Review "Change is Constant" Volume 1

Just months ago, IDW Publishing released their first issue of the new TMNT series, leaving all of us comic book fans in shock of just how new these Turtle comics were.  Up to date, six issues have been released of the normal series and two issues from the Mirco Series.  These are wonderful comics that have been keeping us on our toes.  Though not every fan is able to just go and pick up all of the issues as they come out, so IDW has made a trade paperback of the first four issues calling it “Change is Constant” Volume 1.

The name of this trade is prefect, as even though so much has stayed the same about each of the characters they have changed a lot.  Their background story being the biggest difference that has the fans up in arms of how they’re going to explain so much about each of the Turtles.  They took out the option of having toddler Turtles and rushed these Turtles growth to what we have in the comic, this should be interesting to see where they go with it.  So for a title they hit it right on the nail.  Though this is not the first time we were warned of change in a title, the very first episode of the 4Kids series was “Things Change”, which was a hint that the 4kids series was not the same as the original 1987 series.

Of course, I had to go pick up this trade, and in away a part of me was hoping for a little something extra for those of us fans that buy this after buying the first four issues.  Maybe a short intro about how Kevin Eastman, one of the Co-Creators, is brought on.  Maybe some extra pages of Kevin’s layout art work which is amazing.  Maybe we’d see a little note from Tom Waltz on his reaction to how fans are taking to his new story line.  Though when I found the book in the store it was a lot thinner than I thought it would be.

Looking over the cover, the front cover has Kevin’s art work.  Which is great, a nice lead in to get old school fans to pick up the comic.  Kevin Eastman’s name is the first name given at the top of the book, followed by Tom Waltz and Dan Duncan.   While I realize that it’s because Kevin Eastman’s name is the one known by fans, I do personally feel Tom’s name should of been in front of Kevin’s.  Tom is the creator of this story line, he’s the one bringing us his idea of the Turtles.  If you go to a TMNT movie, you don’t get Eastman and Laird’s name bigger than the director.   Under the names is “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in red letters, looks good and easy to read, with the subtitle under that as well as Volume 1.

The back of the cover has two quotes from names I don’t know off the top of my head, one says kittyspride.com. So the quote isn’t even from a certain person, it’s an ad for what looks to be an X-Men fan site.  The other shorter quote is from ifanboy.  It’s disappointing that they did not get quotes from people who would really excite Turtle fans.  We know Peter’s worked with them on cover art, he could of given some sort of quote, or how about other well know comic writers who’ve touched the comics in the past?  Instead we get two fan things.   Now we get a write up, it’s short with parts of the letter big enough to take up one third of the space given.  It’s the normal thing on a back of a book giving an idea of what’s going on in the comic.  This is where they choose to mention that TMNT Co-Creator Kevin Eastman is a part of the comic.  I am happy to say that they put Tom Waltz and Dan Duncan before Kevin in this write up.  Though I still thought there might be a more inside.

Once I got the book home I cracked it open to check out what we have.  There’s a cover page, followed by another cover page.  The second cover page has the credits on it. I glanced around to see if they mentioned the comic series in big letters here like “Issues 1 to 4”, though it took me a minute to find the mention all the way down with the smaller print in the left hand corner.

Now to say how I thought this would be done, I’m going to use another trade as an example.  In front of me I have X-Men Age of the New X.  In side the front cover you have ads for ‘collected issues’ , showing stuff fans can buy if they like what’s in their hands.  If you turn the page there’s a list of all of the comic issues inside this trade, not just titles but a little write up about each.  This giving the reader an easy to see page about where the sources of these stories were originally published.  It’s not hidden in the corner of a page, but has the full page.

Next thing I noticed with “Change is Constant” is that they have the cover pages at the front and back of the comic as spread art pages for people to enjoy, only bit of extras we really seem to get.  Though through the comic itself, the only way for you to know you’re going into the next issue is up in the upper left hand corner of the first page for each issue is “Chapter” and number of issue.  So it’s like the book has four chapters.  True that is better than nothing, though I’ve always liked the comics where they share one of the covers of the chapters.

While I don’t mind seeing the cover art as splash pages in the issue, and I’m happy to say that used a few variants cover for each issue of the four comics. I still thought there might be something in here for the fans.  One thing that did get to me with each of the covers is that while they’re in this, with notes of who the artist was right next to them, that’s all the little notes say.  It would of been neat for the people looking at these to see that they are covers for the issue.  With the name of the artist and what issue this was originally released with.

There is one ad in the full trade, while usually people don’t want ads I do agree with them if they’re leading people to their current works of Ninja Turtles.  This ad is not to pick up the comic series to follow this story, but for the trade hardback of the Mirage Comics, which is worth it so much more than this little trade paperback here.  This book cost $18, with no features, only four comics, and not even a hard cover.  While the X-Men novel that I mentioned earlier is only $7 more, with covers between each issue, character logs, Age of the X design sketches, notes from the creators and more.  It’s a lot more for your money having a total of nine comics put into this one trade paperback.   True, I was not looking for nine issues with “Change is Constant” but I was hoping for something a little more for those of us who collect both the comics and the trades.

Reading through the comic itself is like reading the four issues back to back.  It’s a simple read that is enjoyable and is more likely what I would loan to a friend who wants to read what IDW is doing. I recommend this to the collectors who want to get everything for their collection and for the people who have not gotten their hands on the first four issues of IDW.  I do not recommend this for the common fan who is not out to own everything.  If you already have these issues and would just be looking at this in case there’s something new in it, then don’t fret and save your cash for the new issues coming out.

To those who have not picked up the IDW Comics and would like a taste of it.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.  It’s cheaper than trying to buy the four comics and easier to find.  It has everything in it that you need to get the feel of the comic from the history of the new Turtles to their first full story line.  You will not be getting the extras that came with the original comics though, which was the Kevin Eastman layout sketches and fan letter pages.  There’s nothing really unique to this other than the fact that you get to see a handful of cover art from variants that have been released.

I will keep picking up these IDW trades for the sake of keeping the collection complete as much as I can.  Though I’m hoping that IDW does start to give a little nod to the fans who are buying these to help make us more excited about picking up both the original comic and the trade.

Have you bought this trade?  Before buying it did you already own the comics that were released?  What are your thoughts about the release of this trade?  Was it everything you were hoping for or missing a little something?   Share your comments below.

 

For more detail reviews about the story please read these reviews:

Review IDW #1, Review IDW #2, Review IDW #3, and Review IDW #4

Entertainment Earth

 

Comments

Thanks for the great review, Michele! Truly appreciated!

Best,

Tom Waltz

Michele Ivey's picture

No problem, love the work you're doing on the comics! Keep up the great work! - Can not wait to read issue 7! :)


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