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Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #13
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Cashmere Smoking Jacket   |  
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #13

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #13
Story by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Script by Tom Waltz
Art by Andy Kuhn
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Letters by Shawn Lee
Covers by Andy Kuhn, Kevin Eastman, and Valerio Schiti
IDW Publishing
Release Date: August 22, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

For those who have been following this latest incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the series is likely a revelation. When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license was sold to Nickelodeon, there was a lot of consternation and wringing of hands among comics fans that the new series would be another cash-in aimed at children. Of course there’s still pleasure in seeing the characters you have grown with once again, but writers Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz have created something much closer to the original version, with enough tweaks that the series feels fresh and exciting enough to surprise you.

A lot of this work shows up in the turtles themselves. Their quirks — Donatello as the science geek, Leonardo the rigid leader, Raphael the hothead, Michelangelo the carefree bro — aren’t played up as such, but actually inform how each sees the world. They bicker and argue, not just for the sake of it, but because they disagree over how to handle a situation. Never before have they felt so distinct from each other and so fully realized as characters. When, for example, the turtles are presented with their own uniquely-colored masks, there’s a satisfying justification for it that helps build the themes of the story, and the differentiation feels earned. Elements like these are what makes the series fresh and familiar, and is the difference between reinterpretation and cash-in. Alright, sorry for gushing, now let’s get on to issue 13.

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Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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TMNT 7Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7
Story by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Script by Tom Waltz
Art by Dan Duncan
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Letters by Shawn Lee
Covers by Dan Duncan, Kevin Eastman & Mark Torres
IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 22nd, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

My greatest fear for this book finally hit this issue, but on the whole, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7 was surprisingly the best issue of the series so far! By a long shot!!

While I’m a huge fan of the Turtles, I’m not a fan of their science fiction stories. I’m a fan of them, on Earth, in the sewers, fighting ninjas. Every time they’ve lapsed over into “Turtles in Space” I have immediately lost interest completely. So, you can understand my disappointment when this issue opens in space, with a sci-fi battle. But, writer Tom Waltz quickly turned my worst fears into one of the COOLEST plot points (that I will NOT spoil here) so far in this book.

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Comic Review: Atomic Robo and The Ghost of Station X #5 (of 5)
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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Atomic Robo and The Ghost of Station X #5Atomic Robo and The Ghost of Station X #5 (of 5)
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Letters by Jeff Powell
Red 5 Comics
Released February 8, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

One of the amazing things about Atomic Robo is the way each story arc has managed to tell its own kind of tale. We’ve had war stories, pulp adventure stories, and horror stories. With Atomic Robo and The Ghost of Station X, we get a full-fledged mystery, and with issue #5, we finally learn who has been behind the various problems that have been besetting Robo for the previous four issues. What we learn is surprising and a little heart breaking, and is just another example of why this is such a great series and why it should be on everyone’s reading list.

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Comics Review: Atomic Robo Vol. 4 #1
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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Atomic Robo, Vol. 4 #1Atomic Robo: Revenge of the Vampire Dimension #1 (of 4)
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Letters by Jeff Powell
Red 5 Comics
Price: $3.50
Release date: February 17, 2010

For three years now, Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener have been presenting us with the ongoing adventures of Atomic Robo and his fighting scientist. They’ve given us stories of giant Nazi killing machines, walking pyramids, and monsters from beyond all time and space. I’ve read this series since the beginning, and I have to say that this is the best issue of the series yet.

The mix of comedy and action has been this series strong suit from the beginning, and it remains one of the best things about this series, but artist Scott Wegener has really improved since the first series and maybe this is just the first time I really appreciated that fact. He has become a master at laying out the panels on the page in the best way to tell the joke. The layout of each page is very simple; four or five panels each page, but the images that he chooses for each page work perfectly. The storytelling is rock solid, and everything about the art makes this comic work.

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Comic Review: Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time #2
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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Atomic Robo: Shadow from Beyond Time 2Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time #2
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Red 5 Comics
Release date: June 3, 2009

First off, how can you NOT love a comic called Atomic Robo and the Shadow Beyond Time? Everything you need to know about this comic is sitting right there in the title. It’s got robots, horror, and just the right about of humor. Of course, the book itself is pretty good too, which is a good thing because people generally buy a comic for more than just its title.

This is the third mini in the Atomic Robo series, and from the first two issues, I’m enjoying it even more than I did the first two. In this one, we follow Atomic Robo in 1920’s New York as he has to stop a Lovecraftian monster who has taken over the body of the actual H.P. Lovecraft. And that’s not even the craziest of the ideas in this issue. Brian Clevinger continues to make this a supremely fun comic. It’s filled with a lot of humor, but I wouldn’t really describe it as a humor book. It’s an adventure book, and Clevinger always keeps the action at the forefront. This issue in particular has a great balance between action and comedy, as Robo has a great conversation with Nikola Tesla while taking on the monster. The other nice thing about this series is that you never know what kind of story is going to be told. Each series has told a different kind of story, yet the central character keeps the whole thing together.

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Comic Review: Atomic Robo, Vol. 2: Dogs of War
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Lawrence of Omicron Persei 8   |  
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Atomic Robo, Vol. 2 #1Atomic Robo
Vol. 2: Dogs of War
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener
Colors by Ronda Pattison
Letters by Jeff Powell
Red 5 Comics
Available now

In its amazing release in October of 2007, Atomic Robo is back and he has come bearing a fatty of a war epic! Taking on Nazis, giant insects, and crazed destructive machines, there is nothing that can bring down the wise cracking robot, Atomic Robo. Creators Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener take what was great with the first volume and continue with an enticing and amusing storyline. Atomic Robo: Dogs of War – Part One doesn’t skip a beat. Our hero is pushed right into the heat of a proverbial death ray of action.

In case you didn’t catch the first series (which I highly recommend), the story follows along in a historical fiction aspect. In 1923, the Austrian inventor, Nikola Tesla, was nearing the end of his career when he unveiled a marvelous creation. A robot with automatic intelligence, deemed Atomic Robo. AR was granted American citizenship in return that he becomes the major combatant to a 1938 top secret military utilization. Tesladyne is the name of the organization, headed by AR and handful action scientists that are the go-to folks for abnormal enemy activity.

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