Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TMNT Adventures #26



Main story:

Publication date: November, 1991

Script: Doug Brammer
Pencils: Ken Mitchroney
Plot/Inks: Dan Berger
Letters: Gary Fields
Colors: Barry Grossman
Edits: Steve Murphy
Managing Edits: Victor Gorelick
Cover: Steve Lavigne?

“The Keeper”

Back-up story:

Script: Dean Clarrain (Steve Murphy)
Pencils: Garret Ho
Inks: Allison Flood
Letters: Gary Fields
Colors: Barry Grossman
Edits: Victory Gorelick

“Questions”


Summary:

Main Story…

Out in space, a flying saucer enters Earth’s atmosphere and approaches the mountains of Tibet. Back at the Turtles’ Lair, Master Splinter in meditating. His astral form is drawn to Tibet by an unknown force. He is wary until he is greeted by the friendly and ancient yeti known as T’Pau. T’Pau beckons him into his home/cave and the two become fast friends. T’Pau tells Splinter he felt his strong spirit and summoned him for aid. T’Pau has had visions of a strange alien creature and has felt ancient life forces from Scotland, the Atlantic Ocean and the woods of Northern Canada vanish without a trace. Splinter agrees to help and asks T’Pau to stay calm, as a flight from New York to Tibet could take a while.



Splinter returns to his body in the New York City sewers. In the living room, the Turtles are suffering through some very badly animated Saturday morning cartoons. Splinter enters and tells them all his story and that they must hurry. Mike jokes that they should wait for April to arrive with their pickle and whipped cream pizzas, which makes Splinter very upset. Leo calms Splinter down and he admits that at times he forgets the humor of youth. Then, just as April enters the lair with the pizzas, the Turtles and Splinter are teleported to Tibet.



Splinter points them toward the mountainside where T’Pau lives, urging them to hurry as he feels they were summoned so hastily because his friend is in danger. They scale the mountain and arrive in T’Pau’s home to find the yeti wrapped in the mechanical tentacles of a strange alien monster. Using its scepter, the alien zaps Splinter, Leo, Don and Raph out of existence. Thinking them dead, Mike attacks the alien in blind fury, freeing T’Pau. The alien recovers and zaps them both.

Mike and T’Pau eventually awaken in a holding cell and become better acquainted. Though his nunchakus have been taken, Mike still has his lockpick hidden inside his belt. He picks the lock and the two make quick work of the guards outside. Sensing a cluster of lifeforces, T’Pau guides Mike to the spaceship’s bridge.



There, they find the Turtles and Splinter alive and well. Splinter introduces Mike to the alien, named Boss Salvage, who is actually a kind being. At last getting his universal translator to work, Boss Salvage explains that he goes from dying world to dying world, plucking up the last remaining members of certain species and finding them a new home. He was the one who rescued Nessie, Sasquatch and Kingfish the Merman, and had intended to rescue T’Pau, as well. Boss Salvage claims that Earth is doomed, though T’Pau rejects the claim, informing him that humans have woken up and are doing more now to protect the environment than ever before. Boss Salvage cheers with glee.

Before returning home, T’Pau bids farewell to his new friends, making a special point to thank Mike for his acts of bravery. The Turtles and Splinter are then teleported home, and slightly back in time, as they arrive at exactly the same moment they’d left. And that means pizza!

Back-up Story…

Having followed the black suited spooks, April hides behind a door and listens in on their conversation with a mysterious group of ninja. Not receiving the answers she wants, April kicks the door in and demands to know where Chu Hsi and Fu Sheng have been taken. The spooks refuse to answer, claiming the ninja would kill them if they talked.



Suddenly, an armor-clad Splinter bursts in, pretending to be a demon to frighten the ninja off. Now alone, he orders the spook to tell him the truth. The spook still refuses, claiming the ninja are still there. Indeed, a giant white ninja drops down from the ceiling and prepares to strike April and Splinter.


Turtle Tips:

*This story is continued from TMNT Adventures #25. The story continues in TMNT Adventures #27.

*The Turtles wincing at the low quality of early 90s Saturday morning animation is pretty ironic, as by that point in the Fred Wolf TMNT cartoon, the animation had gotten really, really bad. Perhaps it was intentionally ironic?

*April is seen wearing her yellow jumpsuit, an outfit she hasn’t worn since TMNT Adventures #4.

*Kingfish appears to be of the same race as Merdude, who won’t appear until Mighty Mutanimals #7. This makes Boss Salvage’s claim that Kingfish is the last of his kind a little hard to swallow.

*Some time between this and next issue, the events of TMNT Adventures Special #1 and TMNT Adventures Special #2 occur.

*This issue was published in the UK by Fleetway in TMHT Adventures #47.


Review:

Doug Brammer who? That’s right, for the first time in a very long time, an issue of TMNT Adventures is not written by Dean Clarrain (Steve Murphy). Doubtful you’d even notice, though, as this issue lays the environmental preaching on just as thick as anything Clarrain would have written.

With the Slash Trilogy having tied up some loose ends and ending most of the ongoing storylines, TMNT Adventures was in position for a nice break, which in comic book terms, means a standalone filler issue. Rather than getting anything fun, we receive the usual soapbox finger-wagging about litter and pollution, making for a pretty dull experience. Wasted potential, indeed.

On the other hand, however, Brammer’s approach to the environmental message is a little different than Clarrain's. Clarrain’s preaching was typically doom-laden stuff, telling the children of the world that there is no hope for the Earth and that we are all going to drown in our own oil spills. Brammer personifies that opinion in Boss Salvage, who is promptly told to shut the Hell up by T’Pau, as humans are doing more now to combat pollution than ever before and that there’s plenty of hope for the Earth. That was mildly entertaining, unfortunately, it is immediately followed by everybody crowding together and shouting with righteous joy that they can save the Earth through recycling and highway litter patrol.

Laaaaaaaaame.

The art’s nice, though! Ken Mitchroney returns for this issue, as well as the next. His art’s just as fun as ever, with lots of little touches, like Raph flicking Mike on the head whenever he acts stupid. Still, this issue is just a case of good art complimenting a bad story.

The back-up story feels a bit too disjoined from the previous installment, like we missed something between the two. Nothing much happens, either. Garrett Ho takes up art duties from Chris Allan and fills in nicely. The fact that the story takes place in an empty room, however, makes the adventure bland due to lack of backgrounds of any kind (almost all the panels feature nothing but solid colors with a ring of shadow around them). While it advances the April solo story, it really isn’t very exciting.

Grade (main story): F (as in “For the love of God, I get the message already! You can stop preaching now!”)

Grade (back-up story): D (as in “Dude, c’mon. One ninja against Splinter and April is supposed to be a cliffhanger?”)

 

1 comment:

OldManWinters said...

Welcome back to the TMNT beat, Dr. Spengs!