The Heroes in a Half-Shell are back and this updated take on the Ninja Turtles combines a bit of the original series with the cartoon series that brings something new to readers.

Story: Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Layouts: Kevin Eastman
Artist: Dan Duncan
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Editor: Scott Dunbier
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Forget everything you knew before. This is all new…


For fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you probably fall into one of two categories; those that love the Cowabunga Dude, pizza eating comedians of the ‘80s cartoon series, or those that love the black and white gritty comic book from the ‘80s. The good news is this first issue is a mixture of both, so it shouldn’t put too many people off.

Here, readers get a mixture of fighting, backstory, and sorrow over the loss of one of their own. While the turtles do get to mix it up with another gang, something in quartets past has caused Raphael to leave the group to find his own way. And during Raphel’s wanderings, we get to see references to the pizza eating dudes from the cartoon series, which is done very well, and should bring a chuckles to the reader’s face.

We also get to see the introduction of several supporting cast members including April O’Neil and Casey Jones. For Casey’s introduction, it deals with parental abuse, as Raphael breaks up the beating at the conclusion of the issue. April’s is a bit different, and changes the nature of the history of the characters. In this issue, we meet April as a research assistant at a bio-lab. While we don’t know if she is an undercover reporter, or a real scientist, we do get to see her interacting with several of the lab’s animals – namely four turtles and a rat, whom all get their names by the time the flashback moments end.

There is no Shredder in this issue, and we don’t get to see the animals transform into masters of the martial arts, we are introduced to the first villain, Krang, who only appears as a disembodied voice on the phone. I don’t know if this is to hide the fact that he is/might be an alien, or because it is more fun to have a villain similar to SPECTRE or MAD. In either case, I’m not too worried about the big bad, as TMNT has always been more about the character development of the turtles as they find their place in the world over constant fighting.


Those expecting classic Eastman and Laird art are going to be disappointed in this first issue. While the art is fine, and Eastman did layout the issue, there’s something that feels off about the art. The composition and layout are fine, and the turtles look like turtles who are waling on their hind-legs and kung-fu fighting, but it just doesn’t look like the TMNT books from ages ago. When you boil it down, that’s okay too, as this is a different creative team, telling a different story.

I think the one thing that makes everything feel off is that this issue is in color. Originally, the issues were black and white, and I was hoping this series could have been in that same style. The water color wash that appears to have been used on the panels not really something i like in my comic book art, but that is my personal taste and may not be how everyone else feels.


This isn’t the worst Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book I’ve ever read. As a new series, with a new take on old characters, this story has a bit of everything and it works rather well. There is plenty of setup, and while no real reveals are made, it’s enough to bring me back for another couple of issues. If you like the Turtles franchise, or are looking for something different to pick up, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 is worth checking out, and earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★½☆



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. The Great NateO on

    Now I never read the old TMNT comics but did watch the TV show, all 3 movies and the newer animated TMNT move. I saw that this was coming out, thanks to Major Spoilers, and picked it up last week.

    So now I think that this is the first time I did pick up a comic and read it before Major Spoilers reviewed it, I thought I give a shot at a review of my own.

    I not a real reviewer, but I will try and play one on this web site.

    Turtle Power
    This did open up in a great way with a fight and them kicking butt. Noticed right away one was missing. The narration of Splinter throughout the fight was cool. I enjoyed the new introduction of the main characters. I’m hoping that April’s role in not the news reporter, which never worked for me. The references to the old school TMNT made me laugh a lot. The book is a great hook; it moved great but the last few pages went by too fast

    Are we Green?
    The art for me was so, so. The Turtles, splinter and Old Hob were great, but the humans were not very consistent in the way that looked. The coloring was good but the background has a little too much green for my taste. Not sure if that was what they were going for.

    Judgment of Greatness
    This is a must have if you are a TMNT fan, I got all four covers that have the guys on it. It makes a great wide shot of them in the sewer. I will be getting the next few issues; the story line is good and would like to see the new take on how they become Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This gets 3 out of 5 Levels of Greatness.

  2. I’d love to get my hands on this, but I won’t be able to swing by a comic shop til October and I don’t have the spare cash to order anything online. While I did get my first taste of TMNT with the cartoons and movies, I did eventually read the other comics (including the very short cameo by one of the Turtles in Pre-Teen Dirty Gene Kung Fu Kangaroos because my older brother happened to have a copy). Thanks to things like DC’s Multiverse, I actually was able to read both the regular and Archie comics and considered them to be alternate timelines (which apparently is how some of it is considered now, as Cuddley the Cowlick of the Archie Comics TMNT universe apparently appeared in a Mirage TMNT comic in 2009 not as a re-version, but as his Archie TMNT universe self).

  3. On the off chance that you bought a ticket to this film by mistake, I would advice that leave as soon as the cheap poorly executed plot takes off and crashes. I hope and pray they don’t make any more of this $hit. Really is the one of the worst films i have seen.

    From watching this I would have to say the the writers and obviously the director has no respect for the source material, they definitely should seek another trade as mockery is headed there way. At least we have something to torture the terrorists with that the UN “might” find acceptable.

    I went and asked for my money back and I got it, I am not the kind of guy that complains. apparently I was not the first person to receive a refund that day. I stayed till the end in the hope it got better I was a fool.

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