Saturday, June 4, 2016

TMNT: Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1 Review - Saturday Morning Weirdness

Bebop, Bop, Bop, Bebop … Oh Yeah 

Written by: Ben Bates and Dustin Weaver
Art: Sophie Campbell, Dustin Weaver, Ben Bates, Giannis Milogiannis and Bill Crabtree
Cover Price: $3.99
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Review by: Branden Murray (@bmur3660)

I’ve always had a soft spot for the villain’s in the media I watch and read. There’s something endearing about these men and women that go up against our heroes despite being beaten down more times than a mouthy frat bro. I mean who wants to be punched repeatedly by the likes of Superman, Michelangelo, Rocket Raccoon, or even Matter-Eater Lad?!? That's right...Matter-Eater Lad!  I mean if you think about it, these villains are really a special type of crazy with a never say die attitude. You have to at least admire them for that quality if nothing else. Usually, it is nothing else!  This brings me to two of my favorite villains of all time, Bebop and Rocksteady. The two lovable, violent, knuckleheads, normally under Shredder’s command, who reside in the TMNT Universe. Well they now have their own in-continuity mini at IDW.  SPOILER ALERT: Since Shredder had his can opened by Master Splinter (see the extra sized fifty issue) these two bozos no longer have anyone yelling orders at them. So what have they been doing to pass the time? Let's find out...

Bebop and Rocksteady Destroy Everything starts out with a stunning opening sequence drawn and colored by Sophie Campbell.  It’s a three color, two panel, flashback page, drawn in an Eastman type style, showing the turtles fighting a time master named Savanti Romero.  It immediately grabbed my attention and I loved how beautifully done this sequence was.  The red used to highlight only the turtles masks and their enemy’s eyes was awesome and the fact that Leonardo, my favorite Turtle, was on that first page only added to the love fest I was having looking over it.  Yes I said love fest and stop looking at me like that!

Anyway, there is more to this comic book than the stunning opening sequence as we jump to present day and catch the up with the Turtle’s whereabouts. They’re in a city museum because Donatello asked his brothers to come along on a little field trip to check out a mummy.  This mummy ends up being special because it’s dated back to the age of dinosaurs when there were no humans around. Field trips always have to have a deeper purpose, they're tricky like that!

Meanwhile, we see Bebop and Rocksteady under the employ of a new "Boss", Reggaeton, in Rio De Janeiro.  That's in Brazil, people and I hear the water situation is a little “crappy” down there and apparently so is Reggaeton .  It's not hard to figure out why.  Bosses usually aren’t  too happy when you “accidently” sink one of their boats, or take desktop monitors home, or take three hour lunch breaks, or call in twice a week. Or do anything Eric Shea does...just saying.  That's why I subscribe to the moto, "It’s easier to apologize and plead ignorance than ask permission."

After a disagreement erupts about the boss/employee relationship matrix we get the first fight scene of the story. Unfortunately for Reggaeton, it ends up being a Bebop and Rocksteady beat down that nobody wants to be on the other end of.  Things like these always have a downside, however, and our big lugs figure that one out a little too late.  It's a simple rule...No boss equals no job.  Funny how that works.

Bouncing back to New York City, we peek in on Michelangelo just in time to see that curiosity may not exactly kill the Turtles but it sure as hell scares the ever loving shit out of them.  Mikey touches the mummy and it summons Renet.  If you don't know who Renet is, he is a nice time master who has run into the turtles before on other adventures (see the Turtles in Time Mini Series). Together they deduce there is a “hokey pokey” stick somewhere in the world they need to get their hands on before some bad guys do. Did you figure out yet who those bad guys might be?  No?!?  Well I’ll give you three guess and any not containing the name Bebop and Rocksteady don't count.

As things begin to wind down in the issue we find out Bebop and Rocksteady, sulking in their Rio hideout and rummaging through their stuff, were in possession of this magic stick all along.  After unknowingly activating it, the pair are conveniently transported right in front of the Turtles and Renet. What happens when good guys and bad guys end up randomly meeting … you guessed it, dance off. That's what usually happens, right?  I guess Breakin' lied to me all these years!

Instead of a battle in the Radio-Tron featuring Turbo and Taco, we get the start of a more traditional Turtles vs thugs fight. However, things go crazy and after a big swing of the magic travel stick, Bebop and Rocksteady are teleported to a different part (and time) of New York City and recognize their old hideout just as the reader realizes that these two have no idea what the hell they are doing with this thing.  No surprises there!

As they enter their former building they begin to hear voices and creep closer to see who’s invaded their old stomping grounds.  As the two peek inside to see the culprits we get...the cliffhanger. I won't spoil it, but it's not hard to imagine what it is and when you see it, you'll laugh your ass off!  It's also a pretty cool direction to push the story off to.

Overall, this issue was a solid beginning to the series.  It did feel like the sheer number of names on the art team  resulted in some  hiccups in a few spots, but the total package as a whole was thoroughly enjoyable.

Bits and Pieces:
 If you happen to be fans of Bebop and his old pal Rocksteady, any problems in the issue will be easily overlooked. Just sit back, look at it, read it, look at it some more and enjoy the destruction these two leave in their wake.  As a final note, I’m not usually a guy who goes nuts for cover art, but if you can track down Kevin Eastman's variant for this issue, buy it and take it home and make it a nice hot meal and keep taking care of it until you are both old and gray, sitting on your porch swing, drinking a big old glass of lemonade.  It deserves to be cherished and loved...and don't we all?

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  1. haha that cover stole a laugh out of me, specially the particularly happy Mona Lisa :)


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