name, in this blog post.

Pizza References: Two. Michelangelo can’t wait for “milkweed and apple core microwave pizzas” after Cudley drops them off at the start of the story. On the final page, he’s preparing the pizza and searching for an apple core.

Turtlemania: Good lord, there’s so much Turtle crap in this issue. New England Comics runs an ad for the standard Turtle collectibles, along with TMNT plush toys, posters, caps, board games, coloring books, role playing games, and puzzles. A note in the ad assures kids that there was another TMNT series before the Archie one. There are also full-page ads for iron-on TMNT patches, and a hand-held video game. In the actual story, the Turtles ride in their blimp, which according to the Lavigne/Brown blog, is the type of thing Playmates wanted in each issue (although I’m not sure why exactly the toy company was able to dictate content of the comic).

Absolutely Approved By The Comics Code Authority: When Wingnut destroys the blimps, they just deflate like giant balloons, instead of turning into fiery deathtraps.

Meanwhile, in Riverdale… Jughead has a t-shirt for sale that parodies the Batman logo with the silhouette of his crown (this was 1989, after all).


Matt said...

In this case, since Playmates doesn't own the Turtles' copyright, it does seem odd that they can dictate what goes in an issue. I know Hasbro dictated (to an extent) what went into Marvel's G.I. Joe and Transformers comics, but that makes more sense since they were the licensor. Odd!

I was never a fan of this issue's portrayal of Krang as a genocidal monster. I mean, it kind of makes sense since he's often referred to as a "warlord," but it just didn't sit right with me.

I've often found it strange how many characters that were flat-out villains on the cartoon turned out to be misunderstood and/or good from the outset in the comics. Leatherhead and Wingnut & Screwloose are the ones that immediately come to mind, but I'm pretty sure there were others, too.

Teebore said...

Having not read much of these comics back in the day, I had no idea how many of the ancillary figures that were released appeared in the comic. Very interesting.

I assume that was also done at the urging of Playmates?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...