Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things Issue #1 Review

TMNT x Stranger Things cover

Hawkins in the Half Shell!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things is a 4-issue miniseries bringing together two beloved franchises. I’m a big fan of TMNT and I love Stranger Things; this comic seems like the perfect team-up. This isn’t the first crossover for the two franchises, there was a toy-line introduced last year featuring the double pack with one Ninja Turtle and one Stranger Things character

I’ve been reading Ninja Turtle comics since I first discovered them back in 1986. When I heard about this crossover I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. The miniseries starts with the kids from Hawkins on a school trip to the Big Apple, New York City. The first panel reads New York City, 1985. It appears the crossover takes place before the events of Stranger Things Season 3, but it’s not entirely clear.

Synopsis:
Eleven, Max, Dustin, Mike, Will, and Lucas are looking forward to a nonthreatening, fun-filled trip to New York City. With the gang hundreds of miles from the otherworldly weirdness of their hometown, they’re sure to catch a break this time…or at least that’s what they think until they encounter a threat both bizarre and familiar. To face that threat, they must unite with a fearsome fighting team every bit as bizarre…but green!

Relative newcomer, Cameron Chittock (I could only find one other writing credit for him) takes on the writing duties for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things. Chittock does a good job capturing the essence of the characters from both franchises and brings out the unique personalities of the Ninja Turtles and the Hawkins gang from Stranger Things.

The plot of the first issue is simple and engaging, setting the stage for the rest of the miniseries. The kids miss their train and discover demodogs in the New York City subway tunnels. While they investigate they run into the Ninja Turtles fighting the demodogs.

While any normal kid would be freaked out seeing the Ninja Turtles the kids from Hawkins have seen so many strange things it barely phases them. After the battle with the demodogs, the kids accompnay the Ninja Turtles back to their lair, meet Splinter and the epic team-up begins.

The artwork in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things is a throwback to the original TMNT comics. Artist Fero Pe does an excellent job drawing the Ninja Turtles in the style of Eastman and Larid. Pe is a talented artist who worked on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics for IDW.

The art style was done on purpose to give the comic a retro feel as if it was originally drawn in the 1980s. One thing you’ll notice right away is the Turtle’s masks, they are all red. In the original comics the Ninja Turtles all had red masks. Most of the original TMNT comics were in black and white. When they were in color, the masks were all red.

The different colored masks appeared when the TMNT cartoon hit the airwaves. It made the Ninja Turtles easier to identify on TV and gave the toy makers more to work with in the toy lineup.

The art for the Stranger Things kids is different. In some panels they were drawn with good detail, yet in others they seemed featureless, as if some of the panels were rushed or added in at the last minute. There were times I couldn’t distinguish between Will and Mike.

I like the cover art as well. The one above is Cover A. Just like in the 80s and 90s, comics are still putting out variant covers. Thankfully I don’t feel the need to buy all the covers like I did back then. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things #1 has a total of six different covers! Cover A is my favorite.

Overall Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things #1 delivers an enjoyable and nostalgic adventure for fans of both franchises. The crossover feels natural and not forced. The writing is good and despite my critiques the artwork is good too.

I’d give Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things a solid 7 out of 10. I’m looking forward to the rest of the story. There is a nice cliffhanger with the evil genius Baxter Stockman and Eleven. It will be interesting to see the story progress. I hope the artwork gets a little better along the way too.

Pick up a copy at your local comic book store, on Comixology or straight from IDW. you can also buy a physical copy, Cover A or B from IDW.

If you’ve read Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things #1 let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Pitfall Gary 156 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.

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