Publication date: August 17, 1991
Story and art: Uncreditted
In a temporary base, the Shredder orders Bebop and Rocksteady to use their initiative to defeat the Turtles and then leaves them to it. Brilliant. The two mutants spot a leftover can of mutagen and decide to dump it into the sewers and poison the Turtles. Brilliant. The Turtles spot Bebop and Rocksteady coming and successfully beat them up, driving them away. Little do they know, the mutants have left the open can of mutagen behind in the sewers.
Out in space, a fleet of alien transport crafts are passing by the Earth. One of them loses control of their steering and bumps into the other. The ship containing eggs for a breeding program is pierced and one of the eggs is sucked out into space. It lands in New York (protected from impact by its hard carbonite shell) and rolls down the same storm drain that the Turtles fell through when they were babies. It plops into the open can of mutagen and begins to grow.
Hearing the commotion, the Turtles investigate and find the egg hatching. From within emerges a giant baby dragon. It's sweet, but wild, and soon storms into the streets above. By coincidence, it finds the warehouse Shredder was using as a temporary base and destroys the Foot Clan's operations there. Looking over the base, Donatello finds a can of anti-mutagen and hatches a scheme.
Luring the baby dragon with some pizza, Donatello sprays it with the anti-mutagen, reverting it back to the tiny baby dragon it was supposed to be. A ray then blasts down from the sky and beams the dragon back onto the transport ship. The Turtles figure its for the best, as New York just isn't ready for dragons yet. In fact, they're barely ready for turtles!
*This issue is continued from TMHT Poster Mag #3. This is the last issue of the series.
*The poster in this issue was of Splinter.
I've come to the conclusion that kids bought these poster mags more so for the posters than the mags. These comics haven't exactly been Fleetway's best output, if you can quantify a "best output" for the publisher, and seem more like a skimpy bonus to go along with the poster you taped to your wall.
Of the poster mag comics, I think I liked this one the most. The story is hectic and full of conveniences, but the bright artwork has a cartooniness that the darker, over-inked art from other issues lacked. The characters also seem to be drawn more congruous with their actual animation models, whereas the other Fleetway artists were still using Michael Dooney's models from the original Archie miniseries as their point of reference.
One of the weirdest things about this issue is that the narration makes a point to illustrate that the sewer grate the dragon egg falls through is the same grate the Turtles fell through as babies.
It seemed like some sort of laborious poetic symmetry that was way out of line for a comic like this, but it actually kinda sorta makes sense if you think about it way too hard.
So in the Fred Wolf/Archie/Playmates origin, the grate the Turtles fell through led to where Hamato Yoshi was living at the time. The Shredder, in an attempt to kill Yoshi, poured mutagen through that same grate, covering the baby turtles.
Bebop and Rocksteady essentially try to copy Shredder's original failed scheme, but not knowing where the secret sewer lair is (discounting all those times in the Fleetway comic where they do know), they attempt to dump the mutagen down the one place where they know it had hit the Turtles in the past: That particular sewer grate.
None of this really makes sense if you spend an extra second on it, as Shredder dumping mutagen in the sewer to kill Hamato Yoshi was always one of those weird parts of the Fred Wolf origin that barely held together (How did he know Yoshi was down there? Why didn't he just attack him in person? Why did he pour mutagen of all things on him instead of, I dunno, napalm?). Still, it's the only reason I can think for the writer to have put that bit of happenstance in the script.
And besides all of that, I enjoyed the comic for this lone panel:
The Fleetway Turtles can be real dicks.