Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Frogs of War - Part Two


Publication date: May 25, 2016
Originally published in: TMNT Amazing Adventures #10

Story: Matthew K. Manning
Art: Chad Thomas
Colors: Heather Breckel
Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow
Publisher: Ted Adams

"The Frogs of War - Part Two"

Summary:

In the alley, the Turtles, Casey and Napoleon try to fend off the army of frog tribe warriors attacking them.  Fishface appears and points to Casey, telling the frogs that his presence is proof that Napoleon and the Turtles are traitors working for humans.  Overwhelmed, Leonardo tells Napoleon to use his tongue to knock over a nearby water tower.  He does, and the Turtles, Casey and Napoleon escape in the confusion.


Later, Donatello goes over Napoleon's story about how Fishface kidnapped all the frogs in Louisiana.  He deduces that Fishface only kidnapped Attilla, Genghis and Rasputin, then told all the other frogs that humans had kidnapped them in order to get the frog tribe on his side.  They decide that the only way they'll get the frogs to think straight again is to expose Fishface's treachery.

Splitting into two groups, the Turtles infiltrate Foot Clan HQ.  Michelangelo, Donatello and Napoleon sneak into the throne room while Leonardo, Raphael and Casey go on a "special" mission.  Donnie, Mikey and Napoleon are soon attacked by Fishface and the frogs, but before they can close in, the other team shows up with their "special" cargo: Baxter Stockman!


The frogs immediately try to eat the giant mutant fly and the distraction gives Napoleon time to uncage the frog tribe leaders.  Casey knocks out Fishface and the leaders calm their warriors down.


Later, in Louisiana, Atilla thanks the Turtles for their help and promises to work on controlling the anti-human prejudice of their tribe.  In fact, they single out Casey for special thanks as an example of a human that's on their side.  As Mikey and Napoleon say goodbye, Casey and Raph apologize to Donnie for all the bad puns they'd been making throughout the whole adventure (they'd been doing that, by the way).  Donnie is ready to accept their apology until Casey makes another bad pun.  Donatello then considers staying behind with the frogs.


Turtle Tips:

*This story is continued from "The Frogs of War - Part One".

*Atilla, Genghis and Rasputin last appeared in the season 3 episode, "The Croaking".


Review:

Well, yeah, I don't like the whole "Napoleon Dynamite" thing, but I'll try to focus on what I DID enjoy about this story.  And that's the presence of the mutant frogs as antagonists to the Turtles.

So the old cartoon originally introduced the Punk Frogs as misguided villains under the command of the Shredder.  By the end of their first episode, they switched to allies of the Turtles and continued in that capacity for the rest of the series.

The Nick cartoon did sort of the same thing.  The frog tribe was introduced as xenophobic isolationists, distrustful of humans and those who are friends with humans, and fought the Turtles.  By the end of the episode, they'd seen the error of their ways and became allies.  So the same thing all over again, essentially.

This story tries to momentarily revive the frogs as enemies of the Turtles, which is something I'd always wanted to see go on longer than one episode in any incarnation.  Again, it was another case of misunderstanding and all that, and we only see the generic tribal warriors as their foes and not the named frogs, but it was something.

And hey, we finally got to see how the (punk) frogs would react upon seeing Baxter-fly.  If you ever played with your TMNT action figures back in the day and had either Genghis or Napoleon trying to eat Baxter, your childhood fantasy has come to life.

I dunno.  Of all the two-parters I've read in Amazing Adventures so far, I'd say this was the worst.  Even setting aside my annoyance with the one-shot "Napoleon Dynamite" gag, the script was more annoying than usual (it doesn't matter if you acknowledge the puns in the end, they were still a dumb running joke).  Much of it seemed lazy, too, with convenient staging.  So the frog leaders are kept in a cage next to the throne room and the only thing hiding them from the frog warriors is a tarp?  Like, couldn't Atilla and all them have just yelled?  Way to think that one through, Fishface.

And jeez, it's just getting easier and easier for the Turtles to sneak into Foot HQ, isn't it?

I love Chad Thomas' art and he's always the saving grace on this book when you come up against a bad script.  I've never brought it up before, but I like the way he draws Casey with his mask on.  He goes for silly over spooky, but the effect winds up looking funny (in a good way).

But enjoyable art aside, I really didn't dig "The Frogs of War" at all.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

IDW hasn't gotten to the Punk Frogs yet. Maybe if they're ever introduced there, they'll stay as adversaries to the Turtles for a while instead of immediately turning good like in the original show and Nick.

The Punk Frogs always had tons of potential to be used as serious fighters, with their unique weapons and abilities...but so far it seems like no writers have really been capable of using them too effectively.

Anonymous said...

As nearly all mutants in the IDW continuity are lab experiments, the only way to put the Punk Frogs in IDW (aside from as a byproduct of the spill that created Leatherhead), is as a prototype/emulation of the Turtles themselves, likely making them hybrids with the FF Dark Turtles. Fill in your own project leader.