Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures #1

Written By: Kenny Byerly
Art By: Dario Brizuela

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures #1 isn’t out to win you over with the TMNT concept. There is no reference to the character’ origins, unique abilities or classic antagonists. This series is purely for existing fans of the franchise, and speaking as one myself, the debut issue does not draw me into the series.

April O’Neill is introduced first, as a trainee under Splinter and the Turtles. She’s a logical choice, as an accessible gateway into their situation, but is used only as an excuse for the Turtles to launch her into a stealth mission to obtain a Diode Module for training. Donatello takes on the role of mentoring April, and makes an uncomfortable romantic slip in front of her. This small, Donatello/April focus mission feels as though it would fit better in a later issue.

Besides the story beat of the government agents chasing them down, no sufficient reasoning for obtaining the Diode Module is given, and the situation is quickly resolved by Michaelangelo stumbling upon it. The character’s off-the-wall ignorance is used only as a device for nonsensically solving the plot.

While the issue’s central conflict feels forced and unnecessary, having April rationalize that she should tell the interrogator that she is a spy was a nice touch of impulse, reflecting the character’s inexperience.

Brizuela’s art is much different from the animated series, but manages to capture the cartoony look of the series. My only qualm about the art is the way Brizuela draws Donatello’s face. The sizing of the eyes is off, and the choice to maintain the tooth gap detracts from the character’s “smart” demeanour.

This issue could have really benefitted from a close focus on each of the Turtles, outlining why they’re unique, and establishing their dynamic. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures #1 could have used more of the zany “Laser Pizza Slicer” moments that really define the Turtles, instead of throwing them into an unsuitable situation.

Score: 5.8/10