Turtles 2030 (#1, fan comic) – Jim Lawson

5 out of 5

This was a surprise addition to a crowdfunded reprint / printing of Jim’s Box City Wallops strip: a ‘fan comic,’ i.e. no-affilition-with-Viacom / Nick,-just-doin’-it-for-kicks-but-we-know-Jim-Lawson-IS-a-huge-part-of-TMNT-so-let’s-secretly-count-it-as-canon.  Titled Turtles 2030, this would seem to be an extension of Peter Laird’s volume 4 (I think, it’s been a while), and would also seem to be a jump to the future, as suggested by the title, just so we’re not at risk of infringing on any potential plans for the 2020s.

The book is very much in Jim’s current day, limber style, with lots of angled word balloons and great eye direction from panel to panel, and just instantly sinks us back in to the Turtles’ world.  I do think that’s one of the unique / exciting / great things about the way the title has grown across its many variations: it’s somehow not confusing like Marvel or DC lore; regardless of which “version” you’re in, it’s easy to sink back into it but also feel like you’re stepping into a full world of characters.  For 2030, Mikey and Donnie are a crime fighting duo streetside; Casey Jones is a cop; Shadow seems to be a criminal; Raph is underground, running some kinda camp for outcasts; Leo is hangin’ out at the lair, meditating.  A chase on the surface and a scuffle with mutant cockroaches beneath the surface brings all the boys together for – surprise – a ‘part one’ tag, which gives hope for a part two.  But even if we don’t get it, this is a fun slice of story that, again, drops us right back to feeling at “home” with the boys, and yes, my TMNT bias shows in rating it highly, but I love Lawson, and I love that he put this together, and there’s just a sense of fun fueling it that makes it a joy, I’d think, for any fan to read.