Review: TMNT Color Classics Series 3 #7

STK677597“What about honor?”

That seems to be the question throughout this month as we open up with Casey Jones (Sans hockey mask and stick) is humbly bagging groceries at the local super market. However his humility is so easily achieved as his boss Mr. Talbot is pushing his buttons by publicly humiliating him. Casey doesn’t take the bait at first but then he loses his cool and slugs his boss soundly. As he’s on his way out of the store he has a change of heart and walks back in and begs for his job back. Mr. Talbot having been embarrassed orders Casey to get down on his knees. Casey obliges but Talbot degrades him even further. At this moment Casey has enough and knocks out his now former boss. Though he is now jobless he leaves the premises but with his head held high.

At the same moment across town we follow Splinter who is lost in thought wandering back alleys and smoke stacks. He is on his own, separated from his four sons. In the midst of his roaming he spots a small colony of ordinary rats and reminisces. His train of thought quickly gets derailed due to a collapse in a loose foundation and he takes a long fall down a dark hole. When he comes to, he realizes his ankle is broken in two places and tries to power through by sheer will. He is soon overcome by pain and succumbs to the darkness.

Across town a familiar face, April O’ Neil is being harassed by a new colleague who seems to have less than good willed intentions on his mind. (though with the way April was illustrated in these early days one would seem to wonder why.) April is then picked up by a very close friend and her young son and they reminisce about the Connecticut Christmases of yesteryear. Determined to get a tree of their own they head out on the travelled road.

It’s at here we are introduced to the stars of our show and in a page that could have been drawn by Frank Miller himself, one of our heroes cloaked in what appears to be a burlap hood falls from the sky. A few moments later we are revealed that it is actually Michaelangelo. He was disguising himself on the way to the Turtles safe house inside a local water tower. When he arrives it is a most solemn sight indeed. The downtrodden heroes are holding sanctuary against weather and foe alike. Even their most faithful and optimistic of their family, Leonardo is having serious doubt about whether they make a difference in the world at all. The rest of his brothers are struggling with the fact that he may just be right.

At that very moment we then are looking down at these problems from over 30,000 feet. As we peer inside we are shown a woman passenger on an airplane plotting her next move. She is viewing important captured video footage and she discovers a most interesting fact. One of the Turtles in action. She stares intently with a wry smile across her face.

The rest of the issue contains a sweet holiday moment and a harbinger of things to come with our fearless foursome. Not much to do but ride out the calm before the storm and prepare for the war ahead.

Overall: This title was my first taste of comic rebellion in the 1980’s and amen was it ever sweet. It was my alternative to the big “Two” Marvel and DC Comics and it was a sight to behold. From the moment I first laid my eyes on the intense imagery of the black and white original comics of Mirage Studios I have been hooked. The Turtles were so different, such a kidish concept but yet not handled with kid gloves whatsoever. Years later now seeing these adventures in color is quite a sight. (Big ups to Adam Guzowski, the colorist) Honestly, I do maintain that still to this day the art was very rough in some places. Any scene that has April or a normal human being can appear to look juvenile. However the scenes and splash pages with any of the Turtles is something that could be displayed in the Smithsonian. It’s just breathtaking stuff. I remember this storyline well as kid, and years later with the increased color and touch up it doesn’t really increase it’s merit from the filler issue it is. I cannot wait for the remaining chapters of the “City at War” storyline. Even though I know how it turns out, it will be nice to see it through a different “color” lens.

Till the next we meet, it should be a Shell of a time!

Story: Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird Art: Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird and Jim Lawson
Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass (this chapter)

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review