Book Review: “Eleventh Grave in Moonlight” by Darynda Jones

Disclaimer: I picked this week’s book in a rush and didn’t realize until I started reading it that it is the eleventh in an ongoing series. This won’t effect my overall impression of the book. However, it may mean that I have missed some nuances that could inform my reading of it, and therefore this review.

There’s several elements of Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones that don’t work very well on their own. The writing style, while a few steps above cheap paperback sci-fi/fantasy writing, is still only just adequate. (It is full of the dreaded one-word paragraphs typical of escapist fiction that annoy me so much.) The humor is downright corny, garnering the occasional chuckle but nothing more. There are multiple plots that in some cases don’t even connect to each other and sometimes meander too much on their own.

Yet somehow, this book works when all of these elements are combined together. Jones’ lighthearted style makes for a breezy, quick read. The reader begins to really care for the main character Charley Jones as she’s trying to sort out her family troubles and work on multiple cases as a private investigator. And it doesn’t hurt the story as Charley is only partially human but mostly a god (actually, thirteen gods that have combined together—or were eaten by the most dominant war god, it’s left up in the air) who also works as the current grim reaper.

The book begins with a quick chapter detailing Charley’s life so far as she talks to a skeptical psychiatrist (in other words, we get a recap of the book series so far). The psychiatrist finally believes Charley when she realizes that she’s actually been dead for a year and Charley is there to help her cross over to the afterlife. We then get to see Charley at work, taking a case from a man, Shawn Foster, who was adopted—or rather, abducted—by the same “foster parents” that did the same to Charley’s husband, Reyes (who is also a supernatural being, a demon who is the brother of Jehovah).

Throughout the book we learn more about the Fosters and their religious fanaticism, a stalker harassing her secretary’s daughter, a malevolent god running amok on Earth that Charley has to ultimately chase, and what exactly has been keeping her secretary’s husband, a police officer, away so often from home. Again, these plots don’t exactly connect cleanly throughout the book but they’re entertaining on their own. I actually found myself holding my breath as the stalker plot reached it’s conclusion, and I started getting angry at the Fosters’ as the details of their fanaticism started to reveal themselves. Jones’ writing allows the characters to feel real, garnering empathy from the reader.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight left more questions than answers, leading to the next book. The enjoyment of this one piqued my curiosity for what happens in the next one but I can’t say I’m entirely hooked on the series. I enjoyed it as I read it but I didn’t fall in love with it. But if you’re looking for escapism with supernatural beings and humorous crime stories, this series is worth a shot.

Thoughts on Amazon Prime.

What’s this? Two blog posts in one day? After I published my last one I decided to do something that I’ve been meaning to do for a few months now, and sign up for a thirty day trial of Amazon Prime. Even in just the few hours  I’ve had it I’ve made a few observations about the differences between that and Netflix. I wanted to try Amazon Prime for two reasons: I’ve gotten really bored with Netflix’s lackluster selection and I wanted to also see what the Prime Reading option had in store for me as well when it comes time for me to resume writing book reviews in March.* There are other services as well which I’ll also go over but those were just extra icing on the cake for me.

I’ll start with a comparison of the Netflix streaming service versus Amazon Prime’s streaming. For the most part I watch both on my television through my Nintendo Wii. Because it matters I should point out that I’m watching both on a standard definition television. I would love to get a more modern (and bigger) set but as I have some big financial plans this year I don’t see myself upgrading anytime soon. I also have the slowest speed available through Comcast around here, although I haven’t noticed any effect on either service.

Netflix looks just fine on my television. I never had any complaints there. The interface, while a bit basic and having less options than the web version, serves its purpose without any regular lag. Amazon’s channel took quite a while to load the first time today, but I’m guessing that had to do with the change in my account. Since then it boots up at the same speed. However, I’m noticing that with many of the selections so far the picture quality is slightly lesser than what I would find on Netflix. I especially compared Star Trek: The Next Generation which is available on both services. If I didn’t already have Netflix I wouldn’t even think about the quality of Amazon Prime’s picture. I have read that depending on the user’s setup the quality can be comparable, so it could be my equipment that’s making the difference. Could it be that this would inspire me to upgrade that as well?

As far as the selection is concerned, I like what I’m seeing so far on Amazon Prime. Of course by switching I’m potentially losing some titles on Netflix that I would have enjoyed, but Amazon’s selection overall looks to be much better. Not only that, but through the same channel on my Wii I can access all of the instant videos that aren’t offered through the Prime service. Many of them can be rented quite affordably. I’m a bit of a cheapskate so I would really want to see the movie, but it’s nice to know that the option is there.

I also wanted to compare Prime Reading to visiting the public library to read new or at least somewhat new book releases so I could review them on my blog. Right off the bat I noticed that Prime has a small selection the newest book was released nearly four months ago. Neither problem is potentially that much of a concern when it comes to selecting a book for a review, but when I could chose from many more and much more recent book through the Maine public library system I wonder if the convenience is worth it. But it is more convenient than physically going to the library. That’s not to mention if I have a specific title that I want to order, which I have to wait to be delivered to my local branch. Cost is also significant. Borrowing a book from the library is free. Then again, technically it’s not—I pay taxes. I could apply the same logic to Prime Reading if I keep the service for video.

But, alas, I could also get Amazon Kindle Unlimited for unlimited reading of millions of books for approximately the same cost as what Prime would amount to once a month. Then I really would be paying for the convenience of not going to the library. Is it really worth that cost?

Like I said, there are other services that come with Amazon Prime, such as streaming of digital music. There are many albums that I can listen to either online or on my phone (provided I get a good enough signal) at no additional cost. It is a bit annoying that there are many albums that I want to listen to that aren’t offered through Prime, or if they are, not in their entirety. But, like I said, this was just a bonus for me. I have other legal means to stream music, even if it does mean listening to the occasional ad. Besides, sometimes I really would rather buy an album in order to support the artist.

But wait, I could also sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited, which would give me access to the albums I want plus many more, all for the same price as Prime.

There are many other services that I could go into and this post is getting pretty long, so I’ll only point out one other one that caught my attention when I signed up for this. Amazon owns Audible, and offers many audio books to Prime subscribers for free. They also have a thing called Audible Channels, but it’s essentially the same thing as podcasts (and in fact, even includes podcasts that are already free anyway).

But wait, I could upgrade to Audible for the same cost per month as Prime—noticing a trend here? It looks like in many cases being a subscriber to Amazon Prime offers a limited version of other services through Amazon, and if you want to get more you have to pay more. Honestly, I don’t see a problem with the idea of a tiered program Unfortunately the cost is a bit ridiculous. Okay, so you don’t have to be a Prime member to also sign up for one of these other services. But I would think that if you chose to upgrade, being a Prime member should give you a discount on the other subscription. For example, you pay nine dollars a month for Kindle Unlimited, or you pay nine dollars a month for Prime and then five for Kindle Unlimited on top of that. I’m not particularly interested in any of these other services myself but I can’t imagine somebody signing up for Prime, making the yearly payment and then signing up for a monthly bill for an upgraded portion of what they’re already getting, ultimately doubling the cost.

So, when it comes down to it, am I going to follow through with the trial period and sign up for Amazon Prime and cancel my Netflix account? Honestly, I’m on the fence. The better selection and access to other services, albeit limited, make up for the slightly lesser picture quality of Amazon’s video. When it comes down to it, the yearly payment for Amazon Prime comes out to less per month than my monthly Netflix bill. That may end up being the deciding factor between the two.

For that matter, I could just save my money and cancel both services. After all, I can always borrow movies through the library (even though that raises other concerns, such as my history of borrowing damaged discs frustratingly often) or rent them individually through Amazon or Redbox. (That also has a trade-off: assuming that I’m only going to watch a movie once anyway, Redbox’s cheaper price and DVD quality offsets Amazon’s convenience and still lesser picture quality.) I’m probably still going to borrow books from the library anyway. Should I just be a cheapskate and cancel all of these services?

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*As a side note for those who may care, because of potential plans for the first weekend of March I may end up not getting to the first book review until the second Monday.

Sunday List: Top Five Movie Sequels I’d Like to See.

I’ve read and heard a lot of complaints about how there’s no originality in Hollywood anymore, considering all of the sequels, reboots and adaptations that are released to theaters in recent years. While none of these things are new, it feels like we’re getting inundated with a whole series of rehashed stories and characters that just won’t die. I say fine, while we’re at it, then let’s make some decent sequels to great movies that aren’t getting this treatment.

I put together my own fantasy list of films I’d like to see sequels for. I’m sure that none of these will get made. In some cases the people responsible for making them have already said that they aren’t willing to work on sequels. In some cases these are older movies and the sequels would have only worked if they were made years ago. But I can still have my fantasy movies, can’t I? So here are my top five wanted (though unlikely) movie sequels.

  1. True Stories. David Byrne said he won’t make a sequel to this movie. And I’m perfectly happy with it on its own. But there’s a lot of potential for somebody to go back to this fictional town thirty plus years later and see what the residents and their grown-up children are up to. The original movie had a lot of characters based on stories Byrne read in tabloid newspapers at the time. I would think that now with the Internet there would be plenty of source material for even more wild characters. Oh, and it would provide a reason for more David Byrne songs.
  2. Big Trouble in Little China. I agree with the statement Kurt Russell made about the remake: wish it well, but there’s no point. I’ll watch it if it looks interesting but part of the charm of the original film was the atmosphere that only films made in the eighties can have. I would have liked to have seen a direct sequel made by John Carpenter. Sure, Lo Pan died at the end, but some of his followers survived. Couldn’t they try resurrecting him? That, and I felt cheated that snow wasn’t covered by one of the Storms.
  3. UHF. I’m cheating a little bit here. I just want another Weird Al movie in the same vein as UHF. It can be a spiritual successor, if you will. The plot of the first movie was barely there and largely forgettable, and there aren’t UHF stations anymore. Then again, perhaps George becomes a YouTuber?
  4. Napoleon Dynamite. It surprises me that this hasn’t already happened. Not only was the movies a big success, there’s plenty of room to make more in that world. Yes, I know there was the animated series. It’s just not the same.
  5. The Transformers: The Movie. “What are you talking about? They’re already working on the fifth one!” I hear you (probably not) say. But I’m not referring to the live-action toy commercials that are being made today. I’m talking about the animated toy commercial from the eighties. For many of us who grew up at the time, the movie was the pinnacle of the animated form of The Transformers. Yet it wasn’t a box office success, which didn’t prompt another film. Sure, we got the third season of the show which acted as a sequel in a way, but aside from a few high points it didn’t really live up to the standards set by the film. But I would take this sequel even further: instead of picking up the story where the Rebirth miniseries left off, have the sequel completely ignore the American cartoon. This would allow writers to forget the Quintesson-origin story and incorporate Primus into the animated universe. Okay, now I’m really nerding out and I reached my word count. I’m going to end with that.

Tuesday Random Thoughts: Batman, Red Dwarf, iPod Speakers.

  • This weekend I watched a couple of new DVD releases that I recently picked up. On Saturday morning I watched Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. It’s an animated “sequel” to the sixties television series starring Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar reprising their roles from the show. I don’t think I have had that much fun watching a movie in a long time. I found myself smiling all the way through if not outright laughing. Longtime readers of this blog should know that I’m a huge fan of the old show, and as an homage I thought this movie nailed it. They obviously had to make a few changes to avoid trademark issues (the characters are owned by Warner Bros. but the show is owned by Fox, not to mention all of the other rights issues such as actor likenesses and so on). But it stood on its own—even if I hadn’t seen the show, the reasons I would love the show would be the reasons I liked this movie. But knowing the old show certainly helps have an appreciation of what the makers of this movie did. And there’s also a Get Smart homage near the beginning of the movie as well. There was obviously a lot of fun going into making this movie which comes across in the experience of watching it.
  • On Saturday night I sat down and had a marathon of the Red Dwarf XI. Again, longtime readers should also know that I’m a huge Red Dwarf fan. (Perhaps I should have done a Nerdy Saturday post after all.) There was one joke in the first episode that caused me to laugh so hard that I had to pause the show. That’s only happened to me once before in my life (during an episode of David Tennant’s run on Doctor Who… “It goes ding when there’s stuff”). Unfortunately, I laughed less as the show went on, but the same happened to me when Red Dwarf X. I think that’s largely due to marathon-viewing of the entire series at once rather than the quality of the show itself. I recognized things were funny, I just couldn’t laugh at them. I should have spaced it out. I just couldn’t help myself.
  • I bought this iPod docking system speaker-thing a week and a half ago at a thrift store. I wanted to replace the big, old and partially broken stereo system that I kept in my kitchen with something smaller and just for my iPod. I haven’t had good luck with like electronics at thrift shops but I decided to give it a shot. So far it’s worked great. It didn’t come with a power cord so I thought I would get one of those universal power adapters for it. It turns out that they’re hard to find in stores these days. But it’s been running on batteries this whole time and it’s still going strong. I rather like the portability of it as well. Maybe I’ll just stick with the batteries, then.
  • You’ll notice that I haven’t been political all week. I’m keeping this blog apolitical for a while. I for one am sick of politics. I’m not avoiding them, but unless I have a real reason or can’t help myself I’m keeping out of the whole discussion for now. Maybe later.

Nerdy Saturday: Batman’s secret identity?

For a while now I intended on writing a blog post in the “Nerdy Saturday” series* regarding superheroes and why do they need to conceal their true identities. But that’s too big a project for a casual comic reader like myself. I know that Marvel did a whole thing about it with the first Civil War story but I didn’t read the whole thing. It all comes down to each individual character and his/her/its own reasons for needing to keep their real identity a secret. But sometimes it seems confusing as to why particular characters do this in-story. It’s a well-worn comic convention that sometimes seems to be used only because it’s a well-worn comic convention.

For today, I really just want to focus on Batman, specifically the sixties television version (big surprise**). In some story lines in the larger Batman mythos it makes sense that Bruce Wayne would want to keep his crime-fighting activities a secret as Batman is regarded as a dangerous criminal by the public at large. Sometimes he’s used by the police but only as a last resort, as he’s technically a vigilante and thereby breaking the law by fighting law-breakers. But in the television show, Batman worked directly with the police, often repeating the fact that he and Robin are fully deputized agents of the law.

So why all of the secrecy? We’ve seen in the show that both Batman and Bruce Wayne are highly respected. Bruce Wayne’s mansion has been a target for crooks time and again, so it’s not like they’ll target his place just for revenge. The only reason that I can think of is it keeps the location of the Batcave secret. But that’s not really a strong point to make. Batman could still make it known who he is while keeping the location of the Batcave secret from everybody. They just may have to move it away from Wayne Manor.

It makes sense that Barbara Gordon would want to keep her secret identity as Batgirl a secret from her father. It even makes sense that knowing that Dick Grayson is Robin the Boy Wonder might give his Aunt Harriet a heart attack. But what does Bruce Wayne have to lose? With the location of the Batcave and Robin’s aunt he does have some reasons, but ultimately I can’t see how it would make any difference to his career as a crime-fighter. Even if the world at large can’t know, why not the chief of police?

The show was based on the comic books, and if the convention in the comics was established that he kept his identity secret, then the show followed suit. And of course, it’s all in good fun. But I have to wonder that if the show had continued past the third season if he would open up to more people.


 

*Yeah, I know, I’m late again. But at least this time I’m getting it done and out of the way first thing on Sunday morning. I do plan on writing  a “Sunday List” later today.

**I realize that I’ve narrowed my “Nerdy Saturday” posts to just a few aspects of pop culture. It wasn’t until after I started this that I realized that I don’t have that many nerdy interests. At least, I don’t have extensive knowledge for that many. I became worried that I wasn’t going to vary the subject matter enough to have posts on this series. I decided that I’m going to willingly focus on the few things I know about for now, and hopefully pick up more information about all of these other comics, video games, etc. as time goes on.

Nerdy Saturday: Why are we so obsessed with living robots?

I recently watched a video on the YouTube channel NerdSync about whether or not the Marvel character The Vision is actually alive and conscious or if he’s merely a robot faking it. I strongly recommend that you check out this and other NerdSync videos as they cover a lot of comic-related issues such as continuity problems, hypotheses (“fan theories”) about popular characters and stories, and, such in the case of the above video, philosophy and how it relates to the world of comics. You don’t have to watch this video to get what I’m saying in this blog post, but it does provide a lot more information on philosophy of the mind and robotics than what I’m covering here—such as duality, physicalism and the Turing Test.

There has been a long running theme of living robots (or androids, or sometimes just pieces of software) in science fiction. Perhaps one of the most famous is Data, the android from Star Trek: The Next Generation and related movies. There was some effort in the early seasons of the show to establish that he is indeed alive and self-aware, culminating in the episode The Measure of a Man. In this popular episode of the series, Data is put on trial to prove that he is alive and deserves the full rights and treatment as any Starfleet officer. The judge ultimately rules in his favor, reasoning that because those who interact with him feel about him as they do anybody else (in other words, eh passes the Turing Test), there’s no more or less proof that he has a “soul” than anybody else. The same theme has been explored throughout the Star Trek franchise, particularly holograms.*

Another prominent franchise that features living robots is The Transformers. Depending on the continuity, the storytellers sometimes go through great lengths to show that the Cybertronians are alive—with explanations ranging from something simple as the narrator saying “they’re alive” to the more complicated story lines of the Beast era. In the latter instance we actually see Transformers’ souls, known as “sparks” in fiction. The spark would inhabit what is known as a “spark crystal” and bring the robot body to life. Beast Machines in particular had a story lines which proved that while as “shell program” could be installed in the robot body dominating the personality, the true personality of the spark could be brought to the surface—demonstrating that in the Transformers multiverse, the soul is the mind, which is a physical presence, creating a sort of hybrid of duality and physicalism.

There are other instances of living robots in science fiction, such as Marvin the Paranoid Android, Kryten from Red Dwarf, possibly the droids from Star Wars and so on.** But why are we so obsessed with the idea of living robots? Why does it matter? In individual cases, there are specific reasons Data defines what it means to be alive. The Transformers are made more relate-able to kids so the toys are easier to sell. But is there a larger reason that we want robots to be alive? perhaps it has nothing to do with the robots themselves. By defining this other, unlikely creature as alive we learn more about what it means to be alive ourselves. Or it could simply have something to do with our speculation of someday creating beings that can think for themselves. There’s much on this to ponder, and I don’t have the time or space to look into it for this blog. But it’s worth thinking about.


*The motif of putting a main character or trial has been repeated in the Star Trek franchise: once, in Voyager, in which the Doctor fights for his rights as an author, citing Data’s case as a precedent; another time was when Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine was put on trial for a murder case involving the former host of of the symbient that not only combines mentally with its humanoid host but remembers its past “lives” as well. The latter case doesn’t fit into the larger theme of this blog post, but it is interesting to note that we never resolve the nature of Jadzia Dax’s mind as a the case was dismissed. In the case of the former, the Doctor lost the case, but it is clear that the rest of the crew consider him a fully alive and self-aware member of the crew throughout the series.

**I know I’m leaving out a lot, especially when it comes to literature. But I didn’t have time to research a more thorough list for this blog. I’m sure a quick search on the Internet for “robots in science fiction” would suffice. Besides, while I’m a fan of science fiction in general, and an avid reader, my exposure to actual science fiction literature is rather scant.

Seven of the lowest points in the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise. #tmnt

This list is partially inspired by one that I saw on another site a while back. I’m not going to link to that one primarily because I’m too lazy to find it again, but also because I wasn’t exactly happy with what they produced. Being such a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, and having already skipped my Nerdy Saturday post this week, I’m going to present my own list of what I think are seven of the lowest points in the franchise. I’m sure I left something out but this list is already long enough as it is. Perhaps there’s something that I’m missing that I could put in a sequel.

However, there are a few things that I intentionally left off of this list that I know other people would include, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III and the Coming Out of Their Shells tour. I look at these things as what makes sense to have happened when they did. Besides, the third movie wasn’t that bad. As far as the tour goes, just check out the footage of how happy the kids in the audience were. I think that pretty much negates the argument.

    • The degradation of Karai over the different continuities. When Karai first appeared in the City at War story line of the original Mirage comics, she was one of the higher-ups worldwide coming to New York to piece together the local section of the Foot Clan after it fell apart following the Shredder’s death (the Mirage Shredder,  having died already—twice, because, you know, comics—was only the leader of the NYC Foot Clan, with clan leaders still in Japan). In recent incarnations, however, she has been reduced to a sort sergeant in the Foot, or sometime even a direct descendant of the Shredder. There are still efforts to make her as bad-ass as possible within those confines, but come on—we get a strong female character in a male-dominated field, and she gets reduced. At least she doesn’t regularly turn into a “damsel in distress” like April all the time.
    • The over-use of the Shredder. Okay, I get it. The Shredder is the main villain of the first cartoon show and therefore made the most prominent in most people’s memories. But use him too much and he loses his appeal as a frightening bad guy. Seriously, he’s Darth Vader with blades all over him and he turns into a bumbling idiot half the time in the cartoons. In the original comics, he’s killed in the first issue, and then again after a brief appearance in a later story line. (Depending on how you look at it, he died again in a later issue of Tales of the TMNT in which the magical worms that resurrected him the first time took over the body of a shark…. It’s too much to explain.) The Archie TMNT comics spread out his appearances, and one of the later items on this list, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, did at least one thing right by using him only sparingly as well. But for the most part, he shows up way too much.
    • Conversely, the under-use of Verminator-X. Man, this guy was cool. He was an anthropomorphic cat in the future that added cyborg parts to himself that caused him to go insane. He sided with the Shredder and a mutant shark (no relation to the above-mentioned story line) and made himself an enemy of the Turtles whom he once allied with. Cats are cool these days. Cyborgs are cool. Damn it, he smoked which is almost unheard of in Archie comics without anybody making a big deal about it. Yet aside from that one story line, unless I’m mistaken he never appeared again in the entire franchise. He would make such a popular character these days. See? You use a good character only once and we want more.
    • Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. This could fall under the category of “it made sense at the time” that I mentioned in the intro if this show wasn’t done so poorly. It made sense that a live-action show would be produced, and it made sense that it was done by Saban Entertainment, who produced Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. But the show was very clearly done on the cheap. The costumes, effects and voice-overs were all badly done and obviously rushed. The acting was way too hammy on everybody’s part, although given what the actors had to work with I don’t entirely blame them. The writing felt like they took elements of the TMNT mythos and transposed them to a Power Rangers-style show and then dumbed it down for a younger audience.
      But, let’s face it, the worst part of the show was its most infamous: Venus DeMilo. I know that she has her fans and more power to you, but setting aside the concept of the character in the first place, Venus was horrible. First of all, she was a mutated turtle—with mammalian breasts. Even if they worked they were under a shell, rendering them useless. If we overlook the biological complications, we still have the East Asian stereotypes to deal with as well. She constantly spoke in Engrish, had an over-the-top accent and used mystical orbs to blast the baddies. Honestly, I could write an entire blog post about Venus. I think I’ll leave it there.
    • Leondardo Had a Rowboat. Usually, I would write out my entry but this time I’ll just link to the video and let it speak for itself:
  • Volume 3 of the “official” comics. Mirage ended Volume 1  with issue 62 and then produced Volume 2, which were now in color and ended after only thirteen issues. They decided to lease out the property to Image, which was to take over the reigns and produce Volume 3. So this wasn’t just another new comic line based on Eastman and Laird’s creations, it was the actual, official continuation of the original comics. Or at least, it was meant to be.
    I should say that there are a lot of elements of Volume 3 that I liked, especially the art style. The comics just looked really damn cool. They returned to black and white in a way that not only added a darker tone to the visuals but the storytelling as well. However, there were problems as well.
    The biggest of which would be that the makers of the comic may have put too much of an effort into it. As a result, they did too much, too fast. Leonardo lost a hand, Donatello got turned into a cyborg, Raphael got his face scarred really badly and then became the new Shredder, Splinter turned into a giant bat… all in the course of twenty-three issues. The writing suffered also in that the overall story arc not only didn’t seem to have an end in sight, it didn’t really have a structure to begin with. Even individual issues felt like they were merely plot points in a larger plot, without a proper story-telling structure to themselves. (Disclosure: I do admit that I haven’t read these in a while, and once I complete my collection I intend on reading all of the comics beginning to end. I may change some of my opinions on this Volume then.) The result was a bit of a mess. When Mirage took the Turtles back for Volume 4, they simply ignored the changes of Volume 3, relegating it to a sort of alternate timeline that shared the same backstory. Then again, that could be retconned if anybody wanted to do that… because, you know, comics.
  • Constant reboot syndrome. Finally, the TMNT franchise suffers from what I like to call constant reboot syndrome. I get that business needs will force writers to start a new continuity: when a cartoon show was needed to promote the toys, a more kid-friendly version of the TMNT was produced; when the first live-action movies were made, another continuity was formed in order to make those work; the video games borrow elements from several pre-existing continuities and for that matter, there’s no reason to believe that any of them are continuous with each other. That’s all fine, but enough is enough. Just because the Turtles are now Nickelodeon property that’s no reason to start over again. Even then, do we need multiple new comic lines?
    Maybe I’m just bitter at the fact that I’m out of touch with these new universes. But that’s okay. I still have the old books for that indie-comics goodness, and if I really want a nostalgic trip I can throw in my DVDs of the original show. But I don’t see the need to follow the same story elements reshuffled yet another time. I will say that there are some good elements of the new lines, particularly the IDW comics, but I just don’t need it in my life. Well, that is until I complete my collection and start wanting more. I’m like that.