A new evil plan has been concocted by that twisted fly-man scientist, Stinkman… no, Speckman… Stockman! Yeah, that’s it. An evil plan that involves mutagen, robots, and the TMNT’s misfit friends: The Mighty Mutanimals!
COMIC REVIEW: TMNT Amazing Adventures: Robotanimals! #1
(W) Caleb Goellner (A/C) Chad Thomas
My favorite part of the TMNT Amazing Adventures comics is its friendliness towards younger audiences. That may sound like a backhanded compliment, but it is truly difficult to find a comic series that can be enjoyed by kids without talking down to them. As much as I may love the stuff coming out of DC Rebirth, Image Comics, or even IDW’s main TMNT series, I can’t hand those books to a kid. But I can with TMNT Amazing Adventures. Even more importantly, this title can be enjoyed by adults as well, making Caleb Goellner and Chad Thomas’ Robotanimals #1 truly an all ages affair.
The premise of this miniseries is simple enough: a bored Baxter Stockman turns the Mutanimals into brainless cyborgs, and the TMNT are forced to battle their friends. Okay, maybe it isn’t simple, but it is entertaining. Capturing the spirit of the Nickelodeon series, Goellner and Thomas imbue each page with lighthearted fun. They also manage to tap into the chemistry that each team has. The Turtles gel together in battle as a cohesive unit, despite their banter and occasional need for improvisation.
The Mutanimals, conversely, are more erratic due mostly to their different makeup. This carries over as they are transformed into the Robotanimals. Each member, be it Slash or Muckman, has a unique set of skills, and that variety proves troublesome (at least in this issue) for the green quartet.
This issue does suffer the usual trappings of previous TMNT Amazing Adventures stories, mostly in that despite the best efforts of the creative team, it comes across as a watered down version of the cartoon. That is mostly due to the conversion of 3D computer animation to a 2D, hand-drawn rendering. This is not a fault of Thomas, who delivers a bright, colorful, and high-energy effort. It is just an inherent limitation, and the issue succeeds in spite of it.
In addition, the one element that did not ring true at all is the initiative Baxter takes to create the Robotanimals on his own. Once mutated into a fly, this version of the character is not the assertive, confident mad scientist he was before, but instead a pawn for the Turtles’ more serious threats. However, this is merely a minor quibble as without it, there is no story. And TMNT Amazing Adventures: Robotanimals! #1 is a satisfying, fun, and colorful story.