Three comic book reviews: Pull List #17 ('MLP' and 'TMNT')
It’s another IDW sweep, with two Micro-Series issues (Pinkie Pie and Old Hob are featured this time around), and another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue. Ben Bates returns; he’s the artist behind the aforementioned Pinkie Pie story, despite the fact that I pointed him out as a positive in earlier issue of TMNT. His art, however, makes a cameo in the TMNT issue; but more on that when we get to it. First, let’s see what Pinkie Pie’s up to, shall we?
Normally I finish with whatever art comments I make (and I usually don’t make a lot of those), but since I’ve already talked about the artist, I might as well start there this time around. Bates is right at home in funny animal comics; besides TMNT, he’s also done Sonic the Hedgehog. Here, he’s a bit tied down by the fact that Pinkie Pie has to look like Pinkie Pie, after all; his backgrounds are also a bit simplistic, and could use more detail.
The story revolves around Pinkie Pie winning a contest by drinking 315 bottle of Colta Cola (no wonder she’s always wiggling around like she’s in desperate need of a bathroom on the show) to win a ticket with backstage passes to the great clown Ponyacci’s show. It turns out, however, Ponyacci is on the verge of retirement; Pinkie Pie is completely upset by this turn of events.
There are a couple of solid jokes in this issue; Pinkie talking to her Ponyacci doll is so in character, I can hear Andrea Libman’s voice while reading it. Twilight Sparkle plays straight mare for Pinkie; ironically, when Pinkie only wins two tickets, she doesn’t angst about it like Twilight does in a similar situation. Finally, it’s nice to see clowns and clown dolls played so straight (well, you know what I mean); we live in a world where vampires are protagonists for children’s cartoons, but there are not one, but two horror franchises based around killers who take the guise of dolls with playful catchphrases. Pinkie Pie knows what I’m talking about.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #23
Let’s start with art again, because that’s where this issue excels. The opening pages are designed to mirror Casey Jones trip to the hospital with Leonardo’s captivity with the Foot clan. It’s a neat trick; okay, so it’s not “Fearful Symmetry” from Watchmen, but it’s still pretty cool.
The next art trick is cooler, though; as Kitsune uses her powers to brainwash an unconscious Leo, we see his dreams; the entire run of the comics is redone, with Splinter as the villain and Shredder as the hero. The really cool thing is that each of the former artists who originally drew these storylines return to draw the warped versions. Can’t believe I’m so excited to see Andy Kuhn back.
That’s pretty much the story of this issue; Casey in the hospital, Leo being brainwashed, with one addition; Old Hob has contacted the other turtles, with possible information about where Leonardo is being held. Which provides a perfect segue into the final comic for this Pull List …
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Villain Micro-Series #3 – Old Hob
This story is mostly told in flashback; the device used by writer Jason Ciaramella is Old Hob telling Slash his story as they wait for their introduction in issue #23. Hob doesn’t want Slash’s sympathy, he tells him. He just wants Slash to understand where he’s coming from.
Hob isn’t exactly a big fan of humans; he was thrown out into the snow after being a pet to a small boy who was a bit forgetful about his kitty litter chores. It’s a pretty old story; furries have seen this one before, hundreds of times. Except, this time, instead of learning to trust and love again and finally reuniting with another, kinder owner, Hob attacked some odd turtles, and became a cat man. The human who takes him ends up being Baxter Stockman; Old Hob didn’t exactly end up any better in that case, what with being shot and all. It’s a standard origin story; the only real twist is that it’s supervillain and lost pet at the same time.
Dave Wachter is on art; his Old Hob is maybe a little too human most of the time, but the muted color palette (along with the narrative device) imparts an odd noirish feel to the proceedings.