Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles re-imagined

There have been two TMNT stories on the net which caught my eye recently. The first was IO9's hilariously scathing review of the horribly misjudged musical version of the mutant quartet's exploits. The other was the tale of the effects student's project which was erroneously cited as evidence that Michael "Transformers" Bay was re-booting the reptiles (see the photo at the foot of this post).

I thought the Turtles were pretty awesome when I was about nine. Their bat-shit-mental genetic mix-up was fresh and spawned a whole slew of imitations, including Biker Mice From Mars and Samurai Pizza Cats. I still appreciate the surreal nature of the universe but the cartoon element rather puts me off. "If only someone could do a more sober and mature version," I thought. And then I discovered Michael Zulli's three-part Souls series.

Zulli's vision is a dark and surreal journey into the minds of deviant outcasts. The heroes' reptile nature means they must hibernate, Splinter is a vicious rodent and Shredder a thoroughly terrifying incarnation of ancient Japanese evil. Some images are below but you can see more here. I managed to pick up a complete set of the three-part run from ebay US and it's one of my favourite things. Mainly because nobody shouts "cowabunga".

Eric Z's Turtle head which sparked the rumor that the series was to be re-booted.
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1 comment:

  1. I actually own those issues. They were some of the better ones (in terms of art and story) they put out shortly before the entire series went completely to shit.

    Of course, back then TMNT was all underground and alternative, more so because it was entirely black-and-white, and dark and gritty as hell.

    Oh mainstream, you kill everything that's good....