A conclusion of the CLASSIC TMNT work by Eastman & Laird. By “classic” I mean stuff that I can proudly recommend to other people.
1986 TMNT #9 story by Eastman and Laird, pencils by Michael Dooney, inks by Mirage Studios guys
I first read this issue when I was 11 and it was years later before I even realized Eastman and Laird didn’t pencil it. They were the primary inkers on it, though, and I guess that shows the power an inker wields. Anyway, the Turtles infiltrate a penthouse full of machine gun ninjas to restore honor to some old-ass Japanese family.
1986/1987 Leonardo #1 and TMNT #10 story by Eastman and Laird, inks by Mirage Studios guys
Another Christmas story – even though a year could NOT have passed by in the continuity since the last one. Anyway, Leonardo gets fucked up by the Foot, who then invade April’s building with Shredder and cause a ruckus. Casey returns, as well, but the Foot are too hot to handle. The good guys all escape to rural Massachussets. This was all adapted for the first movie.
1987 TMNT #11 story and art by Eastman and Laird
This whole issue is basically April’s journal. Leonardo slowly recovers. Donatello and Casey try to repair old trucks, Raph becomes an animalistic hunter guy. This was issue was adapted in the first movie, as well.
1987 TMNT #12 story and art by Peter Laird
I guess after 3 years Eastman and Laird secretly hated each other and they decided to do issues individually. It was during this time that Laird selected Jim Lawson to be his BFF and sidekick for life and Eastman chose Eric Talbot to be his bff and sidekick for the next 6 years or so. So this was Laird’s first solo issue in which the Turtles fight some fairly dangerous poachers in the Massachussets woods.
1988 TMNT #15 story and pencils by Laird, inks by Jim Lawson
A retired super villain comes out of retirement so the super hero team that used to fight him comes out of retirement, as well. It’s kind of clever cuz they’re all in their 60s/70s. Also kinda cheesy. The TMNT basically just happen to be there.
1989 TMNT #19, 20, 21 story by Eastman and Laird, pencils by Lawson, inks by Eastman, Laird, Talbot
These three issues make up the “Return to New York” storyline. After several issues of kicking it in Massachussets our heroes decide to return to New York to settle accounts with Shredder. For many TMNT fans, probably including me, this is the ULTIMATE. There’s very little character development or humor, just 120 pages of gritty, hardcore action. The Turtles and a triceraton named Zog infiltrate the Foot’s new facility and a whole lot of people die graphically. They encounter the badass Elite Guard and learn that Shredder was brought back to life via some ninja hocus pocus that involves worms feeding on his remains. Then they get to fight 3 monsters that were the initial, failed attemptsto revive Shredder. Finally, Leo fights Shredder one on one. Shredder is beheaded and his corpse cremated. No talking, no celebrating, the end. One of the more hardcore and impersonal comics I’ve read. The series probably could have ended at this point. For Eastman and Laird, it pretty much did.
1990 TMNT The Movie adaptation by Eastman and Laird, pencils by Lawson, inks by Eastman, Laird and Talbot
They were too busy to make new comics but they could do the adaptation of the movie? Okay. It turns out very well, actually, with the same look as Return to New York. They crammed a SHITLOAD of panels on each page to make it all fit into 64 pages.
1992 TMNT #50 story and art by Eastman and Laird
The last classic TMNT work by Eastman and Laird. They dragged their asses out of their mansions to create this wordless issue, which launched a boring 13-issue storyline they didn’t even draw. This issue lacks the boredom, though, and is pretty tense due to its silence.
- Mirage Classics Part 3: TMNT comics by Eastman & friends
- Mirage Classics 4: TMNT short story collections
- Mirage Studios Miscellanea Part 1: Non-TMNT Publications
- Mirage Studios TMNT sequence and honest appraisal