Tag Archives: Leonardo

Bye Bye Mirage?

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-smash-up-20090408112817101

I wrote about the Ninja Turtles stuff going on, in regards to Mirage Studios, at examiner.com; check it out:

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-27333-Des-Moines-Graphic-Novels-Examiner~y2009m10d26-Nick-Buys-Turtles-Will-Comics-Suffer

G.

-AO- Mirage Classics Part 2: TMNT Comics by Eastman & Laird 2 of 2

A conclusion of the CLASSIC TMNT work by Eastman & Laird. By “classic” I mean stuff that I can proudly recommend to other people.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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1988 TMNT #14 story and pencils by Eastman, inks by Eastman and Eric Talbot
The Turtles go into town and get mixed up in a bizarre gangster story involving a golden calf. Okay.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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-AO- Mirage Classics Part I: TMNT Comics by Eastman & Laird 1 of 2

So, these are the CLASSIC issues of TMNT that were created primarily by Eastman and/or Laird. You may or may not be surprised by how few isues they actually did, considering how famous they are for it.  The criteria for this list is, “Can I recommend this to other people?”

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1984 TMNT #1 story and art by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird
First issue evarrrrrr, so naturally it introduces the TMNT and Splinter, who tells them to go kill this guy Shredder. They fight a bunch of Foot Clan ninja and then fight Shredder on a rooftop. This whole sequence was adapted for the end of the first TMNT movie, but in the comic the Turtles are able to kill shredder without any help from Splinter.

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1984 TMNT #2 story and art by Eastman & Laird
Introduces April O’Neil, Baxter Stockman, and the Mousers (never seen again in the comics).  In the comics, April is a computer programmer, not a reporter.  When the Turtles return home to tell Splinter about their adventure with the mousers, they find that he’s been kidnapped omg! The whole “Splinter is missing” thing also made it into the first movie.

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1985 TMNT #3 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Introduces jack shit. The Turtles drive around with April looking for splinter until they’re all mistaken for some armed robbers and drive around like wussies instead of killin’ cops!

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1985 Raphael #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Raph gets antsy and leaves the sewer to search for Splinter. If you’ve seen the first movie, you’ll be familiar with the following sequence: Raph interferes with a dangerous, hockey mask-wearing vigilante named Casey Jones, resulting in a vicious street fight.

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1985/1986 TMNT #4, 5, 6, 7 and Fugitoid #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Apparently, way back in 1986, some people felt the series jumped the shark at this point.  These issues combine to tell a rather epic story that begins with a run-in with remnants of the Foot Clan, which results in a chance spotting of the building owned by TCRI, the same company whose logo appears on the cannister that mutated the Toitles.  They infiltrate the building and find that it’s filled with Utroms, the alien race that inspired the villain Krang on the kids TV show.  There’s a melee and the Turtles are teleported far, far away.  They meet up with a fugitive robot, the Fugitoid, who possesses valuable information that the Triceraton aliens want.  They’re captured and there’s a really sweet gladiatorial sequence during which the Turtles kill some badasses.  Then they fight their way out, get back to earth, learn that the Utroms are friendly and have Splinter (they rescued him from the Mousers) and all ends well.  Yay.

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1985 Michaelangelo #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Yay, a Christmas issue!  As an old man, these are the kinds of stories that I really like, as they show the Turtles doing fairly normal things and not just fighting werewolves or aliens or whatever.  Basically, some thieves steal a truck full of the latest must-have Christmas toy.  Michaelangelo chases them down and then delivers the toys to an orphanage.

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1986 Donatello #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
The all-out homage to Jack Kirby.  Donatello discovers that April’s new tenant (she rents out a room, apparently), a dude named Kirby, just HAPPENS to have a magical crystal that he attaches to his pencil that makes his drawings come to life. 

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1986 TMNT #8 story and art by Eastman, Laird and Dave Sim
The TMNT team up for the first time, this time with Dave Sim’s Cerebus.  They meet a time lord chick named Renet, go back in time, meet Cerebus, fight a goat guy named Savanti Romero and then end up in April’s shower.  Eventually, Dave Sim informed Mirage that the issue had been reprinted too many times and denied them permission to ever reprint it.  Mirage also offered to produce a Cerebus action figure as part of the TMNT toy line but he said nope!

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