Issue #10

 HEY, KID, YOU'RE 
 A LONG WAY 
 FROM NICKTOONS! 

Some TMNT stuff was always meant for grownups.

The third volume of Mirage Studios' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was published under the auspices of Erik Larsen through Image Comics. Each issue was written by Gary Carlson and penciled by Frank Fosco. It is not considered canon by Mirage due, in part, to a lack of desire by co-creator Peter Laird to follow-up material with which he was not directly involved nor fully approved.

There were a total of 23 issues published by Image before lagging sales led to it ending before the story was concluded. In 2018, a series of color reprints published by IDW Publishing titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends was announced, with Carlson and Fosco returning for an additional three issues to conclude the story.

Previously, a fan project started by Andrew Modeen produced a two-issue conclusion designed to tie the series back into Mirage continuity. Modeen wrote the issues, with most interior art by Arseniy Dubakov. They decided to ask Viacom for publishing rights to officially finish the series but they were turned down. However, people involved in the history of the TMNT took notice and contributed Modeen discussed the plot with the series writer Carlson, Fosco contributed some pages and the covers, A.C. Farley contributed a special two-page spread for the finale, and the cover of issue 25 was inked by Kevin Eastman.

Raphael as The Shredder.

This volume is notable for having a faster pace and more intense action while inflicting major physical changes on the Turtles themselves; Leonardo losing a hand, Raphael's face being scarred, Splinter becoming a bat, and Donatello becoming a cyborg. In a startling plot twist, Raphael even took on the identity of The Shredder and assumed leadership of the Foot. With Volume 3, the Turtles were incorporated into the Image universe, which provided opportunities for a few crossovers and guest appearances by characters from the Savage Dragon's series. The series ceased publication in 1999. Raphael's depiction as the Shredder however, is referenced in an episode of the third season of the 2003 animated series, "The Darkness Within", where Raphael is exposed to his fear of giving into anger and becoming the very thing he hates.

See also

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