Friday, October 16, 2009

TMNT Adventures #23 – August 1991

Search and Destroy

Credits: Dean Clarrain (script), Chris Allan (pencils), Brian Thomas (inks), Gary Fields (letters), Barry Grossman (colors)

The issue opens with the Turtles relaxing in their new hot tub. They invite April O’Neil to join them, but she wants nothing to do with heated sewer water. (I don’t want to think about the slash fiction this scene probably inspired). While April continues training with Splinter, the Turtles are sent to search for Shredder. They run across a group of thugs who are planning to blow up a section of the sewers and rob the armored car parked above. As the Turtles fight the crooks, the scene shifts to Morbus, the toxic waste dump planet where Krang was exiled months earlier. Krang’s shocked to discover someone else on the planet…

…Slash. Krang offers to take him to a world full of palm trees if he helps him out. They soon discover another alien sent to the prison planet, Bellybomb.

After Slash…slashes the guards who recently dropped Bellybomb off, Krang takes control of their spaceship. He leaves with Slash and Bellybomb and heads for a world of palm trees…

Review in a Half-Shell: It’s the first appearance of Slash, the evil ninja turtle with a palm tree fixation who talks like a beat poet. We’re also introduced to Bellybomb (credited to Stephen Murphy and Stephen Bissette in the indicia). They don’t do an awful lot in this issue, but they’re clearly works of inspired genius. The two stories in this issue transition between one another in a Watchmen-style, which also adds to surrealism. Chris Allan debuts as penciler, and while I find his Ninja Turtles a little too cute, he does a great job on the scenes set on Morbus.

Pizza References: An empty pizza box sits next to the hot tub on the first page, Michelangelo suggests taking a pizza break from searching for Shredder, and Leonardo recommends stopping for pizza after the Turtles defeat their opponents in the sewers.


Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this issue as a kid because of the villains it introduced. I had a soft spot for evil twin types, so Slash was right up my alley, and Bellybomb was just too bizarre not to love.
I seem to recall that this arc only gets better from here, apart from maybe the art, as Chris Allan was my favourite penciller on the book back in the day.

Matt said...

I really enjoyed Chris Allen's work on this title, and as I recall, he brought some much-needed consistency to the artwork after lots of rotating pencilers in the first couple of years (I know Mitchroney was basically the regular artist for some time, but he still had several fill-ins).

I liked Slash's look in this title -- he was based on the action figure, where the cartoon version was not. Unfortunately, like so many other "villains" the TMNT meet in the book, he just turns out to be misunderstood. Didn't he join (or ally with) the Mutanimals?

In retrospect, that was one of my big gripes with the writing team on TMNT Adventures. So many of the villains they introduced turned out to be not as bad as we thought -- except for the ones out to ruin the environment, of course. In this particular storyline, don't Bebop and Rocksteady even reform at the end? It's pretty ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Well, it's not like Bebop and Rocksteady are the personification of evil.

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