Space Junk Face Funk Cyber Punk Thief
Credits: Dean Clarrain (script), Byron Vaughns (art), Gary Fields (letters), Barry Grossman (colors)
Our adventure begins as a broken USSR satellite falls from orbit, latches on to a radioactive canister (from “the world’s sole nuclear waste space dump”), and heads for Earth. Meanwhile, a nameless man is so angry about the growing hole in the ozone layer, he’s decided to throw his television away.
(By the way, that hole’s gotten smaller in recent years.) Suddenly, he’s struck by the radioactive satellite. He transforms into the rejected ‘70s Captain America villain, Vid Vicious.
The man has a point to make, so soon he’s kidnapped April O’Neil to deliver his message. He’s upset over the state of the world, so he’s going to interrupt all of Earth’s broadcast waves and have April report on all of the causes he’s probably been annoying his relatives with for years. Donatello manages to track him to the Empire State Building, where he mounts a rescue mission with Splinter and the rest of the Turtles (Raphael is still in space). Vid Vicious doesn’t live up to his name, and is quickly forced to retreat. He leaps into a computer monitor (one of the few powers the satellite seems to have given him), where he’s chased by Donatello.
While inside the strange world of a pre-internet PC, Vid Vicious throws in a reference to Dan Rather’s most interesting party story (years before REM honored the event).
Meanwhile, Shredder enters unexpectedly with an army of Foot Supersoldiers. He copies the data inside the computer to disc, gives the computer a firm kicking, and then escapes out of the window. To be continued…
Review in a Half-Shell: Yay, more preachy comics. Vid Vicious is such a ridiculous character and design, he almost works, but using him as a mouthpiece for issues of the day is just annoying. The plotting of the issue is also a little strange, as Shredder pops up literally out of nowhere and leads into a gratuitous cliffhanger. Usually, Clarrain/Murphy paces his stories much more carefully than this. Byron Vaughns’ art has its moments, but often it looks a little too simplified and kid-friendly.
I Was Not Aware of That: Jack d’Antignac of the Georgia Fisherman’s Association writes in to defend fishermen after the events depicted in issue #17. He says that fishermen have spent a lot of time and money developing TEDs to help the sea turtles, and the editorial response is essentially, “Yeah, but you didn’t do it until the environmentalists forced the government to force you to.”