Though Jonathan Liebesman’s recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles left many of us cold (it was roundly thrashed by most critics), it struck enough of a chord with audiences to become a big enough hit to warrant a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (personally, my biggest hope is that titular Ninja Turtles are actually the focal point, I don’t want to watch another movie about Megan Fox’s terrible April O’Neil). Even though we didn’t particularly care for the movie, we still love us some Turtles, and we’re not the only ones, as illustrated by this new TMNT art form the folks at Mondo.
Each of these four pieces was created by a different artist, and the aim is four each individual work to represent a different era of the venerable franchise and capture the spirit of that particular moment in the history of the Turtles. For instance, this first painting, by Tom Thalen, is a representation of the cartoon incarnation from the mid-1980s (does anyone else remember getting a free VHS tape of a couple episodes when you bought Burger King’s equivalent of a Happy Meal?)
The second picture, by Rich Kelly, takes its inspiration from the 90s live action films. You have Elias Koteas’ Casey Jones, Master Splinter chained to a wall, and that particular version of Shredder and his armor. It’s even designed to resemble a movie poster.
Andrew Kolb’s contribution to this collection pays homage to the animated TMNT series that is currently on the air.
And lastly, JC Richard’s offering tips its cap to the origins of the beloved franchise, to Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s comic book series that started it all.
You can’t help but notice that the latest addition to the canon, the Liebesman-directed, Michael Bay-produced film, is noticeably absent here. That’s probably not by accident, as many, many people hated the hell out it. I definitely don’t love the film, not by any stretch of the imagination, but my disdain is much less intense than a lot of people’s.
Aside from their look, which is horrendous, I don’t mind the actual Turtles themselves. They got the characters more or less right, which, for me, is the most important part of any adaptation. I can deal with alterations to the plot, as long the actual characters are right (that’s one issue I’ve always had with The Walking Dead, key characters are just wrong in many instances, though they’re getting better).
The Turtles just aren’t in the film very much. Like I said earlier, it’s April O’Neil’s movie, and Megan Fox is terrible. That said, the action is terrible (but who expected anything else from the director of Wrath of the Titans?), and the film commits perhaps the absolute worst sin it can, it’s completely and utterly forgettable. You walk out of the theater and never need to think about it again, there’s nothing that sticks with you.