Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Book II, 1987 - A bound collection of the original comic books but colorized. And boy, these comics are crazy! I'm always surprised at how dense yet fast and fun Eastman and Laird's original series was. In these few issues, I think it's #4, 5 & 6, we see the robotic Mousers capture Splinter, the turtles infiltrating T.C.R.I., a techno-cosmic shell company hiding robotic employees with brains for stomachs, the Turtles sent to another dimension via a translocation device, going on the run with a fugitive robot with the mind of his creator and fighting humanoid triceratops! In the comics each turtle dons a red bandanna so you can only really tell them apart by their straps and weapons. Their personalities aren't as divided up as they would be in the cartoon but you still have Leonardo as the level headed leader, Raphael as the hot head who kicks first and talks later, Donatello as the gadget-y guy with all the plans and Michelangelo as the goofy one. There's action galore with fist and feeticuffs, laser rifles, flying cars, arena matches to the death and much more. There's awesome splash pages of action scenes and vistas including space stations and an alien filled cantina...it all looks great in color as the massive amount of texture and detail gets a little lost in black and white. There's even an order form for f.h.e.'s VHS release of the cartoon in the back. 3 episodes for $35 bucks!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, 1993 - And finally, caught a few minutes of TMNT III on cable to wrap up the weekend. The only things I really remembered from this flick were the strange appearance of the Turtles due to not using Jim Henson's workshop so they all look very rubbery and are given an abundance of spots/freckles for some reason. Casey Jones shows up but doesn't get to do much, the use of the song Tarzan Boy and the really bad CGI death of villain Stuart Wilson. Something about a magic scepter that if people of the same weight are holding it, they get swapped in time so the Turtles and April end up in feudal Japan and some samurai warriors and a prince get to hang out in NYC. The Turtles still look really weird with their rubber suits and freckled faces and the animatronic mouths don't match up with much of the dialog. There's still plenty of jokes and a little bit of heart to go around as the Turtles help local villagers defend themselves against aggressive European troops armed with rifles. One of these days I'll have to sit down and watch the whole thing. Maybe on VHS to give it the full effect.