The Quarter Bin

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics #2

Posted by David Goodman On June - 13 - 2012

I distinctly remember the first time I was exposed to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My best friend and I were in a used book store with his Dad that happened to sell comic books. My friend asked if they had any issues of TMNT and lo and behold, they did. He ended up buying issues 2, 4, and 5 for a truckload of money, and we both wasted the rest of the day reading them. After that, I was hooked. Big time.

Shortly thereafter, everyone and their brother discovered the Turtles, and the black-and-white comic explosion happened. Then the cartoon came out, and everyone and their brother and sister were into them. But for me, it was always about those original issues by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. Now, IDW has begun re-releasing those early classics with all-new coloring as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics. All I have to say is, “Look at the colors man, the colors.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics #2
Story, Art and Cover by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird

I have always told people all you need to have the perfect Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reading experience are those first eleven issues of the original series. They had everything; great scripts, artwork that was full of life and above all, they were just a blast to read. Issue #2 is a perfect example. It introduces April O’Neil and the infamous Mousers to the series, and the book is just as good today as it was when I first read it when it was first published (yes, I’m that old). The only quirk back then was that the book was in black and white, which didn’t seem that big a deal. Turns out we didn’t know what we were missing.

Ironically, this isn’t the first time someone has tried to color the original TMNT comics. First Comics did a pretty admirable job when they released the first eleven issues (and four micro-series) in a series of four graphic novels, but those books have been out of print for ages. This time around, Tom Smith’s Scorpion Studios is handling the coloring chores, and I have to say, it’s like reading them for the first time.

The colors just explode off the page, giving the story a whole new dimension, while retaining the gritty art style of Eastman and Laird. Honestly, you would never know these were originally done in black and white. That is how good a job they have done. As a matter of fact, the coloring is so good that I may hold off buying the black and white hardcover books, and wait to see the color collections.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics is the perfect way for new fans to experience the original comics that made the book famous. Plus, they get to see the best artists who ever worked on the Turtles with the added benefit of glorious color. Makes me a bit jealous.

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