Turtles in Time
Paul Allor (W)
Erik Burnham (W)
Ross Campbell (A)
Turtles in Time #1 is everything that turtle fans adore about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: action-packed fight scenes, sassy Turtle one-liners, and dinosaur punching. The first issue of the mini-series wastes no time throwing the Turtles and readers alike into an ancient earth scene populated with stampeding dinosaurs and interdimensional aliens, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
While the dinosaur punching and the one-liners are easily the most exciting features of this book, it’s a different element that piqued my interest. In this issue, Renet, a time-traveling being from another dimension, makes contact with the Turtles, making this her first appearance in the TMNT universe since 2010. In comparison to some of the other Turtles franchises, the IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics have been consistently working to develop complex, compelling female characters; I can’t wait to see how Renet develops throughout Turtles in Time and in the rest of the current Turtles titles.
It’s clear from the first issue of Turtles In Time that Renet has an integral role to play in this arc. Despite the brevity of her appearance, it is evident that she is pulling strings in the Turtles’ time travels. Since TMNT has a history of relegating female characters to be damsels in distress, Mary Sues, and disposable characters to be “fridged” for the development of more centralized male characters, it’s refreshing to see a female character as a driving force in the plot.
While Renet could have been used to deliver an infamous (and alas, all too familiar) info-dump, the plot of Turtles in Time has still only been alluded to. When Renet vanishes as quickly as she appears, the Turtles are only left wondering just how they have come to be where, and more importantly, when they are. Writer Paul Allor is weaving a tale stretching across space and time that is equal parts campy and compelling, drawing the Turtles out of their ever iconic New York City and into the unknown. Artist Ross Campbell has crafted Ninja Turtles that are synchronously punky and sweet, seamlessly incorporating to his distinctive style and the personality of the designs for the Turtles in the ongoing 2012 Nickelodeon show. Campbell is one of my favorite artists in comics, and has been for the last decade. Any time he gets to work on any Turtles title I am thrilled; not only because I love his work, but because he is a huge Turtles fan himself. I can’t wait to see where this creative team takes this title.
In summation: the Turtles are thrown back in time, they fight dinosaurs, we get to see Renet again, and the Turtles narrowly escape being drafted into the legions of squishy pink overlords from Dimension X. Also, Raph gets a pet baby dinosaur. What more could you want out of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book?