Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TMNT Adventures #22 – July 1991

Rat Trap

Credits: Dean Clarrain (script), Gene Colan (art), Gary Fields (letters), Barry Grossman (colors)

The two remaining Turtles, along with Splinter and April O’Neil, are on the hunt for Shredder. They investigate the building that housed his monster-sized Foot Soldier and discover a clue – a matchbook from the Acme Traps company. Knowing full well that it is a trap, the group still heads there to find Donatello. Inside Acme Traps, Shredder loads the giant floppy disc that contains Vid Vicious and Donatello. Vicious quickly flies away, thankfully sparing everyone a speech about the horrible state of the world, while Donatello tries to fight against Shredder. It doesn’t work out so well.

Soon, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Splinter arrive with April. (April has been training with Splinter in recent weeks and feels confident enough to join the Turtles. She isn't wearing her one-piece ninja warrior/early '80s aerobic outfit, though.) Splinter stays behind as the others enter a maze through three separate doors. Looking for a fourth path, Splinter explores the upper levels of the building. He’s attacked by Shredder, who manages to attach him to the novelty-sized rat trap on the building’s sign.

A mystery man in a red cloak suddenly appears and quickly defeats Shredder. The Turtles reach the roof with the rescued Donatello, and the mystery man reveals himself as Raphael. Aside from the fact that Shredder escapes while the Turtles are congratulating themselves, it’s a happy ending. Next issue: Toxic Zombie Monkey Party!

Review in a Half-Shell: Gene Colan drew the Turtles? I totally forgot this (although it’s not as if I knew who he was when I bought this issue in 1991). While some of his patented anatomy quirks are evident, the majority of the issue looks great. The moody shadows, animated facial expressions, and energetic action scenes suit the title perfectly. Given his past drawing Howard the Duck and countless superhero titles, it’s hard to imagine someone better suited for this book. I like Shredder’s use of the giant prop against Splinter, too. It gives the issue a ‘60s Batman feel. If I have anything to complain about, it’s that Donatello is easily KO’ed by Shredder in one page, while Raphael is able to smack Shredder around without getting hit even once. It seems like the Turtles should be more evenly skilled than this.


Anonymous said...

I remember being really fond of the issue that follows this one, because of the villains that it introduces.

I'm not too bothered by the gap in skill between Donatello and Raphael in terms of fighting, as even if Raphael's a greater fighter, Donatello has greater technological knowledge and is generally smarter, so he's probably a greater asset to the team outside of battle.

Matt said...

I had no idea Gene the Dean drew the TMNT either! That's pretty cool!

Anonymous said...

Back in the day I followed characters instead of creators. Only later did it dawn on me that some comics were worlds apart from others due to the guys working on them.

In any case, this issue of Turtles always stood out to me due to the art and it's great to finally realize it was Gene Colan drawing it. Wish he'd done some more.

The other reason I liked this issue was that Raphael was always my favorite so seeing him get some love helped my opinion.

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