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Book Review: The TMNT 100 Project

Being a comic book creator can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they are the stewards of pop culture, defining and refining characters that have transcended the medium and into the collective social consciousness. On the other hand, the pay can be non-existent, jobs security is a joke, and poverty is a real possibility. Bill Finger, who created pretty much every defining trait of Batman aside from the name, was screwed over by collaborator Bob Kane and eventually died alone and penniless. He is just now getting the credit he always deserved from DC Comics. That’s why organizations like The Hero Initiative are so important. They take care of the people whose works we love. What does this have to do with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Well, The Hero Initiative is releasing book containing the works created during the latest in their “100 Project” series.

Art by Victor Castro

What makes The Hero Initiative’s 100 Projects so cool is the variety of talents that come together to give their own unique spin on an iconic property. Like past projects, the TMNT 100 Project saw the original pieces fetch crazy amounts of dough for a charitable cause. But for those of us unable to afford the $200 to $4,500 that those pieces sold for, this compilation book that retails for $25 or $15 (hardcover and softcover, respectively) is a nice consolation prize. The fact that proceeds from the book also go to charity is a nice touch.

Art by Stan Sakai

The guts of the book is some of the most interesting, dynamic, and unique pieces of TMNT artwork I have ever seen. As great as the artwork has been on the TMNT comics throughout the years, there’s something special about seeing these characters interpreted by the likes of Gabriel Ba (Daytripper, Casanova), Chris Burnham (Batman Incorporated, Nameless), and Paolo Rivera (The Valiant, Daredevil). Free of any creative restraints, it allows readers the chance to see how industry greats see the TMNT. For someone like Walter Simonson, the original Mirage comics act as a point of reference. For others, its the 1987 cartoon or simply their own unique take on the property.

Art by Walter Simonson

If you were limited to one turtle pick-up for this week, make sure it’s The TMNT 100 Project. This is a great compilation that ultimately helps out those who work inspires us on a daily basis. And if nothing else, it’ll look great on either your bookshelf or coffee table.

The TMNT 100 Project can be purchased here.

For more on The Hero Initiative, check out their website at

Editor's Rating

Must Buy 10.0

The Author

Dan Gehen

Dan Gehen

Dan Gehen is a lot of things, but one thing he's been for his entire life is a TMNT fan (this has been verified by watching embarrassing home videos of his formative years). Though the classic 1980s cartoon caused his 3-year-old version to drive his parents insane via the constant repetition of "cowabunga dude", his true appreciation for the heroes in a half-shell came from the 1990 feature film as well as the comics by Mirage Studios. Today, he continues to enjoy comics from a variety of publishers, including the current TMNT series from IDW Publishing.

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