COMIC BOOK REVIEW: TURTLES IN TIME / AUTHOR: PAUL ALLOR, ERIK BURNHAM / ARTIST: ROSS CAMPBELL, CHARLES PAUL WILSON III, BEN BATES, DAN DUNCAN / PUBLISHER: IDW / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 2ND
IDW’s reimagining of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been quite impressive so far. Given the volume and variety of material produced in the ‘90’s, IDW have taken on the mammoth task of rebooting the whole thing whilst keeping as many cool ideas (from as many different sources) as possible.
Turtles in Time is perhaps the primary example of IDW’s approach to this sort of remixing. This anthology of sorts loosely hangs around Renet, the time manipulating sorceress who appeared in the original comic strip, who ushered in the famous crossover with Cererbus the Aardvark, and who is reimagined here. Her unreliable powers hurl the Turtles into the prehistoric past, we’re we get a thoroughly kid-friendly story of baby dinosaurs and incompetent alien invaders. It features some nice foreshadowing for the broader series as a whole and sets-up the premise nicely. Next up is a trip to medieval Japan, which is both a nice homage to the third Turtles movie and a nifty way of recapping various elements of IDW’s take on the TMNT mythos. The book rounds off with a fun little pirate story (itself a reference to Mirage Comics’ later work) and a quick trip to the far future (clearly inspired by the Archie Comics version of the characters). Each short tale is tight and consistent, the only weak tale being the linking narrative, which doesn’t really have room to develop.
The art is variable throughout, each story featuring a different artist. We get a soft and gentle approach for the first tale, a more medieval and stylised approach for the samurai story, and so on. This can be a little jarring, as the various styles are quite different, but each artist suits each individual story so well that this seems a minor gripe at best.
This is a light, fun read that also works as a quick introduction to IDW’s take on the heroes-in-a half-shell. If you’ve recently caught the nostalgia bug, or you just need something to reignite your love for TMNT after seeing the recent movie, this may very well be what you need.
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