The TMNT 2 Comic Adaptations are fascinating

In 1991, the sequel to the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was released. And since it was the early 90s and films stayed in theaters for more than a month and a half, there was nearly a year gap between the theatrical release and the home video release. To tide fans over, there would be comic book adaptations of the film. These were usually written (‘adapted’) and drawn using the original script and production stills for reference before the movie was actually released, so often times things like deleted scenes and slightly altered dialogue would make it into the comics.

But TMNT II: The Secret of the Ooze had TWO adaptations: one published by Archie comics, who were publishing the TMNT Adventures comics; and one published by Tundra, which was TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman’s self-founded company.

Both were pencilled by Mirage Comics TMNT semi-regular artist Jim Lawson, but they were each colored by different people; The Tundra version (on the left with the black border on the cover) was colored by Richmond Lewis, while the Archie version waw colored by regular TMNT Adventures colorist, Barry Grossman.

Below are a handful of pages to showcase the drastic difference the coloring job makes to the exact same comic pages:

Tundra
Archie
Tundra
Archie
Tundra
Archie
Tundra
Archie

I’m not here to tell you which is better, just to show the differences. So to anybody who thinks comic book colorists don’t make a difference, you show them these issues. Colors can change the entire tone of a scene.

And here’s a random panel of Tokka and Rahzar burping, because I think the way Lawson draws Tokka, the mutant snapping turtle, is hilarious:

I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Tundra version has some extra splash pages during the fight scenes. They have no dialogue, so removing them from the Archie version doesn’t affect the story, but it does feel like extra content when you compare the two.

TMNT and all related characters are owned by Nickelodeon.