Wow! It’s been a while. The last installment of Grown Man Reads Kids Comics was way back in April for the Free Comic Book Day Edition. But fear not lovely readers, I promise you that this column has not and will never be forgotten! This column goes out to childish adults everywhere, now let’s talk Turtles.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures is the spiritual successor to the previously concluded TMNT: New Animated Adventures, both of which followed the Nickelodeon version of TMNT that is currently on television. The style of Amazing Adventures is very similar to it’s predecessor but also incredibly different. Both feature multiple stories inside each issue but, unlike it’s predecessor, right from the get-go Amazing Adventures thrives with continuity in its first issue, whereas the New Animated Adventures was self-contained stories until near the end of its run.
The lead story has the Turtles investigating an appearance of their friend Doctor Cluckingsworth, who is a chicken with a giant brain. The Turtles never expected Cluckingsworth to return to their home turf of New York City following their last encounter, but when they do finally meet up with him and try to talk, they suddenly black out. When the Turtles regain consciousness they catch a conversation between the Doctor, who doesn’t seem quite like himself, and a mysterious figure whose only identifiable feature is a zodiac mark on their shoe. After returning to their lair and explaining what just happened to their Master Splinter, they elect to head back to the scene to look for clues but are instead greeted by the evil Shredder and Pigeon Pete, who have recently had mutants disappear from their clutches. Splinter and Shredder quickly become well aware of who the true culprit is, deducing that it is in fact “The Zodiac”, a goat creature who collects animals of the Chinese Zodiac to do his bidding. It is then revealed that the only animal Zodiac is missing to complete his set is the rat, so our heroes are left to fight off the Zodiac and protect their master, with Shredder becoming an unusual ally.
The second story, which appears to be written and drawn by an eight year old (hopefully on purpose) shows the turtles trying to stop a volcano in New York. Yup. A volcano in the sewers… moving on!
Obviously, I didn’t enjoy the second story due to the childish writing and art but hey, kids would probably love it! Spoiler alert: Toilets stop the volcano. What’s not to love if you’re a child! But if you’re an adult you’re hoping for a little more substance then you’ll be happy to know that the lead story was well conceived, I’m not as up on the Nickelodeon series as I should be but it’s nice to see new characters introduced (for me anyway) with the Zodiac. It should also be fun to watch the TMNT and Shredder actually team-up next issue because, although they both fought the Zodiac in this one, they did so separately without helping each other. I also really like that this issue gives you something to look forward, like any good first issue should do. It also hopefully sells more issues this way since the kids will keep coming back to see the conclusion.
Overall if you enjoy the Turtles, you’ll enjoy this book, if you have a small child or know one that would enjoy the action packed-comedy stylings of the Turtles you’d be amiss not to pick this book up. For myself, I’m going to give it a couple more issues before making a determination one way or the other as Turtles comics in general appeal to me enough to not make snap judgments but I’m really hoping the back-up material improves.