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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Gets a Director’s Cut

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 Director’s Cut

The debut issue of the epic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin is one of the biggest comic events of 2020 with more than 180,000 copies in print! IDW Publishing is releasing a special behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this instant classic with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 Director’s Cut, due to hit stores in March 2021.

Featuring never-before seen layouts from Kevin Eastman, story notes that date back decades, character designs, script pages, and much more, the Director’s Cut delves deep into the lore of The Last Ronin’s future New York City, where a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. This 64-page special issue is a must-have for any TMNT aficionado who wants to discover the story behind the story!

Originally an unpublished 1987 story concept from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter LairdThe Last Ronin took shape as a comic book miniseries in 2020 with a script by Tom Waltz; layouts by Eastman; pencils and inks by Esau EscorzaIsaac Escorza, and Ben Bishop; and colors by Luis Antonio Delgado.

In addition to the news of issue #1’s Director’s Cut, IDW is announcing the revised on-sale date for the next eagerly-awaited chapter of TMNT: The Last Ronin. Issue #2 will be available on February 17th, with a story that reveals more dark secrets of The Ronin’s past and sets him on a path alongside an unexpected new ally.

IDW and Toho International Sign a Multi-Year Godzilla Publishing and Gaming Licensing Deal

Godzilla

IDW Publishing and Toho International, Inc. have announced a multi-year publishing program that will bring Godzilla and dozens of monsters from the Godzilla live-action films to a wide selection of publications and merchandise.

Beginning in spring 2021, Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and dozens of kaiju will stomp their way across IDW’s line of comic books, graphic novels, trade collections, art books, coloring books, journals, tabletop games, and puzzles. Furthering IDW’s company-wide mission to expand the most beloved story worlds across all mediums, the publishing program — available in print and digitally — will represent a comprehensive range of content, delivering city-stomping entertainment to young readers and adult audiences.

IDW will have worldwide distribution for Toho’s Godzilla comic book, graphic novel, gaming, and merchandise program, with the exception of some parts of Asia.

IDW’s debut Godzilla project of 2021 will be a five-issue miniseries by writer Erik Burnham, artist Dan Schoening, and colorist Luis Antonio Delgado. The comic book will be aimed at middle-grade readers and hits stores with its first issue in April.

The new licensing deal builds upon IDW’s prior comic publishing relationship with Toho. In March 2011, IDW launched its Godzilla comic book program with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, generating huge fan and media interest and garnering support from the retailer community with 80 exclusive variant covers. Through 2016, IDW published 10 Godzilla comic book series of varying lengths, collected in a series of trade paperback collections.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1’s Second Printing Gets a 50,000 Print Run

With more than 37,000 current preorders and climbing, IDW Publishing has announced that high anticipation for the second printing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 has necessitated a whopping 50,000-unit print run — the largest reprint quantity in the company’s history since their debut 20 years ago! Longtime TMNT readers and curious newcomers are invited to visit their local comic book shops tomorrow, December 2nd, to snag a copy of this comic book milestone!

An epic miniseries three decades in the making from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter LairdTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin takes place in a future New York City far different from the one we know today, where a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. The debut issue hit stands on October 28th, immediately selling out and prompting a new printing that features a re-colored cover by Eastman, Esau Escorza, and Isaac Escorza.

The Last Ronin is based on an unpublished 1987 story concept by Eastman and Laird, with script by Tom Waltz, layouts by Eastman, pencils and inks by Esau and Isaac Escorza, colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, letters by Shawn Lee, and edits by Bobby Curnow. The series will run for five issues, with each issue oversized at 7” x 11” and 48 pages in length.

Fans eagerly awaiting the next chapter in the TMNT: The Last Ronin storyline will be looking forward to the January 27th release date of issue #2! Secrets of this dark future will be revealed as The Ronin meets an unexpected new ally and the Foot Clan attempts to thwart his mission of vengeance.

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

Spoiler warning: This review contains mild spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1

Sometime in the future, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are no more! Decimated by a third-generation foe, one turtle has survived and seeks his revenge. This is the tale of The Last Ronin, who travels a futuristic New York and stops at nothing and no one to avenge his fallen family. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 is the highly-anticipated reunion of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. You might have seen this reunion hinted at on Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us. I know I was excited about this book.  I have very few complaints about The Last Ronin. Let’s get the good stuff out of the way first.

It’s an exciting story, fast-paced, gritty, and heavy on the action. We don’t know yet how Splinter and the Turtles died and it’s not necessary for the first issue to show all of its cards yet. Instead, this issue focuses on our survivor and how there are not many obstacles that will stop his justice. It’s a bit difficult to get too much into who the Ninja Turtle is but I figured it out really quick and I feel like the reader will, too. And in saying that, there’s a tiny amount of hardship in talking about this book without taking away the surprise from those experiencing it. I was very happy that the one I wanted to be the surviving Turtle was the one who stars in it and it ends up feeling like the best-case scenario. And no lie: it’s great to know that Eastman and Laird were able to both come back for another TMNT project. Eastman has always been here but both creators have history, maybe had too much, but it’s good to see them going all-out with this project.

Stories like this always run the risk of being pretty much worthless and just throwing a ton of future versions of legacy characters at the hero. I don’t know what the next few issues are going to be like but I don’t see new versions of all of the big bads being represented. Visually, I think it looks great for a TMNT book. Not knocking previous artists who have worked on the various Ninja Turtles books, but Eastman and Co.’s art style fits perfectly with the story. The colors are on-point and the lettering isn’t blocking anything critical. I liked the art more than the writing, but not by much.

My negatives would be that it’s so action-packed that it almost feels like a fight for nearly the entire issue. Having read this issue twice, I’m just not sure how to feel about it. It just seems like at some point in The Last Ronin that one issue is going to have the burden of explaining a lot about what went down. Another thing is that there’s a feeling that I’ve seen this play out before in other books. It doesn’t reek of 100% originality. The Last Ronin really feels like the Turtles are back to their original inspirations and it has a bit of a Dark Knight Returns feel to it. I’m actually trying hard to be overly critical because of how I felt about this. Maybe I’m being nit-picky.

Point blank reaction: I enjoyed the hell out of this book. I’ve started reading through IDW Publishing’s TMNT books and while I haven’t read it all, The Last Ronin reads like one hell of a sendoff. I do wonder how hard this will be to actually get. Word is the print run was cut short and some shops think their full orders won’t be filled. There are also around 70 variants out there for this book. This is definitely a read but I think it’s good enough to purchase. I feel like a lifetime of enjoying the various incarnations of the TMNT, whether it’s been comics, cartoons, or movies, has prepared me for this moment where they are down to one against all the evil in the world. Maybe it’s cliche but The Last Ronin is an absolute blast.

Story:  Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz Script: Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman
Layouts: Kevin Eastman Pencils/inks: Esau
Escorza, Isaac Escorza Page 39 art: Ben Bishop
Colors: Luis Antonio Delgado Color Assistance: Samuel Plata Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow Additional Editorial coordination: R.G. Llarena
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 is Over 130,000 Copies Ordered and Gets a Second Printing

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin, a comic book miniseries three decades in the making from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird has shattered expectations and is seeing pre-orders of over 130,000 copies for the first issue. It comes to comic shops on October 28th, 2020.

IDW has immediately commissioned a TMNT: The Last Ronin #1 “Thank You” Variant Edition to be provided to all retailers who placed orders for the First Printing via Diamond Comic Distributors. The rare black-and-white cover edition will feature a foil logo cover enhancement sure to make it a hot collectible. Full details on the “Thank You” edition will be provided to retailers through distributor communications.

IDW has also committed to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 Second Printing featuring a re-colored variant of the artwork by Kevin Eastman, Esau Escorza, and Isaac Escorza. Slated for release on December 2nd, the Second Printing is now listed via Diamond for retailer pre-order (Item Code: SEP208135, UPC 82771401991900112).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin takes place in a future New York City far different from the one we know today, where a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. An epic five-part miniseries, The Last Ronin is based on an unpublished 1987 story concept by Eastman and Laird, with script by Waltz, layouts by Eastman, pencils and inks by Esau and Isaac Escorza, colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, letters by Shawn Lee, and edits by Bobby Curnow. Each issue is oversized at 7” x 11” and 48 pages in length

Review: My Little Pony/Transformers #1

MY LITTLE PONY/TRANSFORMERS #1

Two properties that I’d not expect to crossover are My Little Pony and Transformers. The exception might be the more kid-friendly Transformers: Cyberverse or Rescue Bots. The concept of robots that turn into things and ponies in the same universe just doesn’t quite jive. Not to mention the fact My Little Pony, in my little experience, doesn’t exactly scream intergalactic civil war, lasers, and death. But, despite being so different, My Little Pony/Transformers #1 actually works!

The story is simple. An evil wizard pony wants allies and through a spell accidentally pulls Decepticons and Autobots through their space bridge into the world of My Little Pony. From there, the battle begins as Decepticons attempt to take over Equestria while the Autobots play their best defense and try to figure out what’s going on.

My Little Pony/Transformers #1 actually features two stories but they’re blended together in a seamless transition that makes it so it’s not noticeable at all. James Asmus handles the first story involving the mashing of worlds while Ian Flynn does the second focused on Arcee who takes on Starscream.

Despite the tonal differences between the two properties, the comic works and works well. The strengths of each are played off of each other and the general “wtf” reaction from everyone makes the story feel a bit more grounded. The characters seem to recognize the silliness of it all in a sort of meta self-awareness.

The violence of the Transformers is downplayed a bit and lets face it, the Decepticons would probably roll through Equestria fairly quickly if they wanted. But instead of the violence we get Starscream’s ego being his downfall and logically preventing a genocide of ponies. He wants the adulation and followers, and needs ponies the achieve that.

The art style of the comic is interesting with Tony Fleecs and Jack Lawrence handling the first and second stories. Their styles are really close to each other so there’s a pretty easy transition from one to the other. The Transformers are adapted to be more in the style of My Little Pony and I think that’s the one thing I don’t enjoy. It’d have been interesting visually to have each kept their distinctive look and style. The tone of the series would be different though and it wouldn’t be as kid-friendly as likely. Visually though, it could have been cool.

Fleecs, Lauren Perry, and Luis Antonio Delgado provide the colors for the comic, and Jake M. Wood and Neil Uyetake handle lettering. The art team really set the tone of the series making it much more geared towards younger readers. A shift in look more towards the Transformers could have made the result feel a bit more adult.

The concept might seem like it shouldn’t work but the team pulls My Little Pony/Transformers #1 off. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and seems to know it’s a bit goofy. But, more importantly, it knows it should just have fun. I never mashed up these toys into battle together as a kid but as an adult I get to see what might have been and escape into some innocent and fun entertainment.

Story: James Asmus, Ian Flynn Art: Tony Fleecs, Jack Lawrence
Color: Tony Fleecs, Lauren Perry, Luis Antonio Delgado Letterer: Jake M. Wood, Neil Uyetake
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Review: Ghostbusters: Year One #1

Ghostbusters: Year One #1

We know the story of the Ghostbusters from numerous films, animated shows, and comics. But, what about that first year in business: Ghostbusters: Year One #1 kicks off the untold stories of our favorite paranormal investigators.

Written by Erik Burnham, Ghostbusters: Year One #1 focuses on the “newest” of the original Ghostbusters, Winston Zeddemore. Framed as an interview with a journalist writing a book, we get to learn some details about his experience joining the team.

Burnham adds in details that fit quite well with what we know. It’s a nice “in addition” as opposed to a retcon. We learn about what Winston was doing before joining the team and even get to see some more of the questions he was asked in his interview. But, most importantly, we learn more about him as a person and how he fit into the group and his training. It’s a great example of expanding a known universe.

The art by Dan Schoening with color by Luis Antonio Delgado is unique and stands out. It’s a style you don’t see elsewhere with a cartoon-like quality about it. Schoening’s style is one that you don’t see elsewhere and it’s hard to describe. There’s a slight homage to the cartoon series but at the same time it’s own style. What’s solid is it works for the ghosts. It doesn’t skew to horror but still fits that genre. Delgado’s colors are key with the ethereal popping from the page. Neil Uyetake‘s lettering is also key in giving the ghosts a voice to themselves through the lettering style.

Ghostbusters: Year One #1 kicks off what feels like could be a fun series. I also expect there’s more to what’s presented. The team has a nice grasp of fitting in new knowledge and deliver enough winks and nods for long-time fans. A must for fans of Ghostbusters or want a good chuckle.

Story: Erik Burnham Art: Dan Schoening
Color: Luis Antonio Delgado Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #1

Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #1

Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #1 is a comic I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced. The idea of seeing the original Karate Kid film from Johnny Lawrence’s perspective is an interesting one. That becomes more so with the recent Cobra Kai digital series and the concept that Johnny wasn’t really the bad guy of the film.

As a first issue, the comic is interesting. Writer Denton J. Tipton frames the story as Johnny telling it to his new students, the comic begins early in his life. There’s abuse there and that’s not unexpected. It also is handled as an adult in a way that seems realistic for a guy his age and the era he grew up in.

From there we get some of the lead up to his introduction in Karate Kid. There’s some history as to him and the tournaments. His meeting Ali. Why the broke up. And then ending where his role in the film begins on the beach. It’s an interesting comic that builds to the expectation. And in that way it succeeds.

I fully expected Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #1 to be more like the end of the comic but instead, it veers in the beginning then leads the reader to where it thought it was going to start. It defies expectations, gets you to accept that, then dovetails into expectations in a good way.

The art is where the comic fails. The characters look awful. Kagan McLeod just doesn’t capture the look of the actors well and mixed with a weird lack of detail along with odd detail it falls apart. Eyes are strange, faces bland, and designs that at times look like something you’d get by a Boardwalk artist.

The comic delivers potential. It’s the build-up to the story we know from the film but doesn’t quite deliver that yet. Instead, it focuses on Johnny the person adds some depth to him and shows us where he’s coming from. Now, we can get to the interesting stuff we all came for to start.

Story: Denton J. Tipton Art: Kagan McLeod
Color: Luis Antonio Delgado Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Story: 7.0 Art: 5.0 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Transformers/Ghostbusters #1

Transformers/Ghostbusters #1

Transformers/Ghostbusters #1 shouldn’t work. One has to do with robots and the other ghosts. In fairness, Transformers did have the ghost of Starscream haunting Cybertron for a bit. But, the concept just sounds so out there. But it works. It really works and does so very well. Both Transformers and Ghostbusters are celebrating 35 years this year and IDW Publishing has put together this miniseries to celebrate (as well as Hasbro with the toy spinoff).

The story spins the original Ghostbusters film a bit with Gozer winding up on Cybertron a little after the Autobots fled the planet. From there the journey heads to Earth where a signal is discovered by the Autobots that they must investigate. And, the two teams come together.

What’s interesting is writer Erik Burnham spins familiar things we’ve seen mixing it up enough to be original but also leaving enough to be familiar. The new Autobot Ecto has a personality that is straight out of the Ghostbusters and the art by Dan Schoening feels like a combination of the Transformers and Ghostbusters cartoons.

All of it comes together to what is a surprisingly fun comic. I finished it with a smile on my face and wanting to read more immediately. It’s all set up but it’s a good one that’ll get you to want to come back for more. And it works really well using familiar things with a slightly different spin.

Transformers/Ghostbusters #1 is a comic I’m honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I went in thinking a simple cash grab and came out smiling and wanting more. It’s a celebration of two properties that feel so far apart but its shown can work together.

Story: Erik Burnham Art: Dan Schoening
Color: Luis Antonio Delgado Letters: Tom B. Long
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation:
Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Transformers and Ghostbusters Come Together in June

Transformers/Ghostbusters

Announced at Toy Fair with the reveal of the Ecto-1 Ectotron, IDW Publishing has officially announced Transformers/Ghostbusters and released a first look.

Written and illustrated by the long-time Ghostbusters creative team of Erik BurnhamDan Schoening, and Luis Antonio DelgadoTransformers / Ghostbusters will span five issues, with the first issue’s variant covers featuring the artistic talents of Dan SchoeningPaulina GanucheauNick Roche, and Alex Milne.

In the first chapter of the “Ghost of Cybertron” storyline, the Autobots – having escaped from the war that destroyed their home planet – trace a stray Cybertronian signal to the planet Earth. Investigating the otherworldly source will bring the Robots in Disguise face-to-face with the renowned professionals of paranormal investigation and elimination: Venkman, Spengler, Stantz, and Zeddmore!

The team-up that has been three-and-a-half decades in the making will tie in directly to the announced toy release, featuring appearances by the new Transformers character Ectotron… as well as yet-to-be-revealed crossover surprises that are sure to cause mass hysteria in both fandoms.

Both franchises launched in 1984 and see their 35th Anniversary in 2019.

Transformers/Ghostbusters
Zeismic
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