Saturday, March 9, 2013

I Emerge with a Complaint

I haven't been blogging much because I've been caught up in writing and trying once again to bring my life back in order. I just don't have the mojo right now. But in the meantime, enjoy this:

When the now-defunct comic company Dreamwave adapted episodes of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, they did so in an interesting way: they would tell side stories set during the early episodes, so that each of these episodes got extra details.

However, when it came to the third issue...guh. It opens with a monologue by Baxter Stockman that goes like this:

"THere's always a woman. Always, without exception, somewhere in the mix. That's who we do it for. Men are supposedly in charge. But if women ever realized how much they run things, we'd be dead. They chew away at us, night and day. They keep us off balance. And no matter how we insulate and protect ourselves..they still chew their way in. And they somehow know just how to get to you. How to tear into you, find that which is most valuable...and swallow it whole."

The monologue is juxtaposed over some Mousers chewing their way into a bank to rob it.

Stockman, what would your mother think?!

I know that plenty of real-life guys have this attitude, usually neckbeards with a persecution complex. It's the kind of thought that, sadly, not only a man could have, but it's complete bullshit either way. Anybody with half a working brain can look at history and see how wrong and insulting that view is.

To have it worm its way into a children's comic is just...disgusting. Worse when it's spoken by my favourite character in the series.

Now, I never shy away from Stockman's flaws, but this simply doesn't ring true. First because it comes from a series for chlidren that barely acknowledges sex, beyond "boys and girls like each other", so it seems out of place for something vomited up from the bowels of the Internet to show up in it.

Second, I think Stockman would view himself as above such "mortal" concerns. The guy's got one hell of an ego, and if Stockman hasn't actually gotten rid of any issues he had as a teenager, he sure would pretend to himself that he has. He'd block it out and pretend he was Mr. Perfect. He wouldn't still be chewing over his crappy high school life.

Which is what this comic issue amounts to, by the way. A flashback to Stockman's teen-hood where he was the usual picked-on nerd, and making devices to get even with the bullies and jocks. To add to the creep factor, li'l Stockman had a crush on a girl named April, who dated one of the boys who bullied him, and it's implied to be the reason he hired April O'Neil to work with him.

(And we're supposed to believe the Shredder recruited Stockman right out of high school?)

And this was written by Peter David, of all people...*the* Peter David. Everything else Stockman does and says is perfectly in-character, with the right amount of pomposity and cheese, so I don't know what went wrong there.

And the artwork is terrible. Seriously, look at this:

Stockman might be an awful person in many ways, but he's not creepy in that specific way. I'm just going to block this out, like the way I blocked out the fact that Transformers: Kiss Players takes place during my favourite era of G1.

1 comment:

  1. I'd glad to know I'm not the only one who found this issue particularly weird.

    I at least give Peter David credit in the early issues of this series for trying to give the die-hard fans of the TV show some creative looks at the "behind the scenes" action and a deeper look into the psychology of the supporting characters.

    But this issue's treatment of Baxter is bizarre. It really does suggest that the only reason Baxter was able to become a success in the scientific world is because he was recruited by the Foot in high school and then placed in a position to succeed.

    And it is creepy how he seems to project some of his feelings about his old teen crush onto April.

    I will, however, defend the talents of LeSean Thomas which he put on display throughout this series. Back in the early 00s, LeSean gave us fans one of the most dynamic styles to have ever graced the franchise. I'm not crazy about the washed-out and sephia-heavy coloring job, but I'd love to see LeSean draw some more TMNT comics. He was really cordial with the fans on the Drome forums too.