Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (#0) – Matthew K. Manning

3 out of 5

Well, here we go again.  After two animated Turtles IDW comic attempts, members of the same creative team bring us the version to match with the latest TMNT cartoon iteration.  Why a zero issue?  I have no idea.  Maybe the same reason Nick dropped four episodes of the cartoon early, which is enough to mostly confirm something to me: that I don’t like it.  IDW has already broken ground by producing the first Turtles universe / comic that I’ve dropped, and now it looks like Nickelodeon will be making the first in-motion version that I won’t be watching.

And this comic is very much a representation of what I’ve seen.  It recasts the Turtles as ninja goofballs, removes any sense of stakes or consequence, rescrambles their personalities and weapons, and has them speak in memes.  If I don’t like the show, I don’t like this comic, but I accept that it is a faithful representation (thus far), so I can’t really fault it for capturing something of which I don’t expect to be a fan.

I do like that IDW has stuck to a full-length tale (their first animated books did split issues, which rendered the strips into mostly gag strips), and, as with the show, one plus is that we’re starting pretty much already in the middle of things with no set up, so the boys have just discovered their mystic weapons and get in to some training hijinks with them.  You also brought over quality peeps from before, especially the art team of Chad Thomas and Heather Breckel, who bring colorful pop and great comedic / animated timing to the page.  Matthew Manning ne’er breaks laugh-out-loud barriers with his scripts, but he keeps things moving without being too cheesy or forced.

If the comic ever decided to actually build a narrative, I might give it a chance, but I suspect it’s going to have to stick to the same nonsense parameters the show is likely operating within.  Quality creatives doing a good job at what they’re “supposed” to be doing, and if that’s your thing…  …Yeah.