New Issues: TMNT #2 & Static Shock #1

American comics are weird.

On one side, you have your Garfields and Foxtrots which for the most part try to keep their series as episodic as possible to attract casual readers—makes sense, considering the media it’s made available. On the other side, you have your Supermans and Spider-Mans which for the most part keep their series as overarching story-centric as possible to maintain a core audience. For years, this has been a problem with American comics. The fact that you have to do more than just a quick Wikipedia check to figure out just what Universe a series covers and what that means in terms of differences in character traits and backgrounds is more than just a little daunting.

That said I’ve actually been grateful for the reboots a number of series have been getting. Sure, it’s yet another Universe to keep in mind, but at the least people have a new starting point to get into things, not having to worry about “oh, well sure it’s issue 667, but it’s a good starting point if you haven’t read any stuff prior” and just focusing on “yes, this is issue 1 and I can say without a doubt that it will be followed by an issue 2 (unless it gets canned or has some kind of other series tie-in, but whatever).”

While this makes things significantly easier for newbies, that’s not to say that comic-geezers aren’t allowed on any of the fun, either. Sure, it’s a new Universe for your favorite character, but that just makes things that much more fun. Comparisons to older incarnations are always expected and I’m pretty sure authors keep this in mind, changing things up, but still making things familiar enough to please all audiences. I’m sure bigger and better sites out there have hit up the more mainstream titles, so bear with me as we deviate slightly from that path and enter the musings of casual reader that may or may not keep up-to-date on the latest issues out.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Issue 2

Yeah, issue 1’s been sold out every time I checked, so for the time being I just dove into things relying on Josh’s posts to keep me caught up.

This isn’t exactly my first post mentioning the turtles, and I’m sure it won’t be my last. The four terrapins and their rat sensei being exposed to a mysterious green ooze have been a part of American pop culture for so long that a reboot should have been expected at this point.

Getting into the reboot, we’ve got things like a new mutated cat character to serve as Splinter’s foil, a younger but not too young Casey and April and Raphael wandering the streets with a lost memory. Also, I’m sure the oldest-school Turtles fanboys out there were elated to find each turtle having a red bandana. That’s gonna take a while to get used to. Enough new things to keep you guessing, but enough familiar to cozy up the reading experience—will definitely keep up with.

Static Shock: Issue 1

Yeah, didn’t feel like whipping out the extra buck for Ultimate Spider-Man 2, so figured I’d take a chance on an old friend.

I always felt like Static was one of those heroes who ended up getting more popular than creators expected. That said, really glad he’s been included in DC’s “New 52” lineup. I was always curious about his comic equivalent but never had the means or patience to hunt down any back issues. Even now it’s pretty difficult to look into the original comic’s run, so my comparisons will be coming from the TV series.

This issue one was so-so. You’re exposed to what seems to be a futuristic New York with high schooler Virgil and his complete family of both parents and not one, but two sisters having been recently moved from Dakota. Some nonsense is going down with STAR Labs, and it looks like Static’s buddied up with some kind of full-bodied Zordon to figure out what’s going down.

I felt like too many changes were introduced too soon in this case. For one, just how many superhero series can take place in New York? The reason I liked the cartoon series was because it was able to take the superhero formula and show that it could work just as well outside of a tourist-spottable area, which also allowed it to get into grittier topics like gang violence without it coming off as too cliché. And while I’m glad at the completeness of Virgil’s family, the whole inclusion of his mother this time around kinda removes a significant amount of possible drama. Also, while I wasn’t too keen on the design for the sister in the TV series (pigtails on anyone past puberty just seems pervy), I was slightly disappointed at the redesign of the dad.

Does the family even know about his secret identity? From the looks of things, Static’s been around since before they moved (with the better white mask, buhtwuh). And with the author going out of his way to mention that both his parents went to college, you’d think one of them would figure that Static’s been following their family around since he is part of their family. Then again, Static was able to go all the way to Africa with his family and still have them not know any better in the TV series. As for the inclusion of another sister, the jury’s still out on that.

I’ll keep up with it in hopes that at the least Meta-Humans and Gear will show up sooner than later.


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