My Hero! is a backup story published in Tales of the TMNT volume 2 issue 25: Kung-Fu Theatre. It takes place when the turtles are preteens.


Major Characters

Minor Characters


Splinter is instructing his four sons in their first lesson on Japanese calligraphy, and each student is trying to duplicate the character using a calligraphy brush on paper. Leonardo's calligraphy is already deemed excellent, while Donatello's is deemed too geometric, and Raphael has too much frustration to write anything legible. However, to Splinter's dismay, Michelangelo is using the paper and brush he's been given to draw comic books. Splinter's disapproval is not as much that Mikey disobeyed his instructions, but that his comic drawings portray the turtles living in human society, wearing human clothes, and they each even have five fingers per hand. Splinter judges this a futile exercise, since as mutants and ninja they can never live in the human world, so he confiscates Mikey's comic book pages and forces him to draw calligraphy like his brothers.

Later that night, Splinter discovers even more of Mikey's comic book pages. Initially, Splinter reacts with more anger, but soon realizes that the scenes in these pages reflect a child's most natural desires—to be normal. Splinter soon comes to appreciate the good quality of Mikey's artwork. But he is especially touched to discover a drawing Mikey made of Splinter himself, labeled, "my hero!" With this, Splinter decides Mikey's art should not be discouraged, but encouraged.

The next morning, Splinter has left a gift for Mikey to open. Inside is a blank sketchbook, pencils, brushes, ink, some rulers, and an anatomy book for comic book artists—a complete starter set of art supplies to help Mikey continue his hobby.



  • This story has similarities to Zine-Age Mutant Ninja Turtle, another short story published in Amazing Adventures #3 in September 2015. But in that story, Splinter initially encourages Michelangelo to make his own comic books rather than trying to discourage him. In both stories, Splinter feels touched after reading Mikey's comics and treasures his son's talent.