Comic Vine Review

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #215 - Mazes & Mutants Review

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The fellowship of the Turtles!

Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has given plenty of love to the horror genre. From crazy new mutants to awesome nods to iconic films like Alien, John Carpenter's The Thing and many more, they've managed to fit a nice horror vibe into an all-ages show. However, this week's episode embraces another genre: fantasy.

First and foremost, I'll admit I'm not a big fantasy buff. I didn't play Dungeons & Dragons or Dragon's Lair as a youngling and, don't tell Sean Astin, but I'm not the biggest Lord of the Rings fan around (don't get me wrong: I enjoy them and quality-wise they're stellar, but overall, it's just not really my thing compared to sci-fi and such). That said, this latest episode, "Mazes & Mutants," has such a good time celebrating the genre that you really don't need to be a huge fan to appreciate all of the fun. Witnessing each of the Heroes in a Half Shell step into their makeshift outfits is glorious. And, even though it's beyond cliche, the "slow motion group shot" was so well-deserved for the team in their new (and not to mention fantastic) costumes. And yes, they're apparently making figures based on these designs. Wizard Donatello shall be mine... or is it "Donatello the Purple"?

The Lord of the Ring/The Hobbit jokes aren't too frequent, but when they are used, they're a total knockout. The "dragon's tail" slithering through the piles of gold, Mikey's face as he protects his ring (of awesome), Rob Paulsen's delivery of a classic line... there's more than a handful of moments that are sure to make you laugh out loud. Plus, you can't help but chuckle at the fact this episode's new mutant, Sir Malachi, is charismatically voiced by Paul Reubens.

I continue to love the illustrated flashback segments. The handling of them and the style itself is always topnotch and brings a nice change of pace to each episode. I mean, they could easily have Sir Malachi explain his backstory and include reaction shots from the Turtles, but instead, they flesh it out with this comic book-ish scene and it's most definitely appreciated. Oh, and it's always a good thing when they offer foreshadowing via the classic TV show. Always.

Watching the team encounter new traps and what they generate is a joy, but when it comes to the actual combat, this episode didn't bring anything all that thrilling to the table (one "special attack" aside, that is!). And, unless it took a Gollum-esque turn, the "ring of awesome" bits became a little too repetitive. Still, "Mazes & Mutants" is a whole lot of fun and it's certain to keep you laughing (personally, I dug Raph's attitude and the conclusion with Malachi). There's plenty of references to enjoy and it's great seeing the team in a totally new environment. Oh, and be sure to pay attention, otherwise you may miss the triumphant return of Ice Cream Kitty!

15 Comments
Posted by Nahuel

I'm nerdgasming!!

Want the toys based on this episode right now!

Edited by Spider-Man

Posted by Lurkero

TMNT has done a good job incorporating themes without feeling too forced. I don't really need a bunch of action every episode as long as the content is still enjoyable.

Posted by The Stegman

"YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!"-Donatello.

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Posted by medulaoblaganda

@lurkero: but the cgi puts me off kinda!!. i wish the cgi was better. whar do you think?

Edited by Lurkero

@lurkero: but the cgi puts me off kinda!!. i wish the cgi was better. whar do you think?

I don't understand the dislike for the cgi in TMNT. Of all the 3D animated shows I have seen TMNT is among the best looking. Particularly because it has a stylistic choice of art rather than trying to imitate reality. I like the sharp angles and textures on many of the models, and the cartoon exaggeration helps relieve the models of the uncanny valley.

Posted by The Stegman

@lurkero said:

@medulaoblaganda said:

@lurkero: but the cgi puts me off kinda!!. i wish the cgi was better. whar do you think?

I don't understand the dislike for the cgi in TMNT. Of all the 3D animated shows I have seen TMNT is among the best looking. Particularly because it has a stylistic choice of art rather than trying to imitate reality. I like the sharp angles and textures on many of the models, and the cartoon exaggeration helps relieve the models of the uncanny valley.

I agree, the CGI turtles are among the best, I also like how they incorporate hand drawn cartoons into it as well (the Space Invaders cartoon the turtles watch, as well as the endings of the episodes where they become hand drawn and black/white)

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Posted by HushoftheWind

i was honestly worried that this show would run outta material and get dull, so far they've been slapping me in the face every episode.

I honestly can't wait until they release a decent video game for this series, b/c the designers of the series provided many different backdrops and environments so you can create at least 10 or 15 unique stages, this episode case in point.

Edited by Sammo21

@hushofthewind: The one they last released wasn't terrible. Like $15 on Steam, PS3, and 360.

Edited by SuperJedi17

Missed another one...ughh. When do the new ones come on? Saturday again? Sunday? I can't seem to catch up with the release schedule.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

For a minute there, I actually thought they were bringing magic into this incarnation of the Turtles. (Remember, they've fought time-traveling demons)

And I see they finally remembered the "scattered mutagen" plot.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous


@k4tzm4n

First and foremost, I'll admit I'm not a big fantasy buff. I didn't play Dungeons & Dragons or Dragon's Lair as a youngling and, don't tell Sean Astin, but I'm not the biggest Lord of the Rings fan around

:O I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you turn your geek card and limited edition action figures in.

Did anybody else think that Leo looked like he was cosplaying as Galactus?

Posted by chad4208

I had a little trouble understanding some aspects of the episode. There was no premise given on how sir..mela whatever had the power to reach into the turtles minds to create this illusion. Just being mutated, especially with a bird does not give one, in the context of the TMNT universe, magical, mental abilities. OR just being a rabid LARPer. So how did he do it? That is too far out of theoretical reality (reality within the given context of a show or book) for me to come away from the episode feeling satisfied.