Review: TMNT The Ultimate Collection Vol. 1

Throughout Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle history one thing that we’ve seen a lot of is reprints of the early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mirage Comics.  First Publishing was the first ones to really take up the comics and start putting them together as graphic novels.  Those were reprinted a lot, as they also made the Mirage comics in color!  A great piece for any collector.  For awhile that was the best way to go to collect the Mirage comics if you were not after a full set of first prints. Though they did not finish all of Mirage Volume 1. In fact, they only did four books which covered just the beginning of the Volume.

Later, other reprints started to come out.  Some of which are very hard to find and costly.  So it’s not a big surprise that this trend will keep going as IDW brings us their first reprint of the Mirage comics.  Though the difference here is they plan to do all of the the Mirage comics in these awesome hard cover books.  Right now you can find “The Ultimate Collection” Volume 1 in stores, and what a collection it is!

This hard cover book holds seven of issues of the first volume of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and one of the Micro Series issues.  The cover has Kevin Eastman’s art, as a nice introduction to this comic to let us know this is old school. The wrap around cover has many of our favorite characters: The Turtles, April, Shredder, Splinter, Casey Jones,  Mousers, the Foot, and so many more.  It’s like the beginning of Mirage all wrapped into one piece of art.  Not only is that amazing to have so much right there, I love the touch on the very front of the book having the TCRI ooze canister broken with some baby turtles!  The detail in the cover alone is enough to make any fan want to pick up this book.

Inside you have a splash page right away with some very sketchy art work.  You see April’s van, the Turtles in more than one style, the Foot, Shredder, mousers and more.  Though turn the page one more time and you see a classic image of Raphael jumping with his sais as the title of the book is right there.  Now you know you’re heading into the book itself, flipping it to the next page you see credit page.  Showing that Kevin is the artist who did the cover.  How great a touch that IDW has Eastman so on board with everything they’re doing.  Though the one thing that really stands out next to the drawing on this page is the bold orange letters for Nickelodeon.  Not something most Turtle fans would never except to see connected to the Ninja Turtles, though we’re starting to get use to it after a few years now.

The following page is a nice index page, not only do they list the comics that are in there, they give the knowledge of when the first printings came out.  And a one line about each comic to hint at what happens in that issue.  Overall, it’s a great index page that lets you know which issues you’ll find in this book as you flip the page to see the cover of issue one and it goes into that first well known issue of TMNT history.

At this point in the book I thought it was going to be just a read through of the issues with maybe some special features near the end of the book.  Though I was proven wrong as I reached the end of the first issue and found  notes from Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird about working on that first issue.  This got me to flip through the book and realize that there were notes at the end of each issue!  What a real treat!  It’s like an interview focusing on each issue as they say what went through their mind as planning it, and what steps they went through in putting the comics together.  Really this is better than having features at the end of the book as it covers each issue as it’s own stand alone for us to read about!

I went through and reread each of the issues, looking forward to reading the goodies at the end. This book made me feel as if it was all new again with such enjoyment out of one collector book.  Really the book itself is amazing for any TMNT collector!  At the end of the book there’s some artwork from Kevin Eastman from 1988, another nice treat reflective of the Mirage Comics!

Overall I give this book two thumbs up and totally worth the buy.  Though for a normal fan $49.95 can be a bit steep, especially with money issues these days, the book itself is totally worth that price.  With eight issues of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, before the cartoon and movies were even thought up, these stories hooked in the earliest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans and started the history that we all know and love!

Thanks to IDW for giving us this great book.  I can not wait to see The Ultimate Collection Volume 2, as I hope to have these books filling my bookshelves!  This is the best way to show people the awesome comic book stories that have come out of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Have you read this book?  Did you think it was worth the cost?  Was this your first time reading the original Mirage TMNT story line?  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!  (Please remember all email addresses are kept private.)

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Comments

I want to first say, THANK GOODNESS THEY CAME OUT WITH A BOOK THAT CONTAINED THE ORIGINAL COMICS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER! It took many years, but they finally did it! COWABUNGA! I just got Vol.1 and 2 in the mail last week, but while I was anxiously awaiting from them to come in, I bought one of those rare "in-color" TMNT collected books published by First. To be more specific, I got Vol. 3 from that publisher. I have not read it because I got my hands on the new volumes. I just looked at Vol. 3 and realized that everything (except that last couple of pages( in there is on the new Vol. 2. I have a feeling that the old collected books were out of whack issue wise, so I am glad I have these new volumes.
But, anyways....lets talk about Vol. 1! Simply marvelous! What a great deal, especially for a hard cover! I dont even have to worry about it getting damaged from the sides that much and that is such a blessing! I love how they enlarged the pictures. I have some original Eastman and Laird's TMNT comics and I just love the idea of having those same pages enlarged so I can get a better view. I also love that now I can open up this book whenever I want to look at the awesome art/stories instead of tampering with the antiques I have.
I also appreciate the annotations section, it was cool to read the process that lead the creators to fame. What is also cool is that they do a commentary for every page they drew on each issue. You can feel the passion they put into these ultimate collections!
I am thankful to have this, now I can read the journey of the TMNT with back to back issues. I just hated the feeling of reading my single issues and wondering what the hell happens next!