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retr0pia75
07-15-2016, 02:17 PM
Seeing as how the franchise has had TONS of incarnations over the past few decades, it's nice to sometimes go and take a look back at the original comics that started it all. However, while some tend to hold the Mirage comics in high regard, others tend to think rather lowly of them and would rather spend their time with the later incarnations (it doesn't help matters that they were initially meant to be an over-the-top parody of comics at the time), which is why I've decided to go and make this thread. How well do you think the Mirage comics have aged over time?

Andrew NDB
07-15-2016, 02:22 PM
Seeing as how the franchise has had TONS of incarnations over the past few decades, it's nice to sometimes go and take a look back at the original comics that started it all. However, while some tend to hold the Mirage comics in high regard, others tend to think rather lowly of them and would rather spend their time with the later incarnations (it doesn't help matters that they were initially meant to be an over-the-top parody of comics at the time), which is why I've decided to go and make this thread. How well do you think the Mirage comics have aged over time?

Next to pretty much... everything else TMNT? Like fine wine.

Only things that haven't aged well is the various pop culture shoutouts throughout and a lot of the non-canon goofy guest artist/writer stuff.

plastroncafe
07-15-2016, 02:25 PM
Yeah, I've got to agree here, and yes I'm fully aware of my bias.
Of the various incarnations, Mirage has aged the best.

At this point I think the most glaring issue I have with the Mirage books is that these days I kind of expect more out of a story, and so the lack of a series bible is even more pronounced.

Cipher
07-15-2016, 02:43 PM
They're the only part of the franchise that has aged well.

To be a little more fair, there are parts of the series -- Andrew has already alluded to them -- that require understanding of the time and underground comic scene they were part of. I'd argue that firm identity is part of what makes the series work to this day though. There's a firm identity there -- it's not commercial or crowd-pleasing. Things like that will always hold up better on revisits for me. That's not to say all of the issues are good though. The lows are low, especially given that some of the guest creators are clearly artists first and writers second, but at least they're interesting and idiosyncratic.

On a narrative level, the highs of the Mirage series have never been touched by anything else bearing the name TMNT. It's not even close.

At this point I think the most glaring issue I have with the Mirage books is that these days I kind of expect more out of a story, and so the lack of a series bible is even more pronounced.
While they won't meet a lot of people's standards for serialized fiction, which they aren't always trying to be, the only thing I expect out of a story is to be moved.

The Mirage series accomplishes that multiple times, whereas nothing else TMNT really has.

Sophie Campbell
07-15-2016, 02:45 PM
Definitely a fine wine for me, too (though obviously some issues more than others). When I was a kid I loved the first 11 issues or so, that was all I had back then along with a few others like the River and RTNY, but I love them even more as an adult. I appreciate it more now, and I even love many of the later Mirage issues that I never read as a kid and have no nostalgic attachment to.

Every so often I'll pull out the old comics for reference or inspiration when I'm doing my own Turtles stuff, and I always get sucked right back in. I could read issues 4 and 11 over and over and never get bored.

Cipher
07-15-2016, 02:55 PM
It's interesting how for many people Mirage immediately conjures the first eleven issues, whereas for me -- and others, I'm guessing -- it brings to mind what series became after people like Lawson and Murphy were brought on.

Both work well, but my "I could read it over and over" is "City at War" and one-offs like "Sons of the Silent Age" and certain Tales Vol. 2 issues.

EDIT -- Sophie, I did not mean to put down TMNT projects you've been part of. I love your art. IDW's Northampton arc will look good fifty years from now.

Sophie Campbell
07-15-2016, 03:45 PM
It's interesting how for many people Mirage immediately conjures the first eleven issues, whereas for me -- and others, I'm guessing -- it brings to mind what series became after people like Lawson and Murphy were brought on.

Both work well, but my "I could read it over and over" is "City at War" and one-offs like "Sons of the Silent Age" and certain Tales Vol. 2 issues.

EDIT -- Sophie, I did not mean to put down TMNT projects you've been part of. I love your art. IDW's Northampton arc will look good fifty years from now.

No worries, and thank you! I know my work is what it is, it'll never be "classic" like the original Mirage stuff but that's okay! :)

I can't speak for anyone else, but the #1-11 span of issues plus Return to New York has a fire to it that I feel like the later stuff doesn't have, as much as I love City at War.

My other favorites are the shorts in Shell Shock, like New York Ninja and the laser tag story. I love those, they've matured like cave-aged Swiss Gruyere cheese.

Andrew NDB
07-15-2016, 03:47 PM
It's interesting how for many people Mirage immediately conjures the first eleven issues, whereas for me -- and others, I'm guessing -- it brings to mind what series became after people like Lawson and Murphy were brought on.

Both work well, but my "I could read it over and over" is "City at War" and one-offs like "Sons of the Silent Age" and certain Tales Vol. 2 issues.

EDIT -- Sophie, I did not mean to put down TMNT projects you've been part of. I love your art. IDW's Northampton arc will look good fifty years from now.

I kind of look at it as one huge story from #1-11, #19-21, plenty of highlights in between before the big conclusion in #62... with everything thereafter either "filling in the blanks" (Tales V2, etc.) or acting as some kind protracted coda (V4) to it all.

retr0pia75
07-15-2016, 03:53 PM
I honestly think that the comics should've ended after City at War. It really could've served as a satisfying conclusion after everything the characters have gone through, but I guess that was due to the fact that the OT was still a major cash-cow at the time.

DrSpengler
07-15-2016, 03:56 PM
It's aged very well.

I think one of the benefits that isn't talked about too often is that Eastman and Laird wrote those major Volume 1 arcs (the meat of the narrative) with a static timeline in mind. They used hard dates and tried to keep the story moving at a contemporary pace with "real time".

That's sort of kept it from feeling "dated" to me, because those issues are now "period" stories; set in a hard date and time rather than trying to exist in some nebulous "fluid timeline".

So I've never viewed those Volume 1 issues as "dated" which is what's helped them age so well and stand up to re-readings. They're very much set in the era of the late 80s and aren't pretending otherwise. But they also aren't obnoxiously "80s", trying too hard to be hip or contemporary which always winds up embarrassing in the long run. Aside from April's perm and some of Casey's band t-shirts, the setting feels pretty sincere and never overblown with pop culture.

Post Volume 1 stuff hasn't aged as well, but that's more for a number of narrative reasons caused by behind the scenes publishing issues. The major narrative Volume 1 issues, though, read astonishingly well as a complete story regardless of how much time has passed since their publication.

Powder
07-15-2016, 03:58 PM
I honestly think that the comics should've ended after City at War.

There's a parking space in hell reserved just for you, Sammy.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
07-15-2016, 04:19 PM
It has definitely aged the best overall.

For me, the art of the earliest issues is incredibly painful to look at and really really cornball writing... I think TMNT starts taking itself seriously when Shredder returns. So that's usually where I start my casual reading.

"City at War" is the best TMNT story we've ever had and ever will have. I could write an entire paper on it.

And looking at Volumes 2, 3, and 4, they've aged pretty well, too, though with some rough patches.

Compare Mirage/Image to the OT cartoon (ugh) or Archie (meh), and I think it's indisputable, though I understand not to some's preference.

I think when the IDW series has ended and cooled off, it will be runner up to "best aged." "Secret History of the Foot Clan" is probably my second favorite TMNT story... good stuff.

Cipher
07-15-2016, 04:22 PM
I honestly think that the comics should've ended after City at War.
I can completely understand that, since that's the last real ending we get, and it's such a good one.

But, messy as it is, I appreciate the Mirage series even more for all its implicitly sad loose ends. As big an impact as "City at War" leaves, I think having the bigger picture of the Turtles' timeline leaves an even bigger one. A lot of the stories published after the end of volume 1 are quite good on their own too. Some of my favorite Turtles stories can be found in Tales Vol. 2.

That said, I'd tell new readers to just complete Volume 1 and only move onto the other material if they're really enjoying it. It'd be cool if IDW did some more theme trades so that we got all the old Turtles/future stuff in one place.

For me, the art of the earliest issues is incredibly painful to look at and really really cornball writing...
While I don't love the Eastman-Laird issues as much as the later stuff, I think the art is great. You can tell they were Kirby and Miller fans -- it's not realism, because neither of their two biggest influences were. Their mock Kirby stuff in the Donatello micro-issue is fantastic.

As for the (intentionally) cornball writing, and even the art's rough edges, what I enjoy about it is that you can tell both the creators were having such a good time, and putting so much care and energy into each issue. As early as #4, you can tell they were really enjoying crafting a narrative too. That kind of enthusiasm leaps off the page.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
07-15-2016, 04:29 PM
I can completely understand that, since that's the last real ending we get, and it's such a good one.

But, messy as it is, I appreciate the Mirage series even more for all its implicitly sad loose ends. As big an impact as "City at War" leaves, I think having the bigger picture of the Turtles' timeline leaves an even bigger one. A lot of the stories published after the end of volume 1 are quite good on their own too. Some of my favorite Turtles stories can be found in Tales Vol. 2.

That said, I'd tell new readers to just complete Volume 1 and only move onto the other material if they're really enjoying it. It'd be cool if IDW did some more theme trades so that we got all the old Turtles/future stuff in one place.

I dunno, I feel that with the exception of Volume 4, each series does a pretty good job of picking up, telling a new tale, and then closing the book once more. Volume 4 WOULD do the same if it ever finished...

Volume 2 takes a look at the Turtles' existence as freaks of nature free from the Foot Clan but not free from other choices they've made in their past.

Volumes 3 and 4 focus on the Turtles exploring their own separate paths as individuals, at different stages of life: early 20's and mid 30's. I find it all fascinating.

Also, I think the bulk of character development for Casey and April happen in these volumes... except for "Shades of Gray" and "City at War", they get very little focus in Volume 1.

Cipher
07-15-2016, 04:34 PM
I'm definitely not disparaging volumes 2, 3 and 4, as I really enjoy them. Volume 2 actually contains some of my favorite TMNT moments of all time.

They just don't feel like a complete story the way Volume 1 does. Mostly because each came to an expedited end for behind-the-scenes reasons or, in the case of Volume 4, never got an ending at all.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
07-15-2016, 04:37 PM
I'm definitely not disparaging volumes 2, 3 and 4, as I really enjoy them. Volume 2 actually contains some of my favorite TMNT moments of all time.

They just don't feel like a complete story the way Volume 1 does. Mostly because each came to an expedited end for behind-the-scenes reasons or, in the case of Volume 4, never got an ending at all.

I'll give you that. I think Volume 2 is the worst in that regard. Maybe if it hadn't wasted two issues on Leo fighting a giant snapper in the sewers? That was just odd, considering the rest of Volume 2 was a very tight narrative focus. I've always assumed Lawson had plans that had to be scrapped in favor of wrapping up Stockman and DARPA before the series ended.

I do love Mikey's taunting of Raph in Volume 2... with his three stages of Raph's griping or whatever it was. That always makes me chuckle.

Sophie Campbell
07-15-2016, 04:42 PM
I loooooooooovvvvve the early Eastman/Laird art, I cannot get enough of that stuff!! The writing is very pulpy in early on, but that's part of the appeal for me, like I said in my other post there's FIRE in that early work. I agree with Cipher that it leaps off the page. It's powerful.

I also love the range of tone in the earlier issues which the later work doesn't have. Issues 1-11 can go from serious to silly to sad without missing a beat, while the later work is more uniformly somber in tone. Which is fine, that's what it's meant to be, but I like broader range.

retr0pia75
07-15-2016, 04:46 PM
The style in the artwork in the early issues can kind of be attributed to what Mirage was originally supposed to be. It was pretty much a homage to the works of Frank Miller with the sketchiness and all, but it still somewhat had a style of its' own at the same time.
I find the later issues in Vol 1 to be great, but I'm not sure exactly why they decided to go for a random change in tone all of a sudden. Don't get me wrong, I love RTNY and City at War, but there's something about the satirical, brutal, and manic nature of the earlier issues to be more appealing. It might be just me, though.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
07-15-2016, 04:50 PM
The style in the artwork in the early issues can kind of be attributed to what Mirage was originally supposed to be. It was pretty much a homage to the works of Frank Miller with the sketchiness and all, but it still somewhat had a style of its' own at the same time.

Well, that and the style of Eastman and Laird evolved. I prefer their later stuff.

Actually, truth be told, I've always preferred Lawson and Fosco to Eastman and Laird. :tshifty:

Andrew NDB
07-15-2016, 04:56 PM
If I had to choose one art team... it would be Lawson pencils with Eastman inks (ala Vol. 1 #21). That is -- visually -- the definitive TMNT to me. Artistically that was the top of the mountain, TMNT had never been that high before and would never be again.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
07-15-2016, 05:01 PM
If I had to choose one art team... it would be Lawson pencils with Eastman inks (ala Vol. 1 #21). That is -- visually -- the definitive TMNT to me. Artistically that was the top of the mountain, TMNT had never been that high before and would never be again.

How do you feel about Lawson's later art? His females really did suffer in Volume 4, but other than that, I've always loved his stuff.

Andrew NDB
07-15-2016, 05:02 PM
2nd to that, of course, would be the "final" style of Eastman and Laird together (ala vol. 1 #50).

Andrew NDB
07-15-2016, 05:09 PM
How do you feel about Lawson's later art? His females really did suffer in Volume 4, but other than that, I've always loved his stuff.

He's definitely changed over the years but it's always stayed pretty consistent. His earlier stuff was generally always defined by who inked him, barring the few instances where he inked himself. Kevin, for example, has a tendency to really alter a penciller's style, but not necessarily for the worst, where someone like Talbot pretty much leaves the linework alone.

CyberCubed
07-15-2016, 06:59 PM
Volume 1 has a different feel than everything after it. That's why all those Tales of the TMNT issues that were set in the Volume 1 time period feel so out of place. They don't really capture the same mood or theme of those issues. I guess it was just a "you had to be there" kind of thing.

Cipher
07-15-2016, 07:31 PM
I also wonder when threads like this come up what exactly it's supposed to feel aged or hold up in comparison to.

Modern action comics? Because it isn't one. The meat of volume 1 manages to form a tidy revenge story, but when you take the Mirage books as a whole, it's a story about four dudes trying to live their lives who, because of both their genetics and their upbringing, invariably become walking timebombs of pain and sorrow for everyone around them. Their universe is cruel and capricious. At the same time, there's plenty of levity along the way. They live in a fantasy comic-book world where anything can happen -- modern-day ninjas, mutants, aliens, alternate dimensions, Lovecraftian monsters, superheroes -- but it tends to be treated with real-world weight and happy endings aren't guaranteed.

And sometimes they play laser tag.

TMNTChris1980
07-16-2016, 01:23 PM
I love the Mirage stuff, especially issues 1-11 (don't get me wrong though, I really dig it all). I think you can compare the early issues with when a band is first starting out. No egos, no BS, you can see their influences, and its full of passion, and fun.

Speedy Cerviche
07-16-2016, 03:23 PM
Seeing as I just started reading Mirage material a few years ago thanks to the Ultimate Collections reprints it doesn't hold any nostalgic value for me. I grew up on the 80's cartoon. When I started reading Mirage it got me back into the TMNT. I've now read pretty much all of Mirage volume 1, 2, and 4. I'm about a 1/4 of the way through the Image run. I'd say Mirage holds up better than all the other TMNT mediums out there without having any nostalgic bias. I don't think it's for everybody but I feel it's kind of the mature audience version of the TMNT. It's nice to have a series of TMNT that didnt' have its hands tied and could "go there" so to speak with its storytelling

ToTheNines
07-16-2016, 03:47 PM
It just gets better and better for me.

It's my favorite comic book series of all time. I love the contributions from so many different talents. That's part of what makes it so true to life. Because, doesn't life seem to always have a different writer or artist on any given day?

Gorilla Grodd
07-19-2016, 02:25 PM
I've recently been re-reading the Mirage comics. I'm almost at the end of vol. 4/Tales vol. 2 right now. It's all held up very well. I was expecting to begin to lose interest around vol. 4 and possibly not finish but to my surprise I'm actually enjoying it more than back when I originally read it.

The only parts that have really felt like a slog were some of the guest spots back in vol. 1.

Commenter 42
07-19-2016, 02:31 PM
I still think #1 was a stroke of genius. I know lots of folks dissent, but it's still a stand out issue on it's own, more so than most #1's...

myconius
07-19-2016, 11:24 PM
i definitely appreciate the early Mirage comics so much more now than when i first read them.
although it was love at first sight, i really didn't understand the significance of a comic created by two guys trying to break into the industry and then creating something just for themselves.
it really shows in the final product that this was a true labor of love.
and plus after having studied art i can also appreciate the comics better from a technical aspect, and see how their abilities evolved, and enjoy seeing other artists come aboard and contribute.

though vol. 1 is the definitive, there's no way it should have ended after issue #62
and as much as i enjoy vol. 3, i really love vol .2!
plus there have been way too many amazing stories within Tales of Tmnt Vol. 2 for that series to never have happened!!

myconius
07-19-2016, 11:27 PM
as for the guest era of vol. 1 i really don't understand why issues like #29, #33 & #43 aren't considered canon??

there don't seem like anything in there to contradict the main story line.
to me they fit in perfectly!

Lord Nightwalker
07-20-2016, 04:35 PM
I would say they have aged quite well. Hell, I still re read them. They hold a special spot for me, they were my first exposure to TMNT after all. Which, admittedly, makes me biased. A lot of the subject matter and themes within the stories still hold water. They still resonate with readers.

Casey
07-20-2016, 06:26 PM
Yeah. I think they've aged better than lots of comics from that era.

CyberCubed
07-20-2016, 06:51 PM
The mid-80's were a pretty good time for comics in general.

Vivi
07-20-2016, 07:32 PM
2nd to that, of course, would be the "final" style of Eastman and Laird together (ala vol. 1 #50).

Mirage is Eastman, Laird... and Lawson.

As for the original question, I think it's pertinent to remember that printed media doesn't have things that age it so obviously compared with movies and television shows - production values, voice work, soundtrack, color (sometimes), continuity (eg Tales of the TMNT vs Nick), style continuity etc. The imagination fills in gaps where movies and cartoons need to be more explicit. The imagination is much more fluid and forgiving.

Cipher
07-21-2016, 01:20 AM
Mirage is Eastman, Laird... and Lawson.
I agree. He may not have played a role in their creation, and it took a bit of time for his contributions to build up, but I really do think of him as the third father of the TMNT creatively.

He's also the best writer of the three.

Mayhem
07-21-2016, 04:00 AM
TMNT is Eastman and Laird. Mirage is Eastman, Laird, definitely Lawson, but then also Dooney, Lavigne and Berger. They all contributed once they came on board to shaping the turtles in some way.

Redeemer
07-21-2016, 04:19 AM
As many of you have said the series is still amazing to read. i was actually studying the drawings and technique used in the issues. Really amazing art

myconius
07-21-2016, 04:38 AM
As many of you have said the series is still amazing to read. i was actually studying the drawings and technique used in the issues. Really amazing art

that's one reason why it that takes me forever to read a Mirage Tmnt comic!
i get hung up between wanting to read the story and just gazing at each panel enjoying the craftsmanship of the art!!! :tgrin:

myconius
07-22-2016, 10:51 PM
If I had to choose one art team... it would be Lawson pencils with Eastman inks (ala Vol. 1 #21). That is -- visually -- the definitive TMNT to me. Artistically that was the top of the mountain, TMNT had never been that high before and would never be again.

issue #21 is definitely one of my all time favorites, as well as most read issues from Mirage Vol. 1

the art is raw and powerful, and the action is non-stop

Mayhem
07-23-2016, 05:28 AM
Issue #21 was pretty cool. If I going to pick something though, I'd say the Leo Micro into issue #10 is the epitome of what made TMNT.

Redeemer
07-23-2016, 05:33 AM
Issue #21 was pretty cool. If I going to pick something though, I'd say the Leo Micro into issue #10 is the epitome of what made TMNT.

definitely my favorite issues of any comic period.

myconius
07-23-2016, 05:50 AM
Issue #21 was pretty cool. If I going to pick something though, I'd say the Leo Micro into issue #10 is the epitome of what made TMNT.


definitely!!! if i had to pick just a handful of my most read favorite stories from the early Mirage Vol. 1., the Leonardo Micro-Series is probably one of the highest next to issue #1.

it's too difficult to put in any particular order of 'Absolute' favorite.
but some of my top favorites have got to be 1, 2, Leonardo Micro, 10, 11, 19, 20, 21, 50.

those are the ones i tend to re-read the most often.