Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls One-Shot Review - It's TMNT but with Housecats
•Tomi Varga (Colors) • Kevin Eastman (Cover Artists)
• Kevin Eastman Studios (Publisher)
I picked up Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls a few months ago on a whim. I saw the cover, kept browsing and after passing it several times picked it up. It finally dawned on me that it was a TMNT homage (yes I'm slow). Looking at the back cover I realized that it was produced under the Kevin Eastman banner (Co-Creator: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and I was even more intrigued and decided to make the purchase.
The cover is amazing, part of the reason it drew my attention was because of the presentation. The cover has a plastic finish or sheen. I'm probably wrong but I've never seen a cover like it before. Is it a gimmick, yes but it works and a big reason why I picked the book up in the first place.
It becomes apparent really quickly that RRRR riffs heavily on the early Mirage version of the turtles. The art is gritty. The origin of the Ragdolls is similar but distinct enough as to not be a blatant reskin. Our protagonists are a trio of feline sisters that were experimented. Circumstances arise and they become further mutated into humanoid cats and on the run.
They eventually meet a master of martial arts and his wife. If you're a fan of the Ninja Turtles you can probably take the story from here. The changes to the basic framework of the origins are charming and it's fun to compare the two books. This is especially true in regards to the Ragdoll's lair, food of choice, their human companions and enemies.
I'm not sure if the premise of Ronin Ragdolls is strong enough to sustain a series or if this is a gag that Eastman and Co are pulling on the industry. I know that there is a companion series, Drawing Blood that Ill be checking out soon which will probably provide more clarity.
Ragdoll's is a nice throwback to the olden days of Mirage Studios. Its a great homage to my favorite IP and worth a visit if you can find a copy.