Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics Vol. 2 #3
IDW Publishing (January, 2014)
originally published as issue #13 (Mirage; August, 1998, although it came out late when originally published)“Dome Doom!” WRITER/PENCILER/CO-CREATOR: Peter Laird INKER: Jim Lawson LETTERER: Steve Lavigne CO-CREATOR: Kevin Eastman IDW COLORIST: Scorpion Studios IDW EDITOR: Tom Waltz
Casey, Raph, and Michaelangelo are checking out the local bookstore when it’s attacked by strange robots. Learning that the owner, Steve, and his employee are in fact retired superheroes Stainless Steve and Metal Head (not to be confused with a certain robot turtle), Casey and the Turtles find themselves joining the Justice Force (another team name I can’t use; thanks guys) against former member turned evil Doctor Dome. His plan is to drawn out his former love interest Battling Bernice, only her daughter, the new Battling Bernice, tells him she passed a few years ago and was actually in love with Steve. As Dome may receive a second chance, Leo and Raph wonder if time really does heal all wounds, perhaps a reference to their own situation.
What they got right: They got the old issue numbering right this issue, although they still passed an issue and need to correct that. There are nods to other indie comics of the time on the shelves at Steve’s comic shop. The hero names (except for Battling Bernice) are pretty decent for the time they’re supposed to be from. I also like the final scene with Leo and Raphael, as the Justice Force aren’t the only heroes with some wounds to heal.
What they got wrong: There’s never been any indication that there were ever superheroes in this world, so it seems odd to have them show up out of the blue. Maybe if their exploits had been secret, like in The Middleman, but I don’t get that sense here. And what kind of name is Ananda? Is that a real first name?
Other notes: It would be wrong to say this story was adapted into the second series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode “Return Of The Justice Force” as much as it was loosely based on this. Ananda there is the bad guy and Dome’s daughter. She blamed the Justice Force when her mother came out of retirement and was killed. Here, the original Battling Bernice, despite having a crush on Stainless Steve Steel and Dome having a crush on her that slowly destroyed him (ooh, I know that feeling, but luckily I snapped out of it before becoming a supervillain), had a child with someone else and retired. Ananda took up her mantle and I guess her mom dies from something not involving the usual superhero threats. The more I think about it the more I think it did her a disservice despite being an interesting twist that even the comic fans didn’t see coming.
Recommendation: A good story and research claims the Justice Force would appear again. While it still feels out of place based on previous events I don’t hate it. It’s worth taking a look at.