Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.
- Major Characters:
- Minor Characters:
Crawling through the cold alleys of New York City with a backpack full of supplies, Splinter finds Old Hob's goons lurking around every corner. As he takes the thugs out, he is reminded of a similar story from Feudal Japan, where a man bringing a satchel of supplies to his own children also fought hunters on the prowl for him.
Down in the lair, the Turtle are busy sparring. A month has passed since they were reunited with their brother, Raphael, and he has taken to martial arts like a duck to water; almost already at the same level as his bros. The other Turtles all know the feeling, as the fifteen months they spent 'learning' ninjutsu from Master Splinter actually felt more like they were 'remembering' it. Raph wonders, though, when Splinter will deem him ready to carry weapons like his siblings.
Back in the alleys, Splinter takes down more goons and recalls the tale of Hamato Yoshi...
In Feudal Japan, Hamato Yoshi was a member of the Foot Clan, a league of ninja assassins. His clan brother was the scar-faced Oroku Saki, who sought to lead the clan down the dishonorable path of conquest and genocide. During a clan meeting, Saki ordered the Foot to lay waste to an entire village of innocents as part of their mission to assassinate a castle lord, just to send a message to all who would oppose them. Yoshi spoke up during this meeting, calling out Saki on his ruthlessness. Yoshi walked out of the meeting in disgust. Vengefully, Saki declared Yoshi a traitor and called for the assassination of him and his whole family.
Later, a pair of Foot Soldiers invaded Yoshi's home while he was away, killing his wife, Tang Shen. Before they could kill his four young sons, Yoshi came home and slew his enemies. As Shen lay dying, she made Yoshi promise not to seek vengeance on Saki, but to flee with their children and keep them safe. Yoshi vowed to honor her dying wish for now, but that one day, he and his sons would have vengeance.
Back in the present, at the New York Tech hockey arena, Casey has a sit down with Coach Bowman. Bowman is sympathetic toward Casey's academic probation, but tells him that he canâ€™t continue to play for their school if he doesn't bring his grades up. Casey understands and leaves, hoping to find a tutor to help him out. At a lobby on campus, April O'Neil puts an ad up on the corkboard, offering tutoring on any subject in exchange for self-defense lessons. As April leaves with her friend Trish for Christmas vacation, Casey walks past her, into the lobby.
In the alleys, Splinter subdues the last of Hob's minions and proceeds into the sewers, remembering the end of the story...
For eleven seasons, Yoshi and his sons had kept ahead of the Foot Clan, until one day, after returning to his sons with a rare gift of sweets, Saki and his forces finally found them. Binding their hands and lining them up, Saki forced Yoshi to watch as the Foot Soldiers executed each of his sons. As they died, Yoshi prayed to Buddha that he would be reunited with his children some day and that they would get their revenge on Saki. As Saki raised his own sword, Yoshi vowed that they would meet again and he would kill him. Saki then killed Yoshi, but the story doesn't end there..
Down in the sewer lair, Splinter returns home with a backpack of gifts for his sons. He tells them that in their search for Raphael, they all wore red bandannas, Raphael's favorite color, as a reminder of their mission. But now that they have been reunited, he felt that though they are a clan, they are also individuals, and should each wear their favorite colors. He then gives Michelangelo an orange bandanna, Donatello a purple bandanna and Leonardo a blue bandanna. As for Raph, he has a different gift: a pair of sais which he feels his son has earned the right to wield.
The Turtles feel guilty, having no gift to give their father and Sensei, though Splinter assures them that being together again is a gift in itself. Donatello asks Splinter how he knew what their favorite colors were and Splinter asks them all to sit down next the Christmas tree while he tells them a story.
Elsewhere, Casey places a rose on his mother's grave while April, arriving home, gives her mom a big hug.
- Though it was published after TMNT Microseries #1: Raphael, this issue takes place before it.
- Splinter's life as Hamato Yoshi will be further explored in TMNT Microseries #5: Splinter.
- This issue was originally published with three covers: Cover A by Mateus Santolouco, Cover B by Dan Duncan and Ronda Pattison and Cover RI by Kevin Eastman