Teenage Mutant Turtles Adventures Collected Edition Volume 1 reprints two stories from the comic book series that followed the animated cartoon series. Being an original Turtles fan, I never liked these Turtles, and reading these collected versions reminded me why.
Four Mutant Ninja Turtles trained to be the very best martial artist, using sais, katanas, nunchaku, and bo staff to trip, hit, and fowl up any wrong doing, but never in a violent or deadly way. The artwork is done in the style of Archie Comics’ cartoonish, bright colors, and over-exaggerated detail. Reminding myself that this is a story written for children and not adults, I take it for what it is – far-fetched story lines (way beyond Mutant Ninja Turtles) with very cartoonish action scenes. Also included are Ninja Turtles, who are more concerned with playing video games and eating pizza with weird toppings. The word “Cowabunga” is in overabundance and comes across like nails on a chalk board.
The first story “The Return of Shredder” sees Shredder sent back from Dimension X by Krang. He is sent without help or assistance, tasked with ending the Turtles. His only gift from Krang is a communication device with which to insult and chide Shredder as he fails in his task. The story also brings in April’s boss, Mr. Thompson, a TV News Editor who claims the Turtles are “A Menace to Society” (a familiar plot line from another popular vigilante hero). The Turtles are framed for crimes by thugs, dressed as Turtles by Shredder, and they must clear their names. Also featured is the return of Baxter Stockman, inventor of the Mousers, who Shredder brings into the fold as his only ally in his battles. Baxter is a great villain and one of the most memorable foes in any Turtle universe, but here he’s is reduced to a bumbling scientist that decides a construction vehicle is now the next greatest weapon.
The second story, “The Incredible Shrinking Turtles,” joins the Turtles as they train, stumbling upon a crashed alien craft and given an item of power (more stolen plot lines). Shredder, over-hearing this, follows the Turtles and steals part of an artifact from them. Using the artifact, the Turtles are shrunk to the size of mice. The remainder of the story follows April and Splinter trying to find Shredder and return the Turtles back to normal size. They are cured in the nick of time to foil Shredder’s plans. It is reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons, but in the worst way with weak, predictable plot lines and just plain nonsense. If you want your five year old to be a Turtle fan, then this is the book for them. For the adults, skip it and keep to the originals.