This is going to be a fairly short review because there is little to no plot in this story. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In a comic series, sometimes action issues are necessary, especially in longer arcs.
We start off with narration from Rapheal that recaps the last two issues, including their encounters with Man Ray and Leatherhead, reinforcing the idea that this, in fact, a storyarc. Although it’s told in a different manner, not the least of which because this issue features a different artist, Jim Lawson. Lawson it the other artist known for work on this title, and his work brings a certain amount of nostalgia with it for me. He kind of has the blocky style of a poor man’s John Romita JR.
Anyway, after the recap (during which Rapheal’s WTF moment from last issue is changed to Mike’s, inexplicably) we learn that what scared them was a giant cow head eating them and taking them to another planet.
I have to admit, I didn’t see that coming.
This is Cuddly, one of many gem characters that are only present in this series. In this issue (which seems to have no title) we see Dean Clarrain’s sense of satire. Cuddly has brought them to an inter-dimensional wrestling federation run by Stump and Sling, two talking trees, the latter of which sprouts money and almost universally speaks in dollar amounts (ie: $36,000).
They introduce the other wrestlers, a four arms anamorphic dog named Cryin’ Houn’ (who is a parody of something I’m sure, but I don’t know what), a cigar-chomper that’s never named in this issue, and Ace Duck.
Like Leatherhead last issue, Ace Duck is very different from his TV counterpart. He’s a musclebound Fabio that seems to be a take on those hunk lady-killer wrestlers. There’s also a hilarious bit where Sling looks at him and says $3.69, which is the price of his action figure.
Sometimes this series was clever and hilarious, and it went right over my head as a kid.
The fourth wrestler is actually Leatherhead, who was saved mid-fall last issue by Cuddly and in the last five minutes has made a home for himself on Stump Asteroid, where he can be among others like him.
The Turtles also get new costumes. Raphael’s actually sticks around for some times, and these versions of the Turtles were one of the most requested toys at the time, but to my knowledge were never made.
The majority of the rest of the issue is just them fighting each other. They don’t hate each other, it’s wrestling. Televised, intergalactic wrestling. And it strangely works, if being a little anticlimactic. There’s nothing at stake, so it’s hard to get invested.
The Turtles win and Cuddly takes them home, but somehow accidentally brings them 100 years into the future where man has caused enough trouble to result in Earth being destroyed by pollution. This is one of the ham-fisted environmentalism attempts I talked about in issue five. He brings them to their own time, where it’s raining, and we end on another needless to be continued.
Despite being a plot-less action fest, this issue still has some great satire, art, and serves to entertain. It’s aware of what it is, and uses it to it’s own advantage. I’m giving it 6/10, with points lost for continuity issues and strange moral ending.