Publication date: Fall, 1993
*This story is continued from “Yo-Ho-Ho! And a Bottle of Mutagen!”.
*I would place the prologue of this story, from the perspective of the future-Turtles, as being after the events of TMNT Adventures #44 but before TMNT Adventures #49.
I have a hard time accurately gauging my feelings about this story. You see, were this an episode of the Fred Wolf TMNT cartoon (and it would have fit in perfectly during the European Tour arc of season 7), I’d have brushed it off as just another dull, plotless installment like 75% of the show. It really isn’t very special on the surface.
However, this isn’t an episode of the Fred Wolf cartoon, this is an issue of TMNT Adventures. And an issue of TMNT Adventures featuring the Shredder and Krang working together to menace the Turtles is actually a freakin’ rarity.
You see, by TMNT Adventures #13, the Shredder and Krang had severed their alliance and actually became adversaries for one story arc a little while later. As a matter of fact, Krang was practically a non-entity in this series. Not only are appearances by him uncommon, but appearances where he actually gets his hands dirty and enters the fray are even less frequent.
With that in mind, “Doomsday Hassle in Banshee Castle” is actually one of the few TMNT Adventures Special stories of note. Most of the installments in these Specials are meaningless and have no reflection on the ongoing series; basically, you can skip the Specials and never miss a beat. Most of them aren’t even worth tracking down unless you’re actively looking for a good story; and there weren’t many of those in these things. But the fact that this issue gives us a “Shredder and Krang vs. the Turtles” story makes it worth picking up above other Specials.
Again, it doesn’t sound like much on the surface, but once you’ve read TMNT Adventures all the way through, you’ll find yourself appreciating any appearance by Krang regardless of how inane it might be.
Despite basically being a MacGuffin Hunt of a plot, “Doomsday Hassle in Banshee Castle” gives us some background history on both April and Krang, which is a nice bit of character-building. I’ll honestly take a peek into April’s Scottish roots over the utter nonsense that was churned out in the May East Saga miniseries. As for Krang, it’s interesting to know that he visited Earth before, centuries ago. Why he didn’t conquer it then, I have no idea, but one can surmise that his brief visit to Earth’s orbit while chasing the Plutonian warlord was what put our planet on his short list of worlds to conquer. You know, whenever he gets around to it.
And in what I’m sure is a total coincidence, the origin and powers of the Sword of Destiny are strikingly similar to those of the Sword of Tengu featured in the 4Kids TMNT series.
The prologue sounds random in summary format, but actually complements the goofiness of this story (which takes place way earlier in the book’s timeline than where the ongoing was at). There seemed to be a nostalgia for the carefree days of old going on at the time and this very typical “Krang and Shredder fight the Turtles over a doomsday weapon and lose in a hilarious fashion” certainly feels… “classic”. John Gentile’s script is even dotted with Fourth Wall gags, ala the Fred Wolf cartoon and early days of the TMNT Adventures comic.
Michael Gaydos’s art seemed less refined than his usual output, which is disappointing as he’s one of my favorite infrequent series artists. It definitely doesn’t come close to matching his efforts on the Merdude miniseries.
Anyway, the story-itself is rather ho-hum, and where it slots into the narrative timeline of TMNT Adventures can be a bit problematic/disruptive. Despite that, it’s always fun to see a Shredder/Krang story in this book, and you just didn’t get that many of them.
Grade: C (as in, “Could perhaps someday we actually learn about April’s IRISH heritage for a change? That’d be a twist”.)