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Rediscovering a favorite story in TMNT Ultimate Collection vol. 2

tmntultcollection002My copy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Collection vol. 2 arrived today.

I think the main reason I placed the order the other day was discovering the TPB of the first TMNT arc from IDW seems to be out of print, and I did NOT want to have to chase this book from the OOP-booksellers online. It also helped that I got to look at a copy of the book at a comic shop on Free Comic Book Day.

But the reason I’m posting…I’m fascinated at my own reaction to this. After I got it out of the box and bubble wrap and such (yeah, the book came in bubble-wrap!) I flipped through, wholly intending to set it aside and continue about my evening. But I had to take a closer look at a couple of the annotations, and before I knew it I was reading the annotations pages (notes from co-creators Eastman AND Laird about the individual issues), reading parts of several of the issues, and just thoroughly enjoying re-immersing myself in these issues.

tmntfirstbookivAnd at least for present, as of this typing…I have to say that several of my absolute favorite TMNT issues are #1, and the Leonardo one-shot and TMNT #s 10-11. The first issue obviously introduces the characters, and especially as a kid it was interesting to read the first appearance of these characters (now as an adult I appreciate so much of what Eastman and Laird did in that issue and the initial concept of the characters!).

The 3-part story from Leonardo #1 and TMNT #10-11 (The “return” of Shredder) has long stood out to me. I first read the story as a kid, in the First graphic novel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Book IV in color with quite an iconic cover. I even have a framed copy of the art from a TMNT calendar I had as a kid) on the wall in my living room.

tmntbookivframedartLater in college, I think that was the only TMNT book the university library had (at least in its general collection for checking out), so I read it several more times through the years. That story also was heavily used in the 1990 live-action film (though there, it was Raphael who got beat up by the Foot instead of Leonardo).

When I was in grad school, I made a point of tracking down the single issues for this arc, and again enjoyed the story.

And now here again I’ve enjoyed it, and even look forward to its re-presentation in single issues in the TMNT Color Classics series.

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