Sunday, July 3, 2016

TMHT Poster Mag #3

Publication date: July 6, 1991

Story and art: Uncredited


Down in the lair, the Turtles are engaging in an argument over who April likes best.  Meanwhile, on a rooftop, the Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady are engaging in Operation: Helicopter Heist.  This involves stealing a helicopter from a tour group.

The Shredder flies the chopper above an armored car and Rocksteady blasts a hole in it with his rifle.  They lower Bebop down with a winch and he pilfers bags of cash.  Just then, April flies by in the Channel 6 news copter and begins pursuing the villains, broadcasting their heist live.

The Turtles, catching the report on the news, deploy to stop the Shredder.  Unfortunately, the Turtle Blimp is still punctured and the Turtle Van is being serviced.  With no alternatives, they call for a cab and tell the driver to follow that chopper.

Seeing the Turtles, April tells her pilot, Marty, to land and get out.  The Turtles get into the chopper and continue the pursuit of the Shredder.  Rocksteady tries to shoot them down, but Leonardo throws one of his swords and wrecks their rotor blades.  The Foot crash into the torch of the Statue of Liberty and their bags of loot go tumbling into the bay.  The Turtles recover the cash to return to the bank, leaving the villains stranded on the statue in the rain all night long.

Back at the lair, April tells the Turtles that she likes them all equally.  Bummer.

Turtle Tips:

*This issue is continued from TMHT Poster Mag #2.  The series concludes in TMHT Poster Mag #4.

*The poster in this issue was of Bebop & Rocksteady.


Doesn't a bank heist seem beneath the Shredder?  I mean, I know that even in the Fred Wolf universe, the Foot Clan started out as a petty criminal organization (after the Shredder took over, anyway), but by the time he'd hooked up with Krang I thought he'd put that kinda stuff behind him.  There's a brief line where Bebop says they can use the cash to buy new Footbots, but what are they doing BUYING the parts for new Footbots, anyway?  Shouldn't they be stealing those instead of money?  This is just adding an extra step to the process they don't need.

Oh whatever.  No one was at their most dignified during the Fleetway comics.  Then there's the ending, which hinges on the writer/artist not knowing that there's an access stairway to the torch of Lady Liberty that the bad guys could've used to get down.  There seemed to be a number of misunderstandings in this story.

I can at least say that I appreciate that this issue contains no gorilla costumes.  It must have taken some serious restraint on Fleetway's part to make that happen.


BulletTooth504 said...

Are Raph and Donnie playing with Leo's...uh, nipples?

Killer Moth said...

"Doesn't a bank heist seem beneath the Shredder?"

Perhaps, but then again, there's the scene in Nick's "Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady" where Krang and 80's Shredder just produced actual bags of cash to entice Nick Bebop and Rocksteady to work for them. It's one of my favorite scenes from that, as a lovely deconstruction of the "Shredder never paid us" running gag throughout both series.

That said, Mark raises a valid point, as the Shredder generally tries to raise the stakes in whatever he does, but I've often wondered "how much money would it take to pay for the Shredder's entire operation, when stealing sometimes isn't an option" and similar questions. As a result, I'm not too bothered by this premise vs. other ones Fleetway presented.

"There's a brief line where Bebop says they can use the cash to buy new Footbots, but what are they doing BUYING the parts for new Footbots, anyway? Shouldn't they be stealing those instead of money? This is just adding an extra step to the process they don't need."

It's kinda reminiscent of the scene where IDW Bebop and Rocksteady break into an ATM machine to steal money..., in order to pay for breakfast. Completely unintentional coincidence between the two, sure, but has that vibe.

"Back at the lair, April tells the Turtles that she likes them all equally. Bummer."

Don't tell the shippers, even if Leo being the one that started the tangent in the first page is kinda cute. I normally don't ship April with any of the Turtles, but if pressed, eh, I'd probably say "Leo."

"I can at least say that I appreciate that this issue contains no gorilla costumes. It must have taken some serious restraint on Fleetway's part to make that happen."

Indeed. However, Charlie, that rocking out bank guard, kinda made up for that, IMO. Feels like something the Fred Wolf series might have done.

Nice review, as usual. Can't wait for the next Fleetway one.

Anonymous said...

Someone got scan of these Poster mag?

Adam Winters said...

I think Killer Moth probably as the right idea that Shredder and Krang do use currency on occasion to pay (or "Pay off" people), most notably their semi-employees Bebop and Rocksteady. I'm assuming, Baxter Stockman got paid initially too.

By the way, the UK comics and other books really played up all four Turtles having an explicit unreciprocated crush on April. At times, it could come across as creepy.

Chet said...

This cover was reused across Europe for regional versions of the TMNT Archie comics, named Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Adventures over there. In the circle they placed an image of the Turtles riding a sea turtle (I think by Steve Lavigne?), which oddly wasn't related to that particular story. Then again, neither was this front cover page, but it's interesting to see local distributors of the Achie comics used artwork and stories from the Fleetway series to fill out the pages.

Adam Winters said...

Thanks for that tidbit, Chet! I'll have to pay attention to see if I can find such a variant! I'm curious if they changed the text bubbles in addition to the circle panel. The Fleetway style seemed to be the foundation of just about all the European TMNT covers with the exception of Italy, which really did its own thing.

Chet said...

Hi Adam!

Here's the cover they used in The Netherlands with the image from the Fleetway poster mag cover (TMHT no. 32):

As you my see, my description from memory (25 years after the fact) wasn't accurate, as they use a panel of the Ninja Turtles comic strip in the circle (they sometimes featured these too!). The speech bubbles from the Fleetway poster mag are absent. These issues didn't usually feature posters, but ironically, this one does: a movie 3 poster of Leonardo in samurai armor (dating this thing to the summer of 1993).

The image of the Turtles riding a sea turtle was actually featured on TMHT no. 27, which featured generic vintage Ninja Turtles artwork:

For some reason, Michelangelo was covered up by the sea turtle image. Perhaps because of the nunchucks controversy in the UK and Germany back in the day?

The EU printings of TMNTA might be a bit confusing to most people familiar with the official US print run. Firstly, the three issue miniseries was part of the main series, published by Semic Junior Press, a Swedish company that also released Marvel and DC comics. They dropped the Adventures part from the title, swapped the word Ninja for Hero and published sixty issues in total, with a handful of specials (three that I know of),and an adaptation of the third movie. It appears most of the main US stories where published in Europe, but the comics had more pages and the Slash trilogy (for example) was published in its entirety as a special issue.

Back-up stories included material from Fleetway (with completely different looking artwork and contradictory, non-canon stories), the Turtles' US news paper comic strips, and even a few Usagi Yojimbo stories. It seems they just took whatever they needed to fill out the pages, but the bonus content was always pretty cool for what it was. I mean, Usagi Yojimbo! That may have been the only mainstream publication of the ronin rabbit's saga in European print media.

The covers were a variety of original TMNTA covers, Fleetway comics covers, promotional artwork, and whatever they could find, even if it didn't have anything to do with the actual content (like the cover art for Radical Rescue on the Gameboy). Sometimes these comics came packaged with stickers (Turtles-related, if you were lucky), sew-on patches, etc., and there were always contests to win cool Turtles toys.

Chet said...

Footnote to my previous entry:

Semic Press was the Swedish company that compiled much of the Turtles' comics for (at least several) European countries. Junior Press was the Benelux licensee of the Turtles comics, but both company names would regularly appear on the covers and in the indicia as Semic Junior Press, despite being two separate companies.

Also, most DC titles up to the mid-1990s would be published in The Netherlands and Belgium under Junior Press' imprint Baldakijn Boeken, whose logo on Batman and Superman books looked exactly like the DC logo. The longest continuously running comic for Junior Press was X-Men, while most Spider-Man and Batman story lines would be printed in abridged versions, to streamline the expansive continuity in a single book for a rather small market.

Adam Winters said...

Thanks for all the info, Chet!