JUST JOSHING: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100

My grandmother loves to remind me of when I was ten years old that she took me to the cinema back in 1990 to watch the original live-action movie.  But at ten years old, the concept was bombastic, fun and something of a wild dream.  Ninja turtles fighting monsters and ninjas and saving the day, all the while the heart and soul of the book is the concept of family.

Many years later when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) number one from IDW came out and I saw Kevin Eastman’s name on it, I was in.  I know that TMNT was going to be a nostalgia trip, but I also expected it would be a fun run and hopefully with the same themes going through it that I remembered as a kid.  There were mutants and ninjas and utrioms and all the other fun stuff that made the turtles the fun ride it was.

But like the best of runs, there were new wrinkles added to it. The fact that Splinter, Shredder, and the turtles were reincarnated from the past was interesting.  And throughout the hundred issues and counting of one-shots, minis, the mythology of this run has grown.  The mythology is not quite my childhood, but something unique to itself, but still maintaining the concept of family, particularly the relationships of brothers, and fathers and sons.

These themes are the heart of the one-hundredth issue.  Since Splinter became the leader of the foot clan in issue 50, rifts had formed with the turtles and their father, who’s duties to the foot and his ideals of how he should govern them differed with the turtle’s philosophies. The heart of this issue is the completion of Splinter’s redemption.  I won’t spoil the ending, but it is bittersweet and fitting.

Splinter’s story is not the only resolution.  A lot of things are tied up quite nicely and the fates of some characters are dealt.  One of the neat battles here is Leonardo and Bishop, who are interesting mirrors of each other.  Each one of them tries to live up to the ideals of their father in their own ways.  That is where their similarities end, as their fight illustrates their differences.  I did get a kick out of Bishop’s end.  Considering his actions, his final scene was quite ironic.  I approved that fate.

I also really dug the Raphael and Leo heart to heart and I thought it really sums up their relationship perfectly.  Both turtles are leaders by nature, but in this moment they are brothers, and there is power in forgiveness with other and understanding.  Michaelangelo got a cool moment to shine as well, protecting the foot children, and of all the turtles, he may be the one character that has grown the most. Loved his stuff.

The other major father-son resolution was with Casey and his dad.  I think the really cool thing about their relationship, is that no matter how dysfunctional it is, they love each other. Fathers and sons definitely rang throughout this.

But so did brothers. I mentioned the Leo, Raph moment, but there is also Splinter and Shredder.  As Kitsune unleashes the dragon into New York, there is a nice final scene with Oroku Saki and Splinter that ties in super nicely with issue 50, as well as adds to the complexity of their relationship as well.

Not every moment in this issue had this kind of gravity.  Bebop and Rocksteady were in the book, and you know that you can’t take them too seriously.  Also,  Pete, who is my favorite Mutimal (Probably Tom’s too based on how he’s written) had me in stitches when he said please don’t eat the checkers.  I laughed  There was a decent balance between the light-hearted moments and the more serious ones.

But this was an end.  Comic creators when they are lucky get a chance to finish their tale, and Tom Waltz is walking away with a very well told one.  Not every issue is resolved, but that’s life too.  The important tale he told though is done and I for one want to thank him and everyone else for the last 9 years that made this story possible.  It’s well told and I’m going to miss this team and this turtle run.  At the same time, I’m excited to see what Sophie Campbell comes up with.  Endings are beginnings too, and this is a new beginning.

Thanks, guys for a great run.  It was worth it.


The Business


So my initial concept of the column kind of fell flat on the face.  I have no problems getting interviews for the podcast, but the story behind the story column never seemed to click with creators. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be interviews from time to time, but I’m going back to a more bare-boned why I love these books.  Comics are something you should be passionate about and I for one intend to keep writing about the stuff in comics I really love.  I’m already working on the next column, and I do have one in the can somewhere involving a character named Ichabod.  Stay tuned.


However, since the last column was published I have moved to Vancouver and am about to release two books.  Alice Zero is literally a logo away from being released.  I’m hoping to do a giveaway of it on release day.  For one day only you will be able to download the book from Amazon for free. Afterward, the book will be available for 99 cents for the foreseeable future.  Mackenzie Carr did some amazing illustrations and I think this is a rocking take on Alice in Wonderland.


Also, January 4th looks to be the release date of the Cloud Diver in digital form.  The last bits of the book are being cobbled together.  By next week there will only be some little details left and once those are done, the book will be launched on the 4th for 2.99.  I hope you check it out.  If you like The Matrix, Sword Art Online and like a little bit of humor, this novel will be for you. I’m proud of it and will have more to come in the next few weeks.


My current guest on the podcast is Troy Lambert.  Definitely take a listen.  Alright, see you next week when I compare two Marvel books with backups in them.  One of them involves Fonda Lee.  Stay inspired.

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