Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Works Volume 1 - Peter Alan Laird
Genre:  Action / Ninjas / Animals / Superheroes


Year Published: 2013


Year Read:  3/29/2014

Publisher: IDW Comics




Series: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics: The Works #1
Ninja Turtles














Now, I have been a huge “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” fan ever since the 1980s animated series came out and I just had to check out every reincarnation of my favorite four turtles on television no matter what!  So, when I heard about Mirage Comics’ original dark and gritty version of the turtles, I was a little skeptical about it since the 1980s animated series had pretty much cemented my opinion on what the turtles should be like (well, at least until the 2003 animated version came out, which was actually closer to the original Mirage Comics).  So, imagine my surprise when I found out that IDW comics was putting out the original Mirage Comics version of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” into a hardback collection and I was lucky enough to pick it up!




What is this story about?




This collection contains the first seven issues including the one shot “Raphael Micro-Series,” of the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series written and illustrated by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.  In this collection, we find out the back story about how the four turtles (Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello) got mutated and what caused their mutation, see them go face to face with the threatening Shredder, meet up with April O’Neil and Casey Jones and end up facing the Triceratons!




What I loved about this story:




Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s writing: Wow! This graphic novel was just so ASTONISHING to read!  Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s writing was just fantastic in this graphic novel as all the characters were interesting and intense to read!  I loved the way that Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird really developed each character, especially Raphael as they explore Raphael’s massive problems with his temper and how he tries to control his temper, especially in his one shot story where he meets up with Casey Jones.  I also loved the fact that we actually learn about both the turtles and Master Splinter’s background histories as I really wanted to know how the turtles and Splinter were mutated in the first place and how Master Splinter was able to learn the ways of the ninja through his former owner, Hamato Yoshi.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by the fact that I loved the dark and gritty tone of this graphic novel since I grew up with the 1980s animated series, which was much lighter and softer in tone.  Since I have always loved seeing different interpretations of my favorite stories (as long as they are written well), I did not have a problem with the dark and gritty tone of this graphic novel and I just loved the complex storytelling that was going on in this collection.




The artwork:  Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s artwork was beyond fantastic and vibrant as all the characters really stood out in this collection.  I especially loved the fact that IDW comics decided to give out the colorized version of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original work on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” as they were originally in black and white colorings.  It made the artwork stand out even more and the action scenes, such as various explosions and the turtles slicing their foes with their weapons, even more intense!  I was actually quite surprised to see that the turtles had the same colored bandanas (all of them are red in this case) in this collection since I was so used to seeing them having different colored bandanas that would help us tell them apart (such as Michelangelo having an orange bandana, Leonardo having a blue bandana, Donatello having a purple bandana and Raphael having a red bandana)  and I will admit that I got a little confused about which turtle was which and I had to go by the weapons that they are using to tell them apart from each other.  I also loved how dark and gritty the artwork was as they usually show the turtles looking so menacing whenever they fight the bad guys and I really loved that edgy feeling I get from the artwork!
Ninja Turtles




What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:




For anyone who had grown up watching the original 1980s animated series, you might be a bit put off by how dark and gritty this series is.  To be honest, I was not really shocked at how dark and gritty this collection was since I was already told by other “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” fans that there were comic books made about the turtles before the 1980s animated series came out and they were much darker and edgier than what we saw in the 1980s animated series.  To add to that, this collections contains some blood, especially with the Ninja turtles cutting through their enemies with their weapons and some language, such as uttering the “d” word and the “a” word a couple of times.




Final Thoughts:




Overall, if you are trying to find Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original work on the fantastic “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise, then you just hit the jackpot with this collection called “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics: The Works Volume One!”  Fans of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” can rejoice at finding the original work in all its former glory in this collection!


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog