Biff Bam Pop! Presents Heroes & Villains – TMNT, Madman + Batman Ninja

This week’s H&V has a decidedly retro feel…and that completely okay! I’ve got a great property from the 80’s, one from the 90’s, and even one from feudal Japan!

Now, you’ve gotta make sure you’re going 88 miles per hour or this jump may not work!

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That was a close one.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends #1
Gary Carlson (W) Frank Fosco (A)

“This issue starts with a bang,” is a totally hack-y way to start off this entry and I’m definitely going to use it because it is so apt. APT! Anyways, the issue starts with Donatello getting blown away in spectacular fashion and things only get ratcheted up from there.

Some background: This series was originally published by Image Comics from 1996 to 1999 for 23 issues and it was never quite wrapped up. This is where IDW comes to the rescue by reprinting the original run (IN COLOR) and even allowing for an all new story to be created to give the series the ending it never saw almost 19 years ago.

I was only vaguely aware of the series during the original run and I’m really looking forward to getting a chance to read it for the first time. Now, for you TMNT purists out there…this ain’t your daddy’s Turtles. As you may have noticed from the cover, Raph is doing his best Casey Jones impression and Donnie is now a hulking cyborg.

Which is perfectly fine. There have been AT LEAST five or six TMNT reboots, relaunches or reimaginings over the last 15 years and they’ve all been varying amounts of okay. You’ll be fine. Or you can just watch your collectible VHS copy of the 1990 Coming Out Of Their Shells tour for the ten-thousandth time.

MadmanArtist Select Series: Madman
Mike Allred (W/A)

On occasion, and with little prompting, I will throw around the term “Epic Tome.” This collection may indeed be the most epic of tomes that I have had the pleasure of checking out. Weighing in north of 400 pages, this collection is some of the best of the last twenty-five (TWENTY. FIVE.) years of Madman.

Madman was one of the first small press books I ever had the pleasure of picking up and what drew me to it was how different it was from everything else out there in the 90’s. The art was clean and popped off the page, the hero was upbeat and compelling… I always felt great after reading a new Mike Allred book.

And I still do! Mike Allred is without question one of the greatest of all time and I will fight…have a spirited discussion with anyone who disagrees. It’s mind boggling the level of quality he’s been able to keep up for the last 20-plus years. This collection is a must have if you’re a fan of his work.

In Case You Missed It

Batman: Ninja

Wait, this isn’t a comic book! It’s only a comic-inspired animated movie! Boooo! 

I approach the DC Animated movies on a case-by-case basis. Over the last several years they have been on a pretty decent rotation of Batman/Superman/Justice League and they’ve adapted some of their biggest stories with varying degrees of success. I’d give my eye teeth for a decent adaptation of the recent Batgirl or Birds of Prey books.

What I wasn’t expecting was Batman: Ninja. I had only seen a few blurbs about it prior to renting it and I’m glad I went in cold. This movie is completely bonkers. 

In brief and spoiler-lite, Batman and company get sent back to ancient Japan along with a large chunk of his rogues gallery. I got the distinct feeling from this movie that the creative team kept pitching progressively more out-there story ideas to the producers and were met with, “Okay, cool…cool. And then what happens?”

Batman: Ninja was ridiculous amounts of fun and probably the best DC Animated movies I’ve seen in a while. I hope the creative team behind this is allowed to do another one. Or all the next DC Animated movies.

Also, Robin needs to have a monkey sidekick in the monthly books too. Make it happen, DC!

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