Sunday, June 4, 2017

Muck Amok, Part One

Originally published in: TMNT Amazing Adventures #11
Publication date: June 29, 2016

Story: Caleb Goellner
Art: Chad Thomas
Ink assist: Penelope Gaylord
Colors: Heather Breckel
Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow
Publisher: Ted Adams

"Muck Amok, Part One"


At Foot Clan HQ, Shredder is furious that Baxter Stockman hasn't delivered on the super weapon he promised to build, but also that his laboratory is a total mess.  Shredder orders Baxter to build the weapon, but first clean the place up.  Trying to combine the directives, Baxter rebuilds the heads of his Mouser robots into Trash-bots programmed to seek and devour all garbage.  Upon activation, they immediately smash through the wall and disappear into the city.

Down in the lair, the Turtles watch another newscast about the city's newest superhero: Muckman!  As Joan Grody interviews Muckman, the Turtles are more put off by their friend's egotistical boasts than his hideous appearance.  Suddenly, the interview is crashed by the Trash-bots and the feed goes dead.  The Turtles board the Shellraiser and head into action.

In the alley, the news crew flees as Muckman stomps the Trash-bots.  Joe Eyeball tries to play conscience, warning his friend not to get too carried away with his own celebrity and become overconfident.  Muckman brushes Joe's advice off, only to be swarmed by Trash-bots.  He tries to fend them off with a trash storm, but the whirlwind only causes the Trash-bots to become fused to him.  Now a seemingly mindless cyborg, "Muckmech" flies off into the sky, leaving Joe behind.  Tracking him, Baxter sees how powerful Muckmech is and figures he can use him to overthrow the Shredder.

The Turtles arrive on the scene too late and get a status update from Joe.  Donatello postulates that Muckmech is likely heading for the city dump and the Turtles give chase...

Turtle Tips:

*This story is continued from TMNT Amazing Adventures #10.  The story continues in "Muck Amok, Part Two."

*Muckman first appeared in the Nickelodeon TMNT season 3 episode, "The Noxious Avenger".

*The title to this storyline, "Muck Amok", does not appear in either this or next issue.  I got it from the solicitations (and I assume it appears in the trade paperback collection).


Almost a year late with this review, but hey, at least I'm getting to it.  As I've said in the past, Amazing Adventures is far from a bad comic and my tardiness with these reviews doesn't stem from disgust.  They're just... They don't have a hook, okay?  There's no urgency to read each issue.  I put them on my To Do pile and it takes me a year to even remember that they're there.

Moving on, this next two-parter stars Muckman!  Alright!  Back when I reviewed the episode of the 1987 TMNT cartoon that introduced Muckman, I confessed that I love the character without any good reason.  I think it was because I wanted his toy as a kid, but never got it, so I was always pining for him.  I dunno.  But I like the guy.  Sue me.

The Nickelodeon TMNT cartoon went full Toxic Avenger when they revamped him for the series, and so far as some of their revamps are concerned, very little was changed in Muckman.  While I missed the Honeymooners parody that classic Muckman and Joe Eyeball had, rebooting Joe as Muckman's Jiminy Cricket-style "conscience" was a pretty funny twist.  Now, exactly how his powers fucking work, I don't really know, but whatever.  A joint Toxic Avenger/Pinocchio parody is just the sort of thing I need in my life.

"Muck Amok" isn't perhaps the most cerebral TMNT tale, but at least unlike that last arc with the (Punk) Frogs, it actually features characters I like.  The gimmick of Muckman being transformed into Muckmech was the stupid sort of thing I expect out of a toy-driven comic book series, even if there's no Muckmech toy (get on it, Playmates).  You can at least tell that Goellner's having a good time.

But as you can tell, even when Amazing Adventures is showcasing characters I have an inexplicable affinity for, the best it can manage to rise to is a conservative chuckle.  Great art from Chad Thomas is the highlight, but after 10 issues even that isn't enough to get me to browse this thing for a year.