It’s not every day we get to read a new story by its original creator, especially 30 years later. Comic book readers are getting just that this summer as Japanese-American comic book writer/artist Stan Sakai returns to his creation Miyamoto Usagi, a samurai rabbit living in late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth-century Japan whose exploits were chronicled in his Usagi Yojimbo saga. Usagi will partner with The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a one-shot graphic novel crossover event. Both series were created in 1984, the Turtles created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.
The new story written and illustrated by Sakai is called Namazu, and the conflict centers on the Japanese myth about a giant catfish that lives under the islands of Japan. A god named Kashima trapped the fish and it now threatens to free itself and destroy the islands, helped in Sakai’s story by Jei, a character on a mission to destroy all the evil in the world. Can Usagi and the Turtles join forces to save the future of Japan?
The catfish is featured prominently in a beautiful variant cover by Mouse Guard artist David Petersen (below). Sakai will provide the standard cover for the book. A softcover and hardcover edition will be available, the hardcover edition including extras like concept art and story notes selected by Sakai. Sakai has won a total of seven Eisner and Harvey Awards, and was nominated for 21 Eisners, over his long career.
It has been nearly a year since we first reported here at borg.com on images from Toy Fair 2016 of Funko’s prototype Playmobil figures, a result of a new partnership of the toy companies that allows Funko to produce licensed Playmobil figures never before released. The figures will not be the traditional size that is playable with the thousands of Playmobil playsets released over the past four decades, but a larger, double-sized six-inch tall figure.
Although initial projections indicated these figures would be released last summer, finally online toy dealer Entertainment Earth is now taking pre-orders for the first series of these figures, which include characters from Back to the Future, Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You can also order a figure of Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, available exclusively through Entertainment Earth.
All have great sculpts and sport appropriate hats, scarves, sonic screwdrivers, proton packs, gauntlets, and other accessories. Click on any of the images (above and after the cut) to learn more and pre-order your favorites from Entertainment Earth:
The most fun of all the great new lines of toys coming out of this past weekend’s annual Toy Fair toy show came as a surprise. We were expecting several new Funko ReAction figure toy lines like we saw last year, but that didn’t happen. Instead Funko revealed a great new partnership–a team-up with classic children’s toy figure company Playmobil. Playmobil brings to the table the classic style of its figures and Funko brings the famous brand licenses they are now known for in their Pop! bobbleheads and ReAction lines.
Just check out these properties: Back to the Future… Sherlock… Doctor Who… Supernatural… Willy Wonka… Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… Ghostbusters… Fallout… and The Walking Dead… all to be available in Playmobil figures! Not only is this a new line of figures, the figures will be released in a new six-inch format, retailing at $14.99.
Check out these images of actual figures revealed at Toy Fair, and spec sheets for other figures coming soon to a toy store near you:
Unless you’re watching the Super Bowl to actually see the game today, you can find all the commercials online today, freeing up your schedule to watch Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XII. It’s hard to believe we’ve been watching this too-darned-cute puppy outing for twelve years now. Catch it throughout the day today on Animal Planet. Get more information, including how the event is helping animals, at the Animal Planet website here.
Many of the ads from today’s game have been released already, so take a peek at a handful of them below.
As with past years, commercials airing during the Super Bowl featuring dogs seem to be the winners, although Kevin Hart has a pretty funny entry in his Hyundai ad, and we could watch Arnold Schwarzenegger Mobile Strike ads all day long. Snickers is doing their thing again, this time with Willem Dafoe, and look for Christopher Walken in a car ad. Also come back later for expanded movie trailers from what is previewed below, including one from the fifth Jason Bourne movie.
Enjoy your chicken wings, and don’t forget your Tums, Rolaids, Gaviscon, etc.
Review by C.J. Bunce
It’s hard to beat a great crossover and we’ve seen many come and go this year. Take two superhero titles from the shadows of the big city and put them together and you have a pairing that will only have you ask why it hasn’t been done before.
The best Batman book you’ve likely read in years is waiting for you at your local comic book shop right now. Issue #1 of the new Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is now on the shelves and it’s simply the best series opener to a Batman story I’ve read since Issue #1 of Jim Lee’s Hush mini-series. You can evaluate the first issue as either a strong Batman title or a loyal-to-its-roots TMNT book, and either way writer James T. Tynion IV, artist Freddie Williams II, and colorist Jeremy Colwell have a winner on their hands here.
You won’t need to worry about thumbing slowly through an issue featuring one part of the title’s crossover only to wait next month for the next, as Tynion has weaved together both Batman, the Turtles, as well as Killer Croc, the Foot Clan, Splinter, and Strider, all into one exciting introduction issue.
And the design layout and look of this view of Gotham is unique and intriguing. It’s about time that Freddie Williams II had his own Bat-book. He’s been drawing Batman for years and some of the best Batman renderings I have seen from any Batman artist can be found in his sketchbooks and other drawings. Always strong in his characterizations and environments, and with his signature ink wash style, each page could stand alone as a poster print, especially the giant splash pages of Batman.
Today we have a smorgasbord of comic book previews for books hitting comic book stores everywhere on this Comic Book Wednesday. Topping the list, guest artist Simone Bianchi joins writer Jason Aaron for Marvel’s Star Wars #7, a standalone issue featuring Ben Kenobi. You can only get the rare Elite Comics cover with Chewie and C-3PO (shown above) at Elite beginning today and at Kansas City Comic Con August 7-9, 2015.
We have previews today with truly something for anyone and everyone, from Star Wars to The X-Files, to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jungle Girl, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, to Deep State and Escape from New York, from Hacktivist to the latest Red Sonja, to Munchkin, Skylanders, and Transformers. Even Donald Duck and Betty and Veronica.
And don’t miss out on the preview for the first issue of the new Shrinking Man, adapted from the story that inspired the classic film The Incredible Shrinking Man–inspiration for this month’s big screen release Ant-Man.
Without further adieu, here are this week’s previews:
Yes, San Diego Comic-Con is still first and foremost about comic books, and the biggest news released this weekend of the comic book sphere comes from IDW Publishing. The publisher revealed that writer James Tynion IV and artist Freddie Williams II will be taking on the ultimate fan mash-up: Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The cover art to issues 1 and 2 of the crossover series were released at SDCC 2015.
Coming this November, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, already being called the “greatest crossover ever,” unites the Dark Knight Detective and the Heroes in a Half-Shell in a six-issue mini-series. Here’s the description from IDW:
In the ongoing power struggle between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, General Krang, and the Foot Clan, allegiances have shifted and the battle lines have been drawn. Krang concocts a plan to rid himself of both the Turtles and Shredder by transporting them to another dimension, where they land in the dark and dangerous streets of Gotham City. It isn’t long before they encounter Gotham’s most famous resident, Batman. The Caped Crusader may be their only hope of overcoming their enemies and getting back home. But not before they encounter a whole cast of Gotham’s most infamous rogues.
It’s a big week of comic book releases from IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios so we have pulled together several previews, including Issue #1 of a new Edward Scissorhands series, Issue #1 of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mash-up with the Ghostbusters, Issue #1 of a new Dungeons & Dragons series, and Issue #4 of The X-Files: Year Zero.
From BOOM! Studios we have previews of Issue #1 of an intriguing new series called Memetic, and Issue #1 of 3 Guns–the sequel to 2 Guns, the comic book that became this summer’s Mark Wahlberg/Denzel Washington action movie we reviewed previously here at borg.com.
And don’t forget to pick up Dark Horse Comics’ new Predator: Fire and Stone, Issue #1, previewed here earlier.
After the break, check out these great previews.
Review by C.J. Bunce
Somewhere around the halfway mark of the new movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a fun action flick comes together. If you can get to that point without falling asleep. With the modern special effects this movie should not have needed to have been compared to the original 1990 film version. Unfortunately the slow start and less-than-appealing villains keep this one from the top tier of this summer’s would-be franchise blockbusters.
So what’s worth the admission price? First off, Megan Fox. Not for a second does she flinch from a strong portrayal of April, the well-known friend of the Turtles. She delivers even the silliest lines as if she’s playing serious drama. And the film is better for it. Although the perpetually young looking actress may be typecasting herself with films like the original Transformers and this similar action genre entry, she may also be simply carving out a niche she’s darned good at.
The biggest failing of Iron Man 2 was the “annoying guy” played over and over in movies by Sam Rockwell. That same caricature is in TMNT, but played by Will Arnett, who I have not seen before simply because I don’t watch his admittedly popular series including 30 Rock and Arrested Development. Here he offers what seems like an impersonation of the Night Shift and Batman era Michael Keaton, and it’s some funny stuff.
The first two previews for this summer’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie reboot revealed just enough to intrigue viewers to keep an eye out for the release. The latest trailer–the longer international cut–delves right in to reveal not only turtles Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo, but a peek at their sensei Splinter and a great reveal of bad guy Shredder.
Megan Fox, who seems to be the go-to gal for 1980s kid toy-based movie reboots, must feel like she’s being followed, with the same bass synchro chords playing to introduce Shredder in the preview that was used to reveal the Decepticons in her 2007 film Transformers (and pretty much everything large in movie previews these days).
But the big surprise in this new trailer is how smoothly integrated the CGI turtles seem to be with the live-action world and crew. These teenage stars seem pretty updated from the original movie back 1990, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, also live-action. The new kids are still hip, but also have a modern urban vibe, something like the kids from Attack the Block, American style, complete with an X-Games style snowboard rescue scene. This may be a fun romp for kids of all ages.
Yesterday Paramount also revealed four new posters to advertise the movie, featuring each Turtle. Which is which? Leonardo is wearing the blue blindfold, Michelangelo the orange, Raphael the red, and Donatello the purple. It’s a good time to drum up publicity for the film, with the new Transformers movie arriving in theaters next week–also from Paramount–and sure to have a crossover audience.