Friday, September 4, 2015

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: The Comic Strip - February 10, 1992 to March 13, 1992

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

Summary:  Now awake, Michelangelo attacks Brik and Brak.  Nearby, Donatello bypasses the spaceship’s defenses and gains control.  He flies back and joins Michelangelo in the fight.  While battling the aliens, Ka'kfa observes Donatello protect the life of one of his roaches.  Ka'kfa orders his roaches to turn on the aliens.  Brik attempts to end the battle by releasing another bomb, but Michelangelo shoves the dropping back into Brik’s orifice, seriously wounding him.  Brak is forced to admit defeat and agrees to leave Earth alone.  Ka'kfa decides to repay Donatello’s kindness by ordering his roaches to eat the gunk that’s encased Leonardo and Raphael.  

We're Killing the Earth! :  Michelangelo gives Brik and Brak extra lumps for attempting to create more greenhouse gases.  Later, as the Turtles exit, Ka'kfa agrees that nothing’s more important than saving the only Earth we have.

Review in a Half-Shell:  Aside from the gross-out factor, there’s nothing here that wouldn’t be at home on the old Saturday Morning TMNT cartoon.  More annoying is the strip’s tendency to repeat story beats for no apparent reason, which is on full display in the final days of this arc.  (For some reason, we need to see Mike throw Brik’s “stink bomb” back into his head-anus three days in a row.)  The cartoon at least had some level of irony in its strongest episodes; this storyline is extraordinarily sincere and lacking even one decent joke.  The Turtles fight some gross aliens and then the Cockroach King decides that he’s going to side with the Earth after all.  You should, too.  Now go recycle, you brats.  

That’s right, I’m outraged that this piece of children’s entertainment holds no value to me as an adult.  Seriously, I do realize that I’m far from the target audience for the strip, but the previous chapters showed a willingness to experiment with the format and to explore some of the deeper questions inherent in the TMNT concept.  I had some hope that the strip could truly be “all ages.”  This series of strips is a simplified version of material that we’ve already seen in the Archie book, and it wasn’t so fantastic the first time around.  But, hey, it does provide basic Turtles action for kids, and maybe Ka'kfa’s character arc meant something to a nine-year-old reading his parents’ copy of the paper while eating his box of Urkel-Os Sweetened Cereal.

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