Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s Issue #8 – July 1986 (Mirage Studios)

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TITLE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s Issue #8

YEAR: July 1986

COMPANY: Mirage Studios

Writer: Kevin Eastman, Dave Sim

Art: Peter Laird, Gerhard

Letters and Production Assistant: Steve Lavigne


The year 1983 and writer Kevin Eastman and artist Peter Laird would form their own independent American comic book company known as Mirage Studios in Dover, New Hampshire.

Both were struggling artists trying to survive, using their tax refund and a loan from Eastman’s uncle to form the company.  And one day they came up with an idea of “What if Bruce Lee was an animal?” and sure enough, after experimenting with a turtle with nunchakus and more experimentation, TMNT was conceived.

Needless to say, their comic “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” became a success and Eastman and Laird would bring in their buddy Steve Lavigne in 1984 as letterer.

And the comic would be created by them from 1984 to 2010.  Originally intended as a one-shot, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” would lead to four animated TV series, six feature films, many video games, toys and merchandise.

Eastman would sell his interested in Mirage Studios and the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to Peter Laird and Laird would sell the property in 2009 for $60 million to Viacom.

But the first issue was oversized and created in magazine format using black and white artwork on newsprint and 3,275 copies were printed and the early ’80s issues of Eastman and Laird’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” became instant collector’s items.

And over the years, TMNT has had crossovers with other independent comic book characters such as “Savage Dragon”, “Flaming Carrot”, “Usagi Yojimbo” and David Sim’s “Cerebus”.

As Eastman would explain in the second page, Eastman became a fan of Dave Sim’s “Cerebus” after reading issue #23.  This would lead to Mirage Studios having their first cross-over with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” issue #8 and what a fun and adventurous story this turned out to be!

The story begins with a young assistant named Renet who is the apprentice (that talks like an ’80s Valley Girl) for “Time Lord” Lord Simultaneous.    Renet steals Lord Simultaneous’ scepter after hearing that whoever holds it, will have the power to journey to any time and place in known universes by wishing it.

And she steals it and as her boss is about to stop her, she tells the scepter to take her to New York 1986.

She appears in on the rooftop where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles members Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael are training.

While excited to see New York, Lord Simultaneous finds her and afraid that she will get punished, she asks the TMNT for help and then she decides to transport to a place before humans recorded time (Medieval Europe 1406).  And she transports herself and the turtles to a land where an army is being led by an aardvark named Cerebus.

Cerebus is trying to find a way to get into the castle in order to steal its treasure,  but a demon named Savanti Romero manages to detect the scepter and he sends an army to join him and find the scepter and take it.  But Savanti surprises all of them with the attack and steals the scepter.

Now Cerebus and Renet with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles join forces.  Cerebus needs them to help them and their army get the treasure and he and the army will help them get their scepter.  But will they be successful in getting it back from Savanti Romero?

Overall, this issue was a blast to read because not only is the artwork awesome and the storyline fun, adventurous and action-packed.  But it’s so interesting to read Renet’s character because she is Valley Girlish in the manner that was part of the early ’80s  in Los Angeles.

But of course, it was the first major crossover for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and one of the popular independent comic book characters ever, Cerebus the Aardvark.  And it was really cool to see the crossover even happen!  I never expected it but it happened and it was done very well!

So, for Cerebus fans, this issue is a must-own and for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” fans, another awesome story by Kevin Eastman with Dave Sim and artwork by Peter Laird and longtime Cerebus artist, Gerhard!


 

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