The beloved heroes in a half-shell from the 1980s are back! Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael are back to fighting the evil Shredder alongside their sensei and adoptive father, Splinter. The story of their origin has been reconceived. This new breed of ninja turtles are not the result of toxic ooze exposure. Instead, they are the product of genetic engineering at the hands of the mad scientist, Dr. Stockman. April O’Neill is still an unsuspecting lab assistant, but in the updated version of the story she is the one who bestows the Renaissance-inspired monikers upon the cute little lab turtles.
The newly drawn ninja turtles have a fiercer look to them and the series opens with a dark alley battle between Shredder and his gang and three of the four turtles and Splinter. It is in the opening frames that I spotted the biggest difference between the new turtles and the turtles I grew up with: they all had red masks! Each turtle still had their trademark weapon, which is how I figured Raphael was the missing brother. I kind of miss their different colored masks, but as long as they keep their trademark weapon and personalities I’ll be ok. I did appreciate that pizza and the phrase “cowabunga” still remain important aspects of the ninja turtle way of life, kudos to the writers for subtlety slipping those in! All of the key players in the turtle world have been introduced or mentioned in the first volume so I am looking forward to the story really taking off in volume 2.
If you were a fan of the original turtles, you will not be disappointed. If you are too young to remember the old ones, welcome to the wonderful world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I for one, am happy they are back. Time to go grab volume 2!