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Tales of the TMNT #51 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good
Story Title: Night of the Living Gingerbread

Transported to a different time & land, the TMNT face zombies, werewolves, and a dragon with a new friend as they seek a way to return home.

talesofthetmnt051Script/Art: Dan Berger
Tones: L. Jamal Walton
Letters: Eric Talbot
Cover: Dan Berger and Steve Lavigne
Frontispiece: Michael Dooney
Editor in Chief: Peter Laird
Managing Editor: Dan Berger
Design: Eric Talbot
Publisher: Mirage Publishing

Shadow–Casey Jones’ adopted daughter–has put two of the turtles to sleep insisting each of them, in turn, read to her a bedtime story. Tired after three times through the story, Mikey decides to regale her with a tale of an experience he and his brothers once had.

Ever-annoying timestress Renet shows up, wanting to show off her new clothes to the turtles–clothes that go with the new time scepter she’s got. Inexperienced as she is and against the turtles’ warning, Renet time/space-teleports them to some far-off land…the turtles find themselves alone, and definitely NOT home.

They rescue a squishy fellow named Gutwallow from some zombies attacking him, and then strike out (alone, having been left behind by Gutwallow) to see if a Chronomancer might be able to return them to their own homes. The turtles encounter other monsters on their journey, and eventually learn that it’s up to them to rescue Renet, in order that the timestress can return all of them to their proper time/place.

The story presented here seems fairly simplistic–nothing particularly deep. Of course, this is a single-issue story, not something dragged across 6+ issues, and so takes us as readers across the main steps of the story without delving into half-issue side-stories and drawn-out conversations between characters. We simply have a story of the turtles in an unfamiliar landscape, battling zombies, werewolves, dragons, and magic, with a bit of time-travel thrown in for good measure.

The art is some of my favorite–I really like this depiction of the turtles. They have a distinct appearance that isn’t quite any of the animated versions, nor the oldest, classic iterations. I’m reminded very much of the TMNT Adventures series, which made this all the more enjoyable, even if that resemblance is just in my head.

This tale is just in time for Halloween, too, and avoids undue seriousness. I’m not sure if this is quite something to hand to the youngest of kids, but it’s certainly no “adult” comic.

As with most other issues of the title, it’s a stand-alone: you really don’t need to have read the previous issues, nor are you committed into buying future issues. There’s no “To Be Continued” here. Sometimes I’d enjoy a more serialized ongoing story for the turtles–but the way this book is handled, I’ve gotten used to and do enjoy the one-issue tales from all throughout core turtles history, as well as all the different visual takes on the characters.

Very much recommended for any TMNT fan, but especially for anyone who doesn’t mind that an issue is not part of some larger event or saga, but is just an episode from within the overall TMNT timeline.


Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

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