A Human Ear Never Looked More Creepy Than In Bebop & Rocksteady Hit The Road #1

by James Ferguson

When we last saw Bebop & Rocksteady, they were rocketing through time and space in Destroy Everything. Now they’re in Mexico, making their way back to New York in their tank-like car. Also, they have a pet dinosaur. It’s been a crazy adventure so far, but it’s about to get a whole lot weirder when they start to revert back to their normal human selves. Plus, they encounter another classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villain in an epic showdown in the desert.

Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road starts in an absolutely crazy and hilarious way with these two idiots driving along, pondering what to do next. Where things get nuts is in a simple panel where Rocksteady takes off his helmet to find that one of his ears has turned human. Now, we’ve got a mutant rhino and he’s a little gross on his own, but somehow putting a human ear on top of it takes it to a whole new level.

Artist Ben Bates draws this in the most disturbing way possible. I mean that as a compliment because it totally works with the tone of the story. The entire sequence, with the reveal, then Rocksteady poking it with his dirty long fingernail, followed by Bebop’s over-the-top terrified reaction is priceless. It’s made even better by what follows as Rocksteady does the only logical thing, which is to cut off his ear and throw it as far as he can. Guys, this all happens on the first three pages.

While Bates sets a high bar right out of the gate, Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road only gets better from there. The art style is overly expressive and cartoony, which works so well with these characters and the overall story. Nothing about their lives is normal, nor is any way that they deal with a problem. They’re really dumb so they never think about what they do or why they do it. Instead, they react immediately and excessively to every single thing they encounter.

We owe this comic a debt in putting to rest a mystery that’s plagued Ninja Turtles fans for ages. Just what do Bebop’s feet look like? Are they hooves like a warthog? Or are they furry feet, like a really hairy man? We get the answer accompanied by what is probably my favorite line from Rocksteady in the entire book. It’s a fast gag that I keep laughing about the more I think of it.

Shawn Lee’s letters are solid throughout the entire issue. The sound effects are what really stand out, popping off the page in the same cartoonish way as the two main characters. They’re even color coded to coordinate with the various actions.

This debut issue starts in the day and transitions into the night. Colorist Brittany Peer makes this move, shifting from the harsh light of the desert sun to the cool evening. Bebop & Rocksteady appear in greys and blues during the nighttime scenes, which somehow makes them more menacing and intimidating.

Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road takes the off-the-wall insanity of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon and turns it up to eleven. It’s a fast-moving, hilarious book that reads like a comic book version of Beavis & Butt-head Do America and it’s just getting started.

Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road #1 from IDW Publishing is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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