In the Dark
Credits: Ryan Brown (plot), Doug Brammer (script), Ken Mitchroney (pencils), Gary Fields (inks & letters), Barry Grossman (colors)
It’s another inventory issue, and another story about evil corporations polluting the Earth. George and Benny, stand-ins for Of Mice and Men’s George and Lennie, are two blue-collar slobs secretly working for an incinerator plant. Their boss, Mr. Rutt, is paying them to dump toxic waste in the middle of the night. Rutt, being a caricatured evil industrialist, doesn’t think twice about kicking Benny’s cat into a toxic waste vat when it accidentally trips him.
Well, that’s the last we’ll see of the cat, right? If the story were to continue its Of Mice and Men riff, the cat was screwed anyway. Meanwhile, April O’Neil’s car has broken down on her way to Boston. She ends up in Innsmouth, Massachusetts, where the locals are far from friendly. The owner of a local diner feeds April a milkshake that makes her physically ill. The mulleted daughter of the owner, Beth Ann, tries to help April out, but April brushes her aside. I’m sure she regrets that decision a few minutes later, as the rest of the townspeople rise up against her, zombie-style. April reaches a pay phone and calls Michelangelo, who quickly earns his reputation as “the dumb one.”
Thankfully, the other Turtles don’t have learning disabilities and are able to understand that April needs help.
The Turtles hop into the Turtle Van (or “Party Wagon,” depending on your preference) and head for Innsmouth. They’re greeted by Beth Ann, who leads them in April’s direction. We learn that April’s been kidnapped by three mutants, identified in the indicia as Nevermore the Scarecrow, Nocturno, and of course, Hallocat.
The Turtles defeat the mutated products of human greed and toss them out of the window. When the Turtles later notice they’re not where they landed, Leonardo comments that no one could’ve survived their fall. That’s pretty bloodthirsty for the Archie series. A week later, April’s investigation shows that the angry mutants had been poisoning the town’s food supply with toxic waste, turning them into zombies. The incinerator plant is closed down, pleasing everyone except for the people who actually needed the jobs and services provided by the plant. Finally, the twisted mutants watch from the shadows as April leaves town.
Review in a Half-Shell: It’s more filler, so see the review from the previous issue. The ending is particularly weak, since we don’t even see Mr. Rutt go to jail; the plant just shuts down. So, everyone in town is punished just because this one guy was lazy/greedy and didn’t dispose of toxic waste properly. This isn’t a strong example of Ken Mitchroney’s work, since he isn’t that great of an April artist, and April is really the star for most of the issue.
Turtlemania: The Turtle Van appears for the first time in ages. The book hasn’t showcased the various vehicles for over a year at this point, so I wonder how long this inventory story sat around before it was published.
I Love the (Early) ‘90s: April uses something called a “pay phone” to contact the Turtles.
The White Ninja
Credits: Dean Clarrain (script), Garrett Ho (pencils), Mike Kazaleh (inks), Gary Fields (letters), Barry Grossman (colors)
Following last issue’s cliffhanger, Splinter is attacked by a ninja clad in white. Splinter isn’t much of a match for the ninja, but April does get one sword stroke in. The ninja suddenly disintegrates, Hand-style. April asks one of the men she tracked down where Chu Hsi and Fu Sheng are, and he replies “Hiroshima.”
Review in a Half-Shell: It’s another thirty-second read, so it’s hard to have an opinion either way. I believe the April back-up story becomes the main story next issue, so that’s a relief.