Monday, August 31, 2015

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: The Comic Strip - November 18, 1991 to December 27, 1991

Heaven’s in Here
Credits:  Dean Clarrain (writer), Jim Lawson & Dan Berger (art), Mary Kelleher (letters)

Summary:  The aliens Brik and Brak arrive on Earth, their spaceship disguised inside a meteorite.  They crash into the Hudson River and travel inside the Sub-City to find Ka'kfa the Cockroach King.  The Turtles, suspicious of where the meteorite has landed, investigate and soon come across Brik and Brak’s meeting with Ka'kfa.  Ka'kfa explains that money is more powerful than humans, and if Brik and Brak want power, they must attack Wall Street.  Brik and Brak offer Ka'kfa alien worlds to infest with his children if he aids their invasion.  Overhead, Michelangelo is bitten by a roach.  When he screams, the Turtles are exposed.

Continuity Notes:  
  • Brik and Brak appear to be the same characters Bean and Scul from the Archie Adventures series.  Why they have been renamed, I don’t know.  Bean and Scul debuted in the Adventures series not long before these strips were published.  Perhaps Brik and Brak are intended to be different members of the same alien species.
  • Ka'kfa the Cockroach King seems to be a strange combination of Maligna and the Rat King.
  • Sub-City is the deepest level of the sewers, previously seen in the comic strip’s first arc.

Pizza References:  Picking up where the first arc left off, the Turtles are eating pizza with April O’Neil when the story opens.  Michelangelo wants more “jelly bean and broccli ‘za.”

Were Killing the Earth! :  Much like Scul and Bean, most of Brik and Brak’s dialogue consists of them commenting on how polluted and “stinky” our planet is.  In the opening strips, they enter Earth through the hole in the ozone layer.

I Love the 90s:  April tells the Turtles she’s taking some time off before covering the 1992 presidential race.

Review in a Half-Shell:  It’s the alternate version of Bean and Scul, and unless you’re obsessed with TMNT continuity minutia, there isn’t a whole lot of interest here.  Bean and Scul were only memorable for their utterly disgusting power -- they literally defecate stink bombs out of their heads, a stunt that Brik and Brak haven’t pulled yet.  I actually like Ka'kfa the Cockroach King; his dialogue is amusing and his design is pretty outrageous by the standards of daily comic strips.  The idea that he’s joining with Brik and Brak in order to find intergalactic apartment complexes to infest is lovely.  But, geez, Clarrain/Murphy is still under the delusion that having a character comment on the environment is somehow inherently interesting as a story, and he’s just wrong.  If we’re going to be bringing in characters from the Adventures series, why not Cudley the Cowlick, or the Intergalactic Wrestling Federation?  Why not entertain kids instead of constantly preaching at them?

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