Wednesday, November 11, 2009

TMNT Adventures #38 – November 1992

United We Stand, Divided We Fall – Part One

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

It’s 1992, so we’re legally required to experience at least one crossover. This issue follows the events of the Mighty Mutanimals regular series, of which I’ve read exactly one issue. Two pages into the story, we’re drawn into the conclusion of Mighty Mutanimals #5. The Mutanimals are in the desert, under attack by Null’s Robo-Skeleton soldiers. They’re accompanied by a shapechanging woman named Azrael, who morphs into an eagle and flies for help when the rest of the team is knocked unconscious. She needn’t have bothered, as Cudley has dropped off the Turtles, along with Splinter and Ninjara, nearby.

With the added backup, the second round goes in the Mutanimal’s favor. Azrael watches from the sidelines, commenting on how helpless she feels. Null views this as the perfect opportunity to take her captive.

Before the subtext gets any creepier, Null takes Azrael to his nearby hideout. He’s greeted by the Grim Reaper and three shadowy monsters. Meanwhile, the Mutanimals explain that they encountered Null while searching for Jagwar’s mother, Juntarra. They’ve learned from Azrael that this area was once a rainforest before Null’s desertification process destroyed it. The united mutants follow a trail of smoke and discover that zombies are burning a nearby rainforest.

Dreadmon and Jagwar proudly rip the zombies into purple goo, but the threat isn’t over. The three monsters from Null’s hideout emerge, ready to fight. To be continued in Mighty Mutanimals #6 (which I don’t own).

Review in a Half-Shell: It’s somewhat amusing that this crossover appeared at the same time as “The X-Cutioner’s Song.” By the time the issue’s over, you’re given a basic idea of the story so far, but there is a sense that you’re walking in on a movie an hour after it started. It’s several pages into the story before it’s even confirmed that the events are taking place on Earth, which would be obvious for anyone following Mighty Mutanimals, but the last issue of TMNT Adventures ended with Cudley escorting the Turtles through outer space. When the next issue opens with a setting of the night sky and a rocky terrain, you could just as easily assume that the story is taking place on an asteroid or alien planet. The character of Azrael isn’t really introduced, outside of the explanation that she can change into an eagle (was she the eagle from the opening of Mighty Mutanimals #1?), and I have no idea where the rainforest-burning zombies came from. If you are a fan of the Mutanimals, though, it is nice to see them interacting with the Turtles again.

What the Shell? : We learn that Wingnut’s wings no longer work, with a footnote pointing towards Mighty Mutanimals #2. Wingnut says they were destroyed by a giant snake, “Humongous Trouserous was its scientific name, I think…” Now, what exactly happened in Mighty Mutanimals #2?


Nolan T said...

You don't have the Mutanimals series? Man, download it at least... it's amazing. As is this crossover.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I wonder how this was printed in the UK? I had the issues back at the time, but I've come to suspect that the Mutanimals issues were just reprinted as part of the UK's turtles series with no mention of where they originated.

As I recall, I thought Death's three partners looked fantastic at the end of the issue, but was disappointed by their appearance in the next story.

Matthew MG said...

"Now, what exactly happened in Mighty Mutanimals #2?"

The Mutanimals began walking the "Path of the Four Winds," the same path Jagwar's mother was traveling when she met his dad. The first leg of the path took them south, where they met the guardian of the southern path, Snake Eyes, a humanoid snake that may have been the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Snake Eyes hypnotises Wingnut into reliving his most painful memories. The ensuing flashback reveals that he and Screwloose were outcasts on Hannu because neither of them had functional wings. They needed metal artificial wings to fly.

Shortly before meeting Snake Eyes the Mutanimals fought a giant snake that destroyed the metal wings.

Matthew MG said...

whoops, that should have read "were outcasts on Huanu"

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