REVIEW – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 30th Anniversary Special (IDW Publishing)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writers: Tom Waltz, Gary Carlson, Jim Lawson, Various
Artists: Kevin Eastman, Chris Allan, Dan Duncan, Various
Release Date: 21st May 2014
This anthology, released to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of everyone’s favourite ‘heroes in a half shell’, adopts a brilliantly inspired approach. The super-sized issue serves as a time capsule of Turtle comic book history, featuring a selection of stories covering each of the significant eras of the franchise, with each story written by the same creative teams who made the stories so iconic and memorable all those years ago.
Starting from the early Mirage days back in 1984 with a short strip written and illustrated by Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, we wind our way through the years as we visit the cartoony TMNT Adventures era, the somewhat bizarre Image Comics days (complete with one-eyed Raph and cybernetic Donnie) and the Mirage 2.0 decade, before winding up with Tom Waltz’ current (stellar) IDW run.
The stories in and of themselves aren’t anything truly memorable, it has to be said, but instead serve as brief glimpses into the ‘style of the day’. However, as an overall collection – which also includes a fantastic pin-up gallery featuring a plethora of iconic TMNT artists – this is an absolutely terrific collection, and an automatic must-buy for any and all Turtle fans.
As a result of the format, it’s difficult to make sweeping statements regarding the writing or artwork, but suffice to say that each creative team stays 100% true to the visual and storytelling style that typified their particular era. Everyone has their own favourite era, I’m sure (for me, it has to be Eastman and Laird’s original ‘duotone’ shaded adventures), and you’ll be happy to know that whatever style you like, you’re going to find something paying homage to it in this collection.
A beautiful encapsulation of everything that’s great about the TMNT, and a respectful and passionate celebration of three amazing decades. If you’re a Turtle fan, you need this in your collection.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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