Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.
Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures was a comic book series published by Archie Comics from August 1988 to October 1995. It is mainly based on the stories of the mutant turtles- Donatello, Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, and their rat sensei Splinter. It is set in a separate reality from other TMNT stories. Initially, the comic book followed the 1987 TV series story by early cartoon-adapting episodes, and were drawn by Michael Dooney.
However, after issue #5, control was given to Ryan Brown and Stephen Murphy, a couple of Mirage Studios employees. In their hands they immediately took the comics in a different direction, incorporating social, environmentalist, and animal rights themes. It also introduced several new characters of various races and backgrounds, including humans, mutants, aliens, and other anthropomorphic creatures. Additionally, the series added new layers to established players such as April O'Neil, who began training with a katana, and the Shredder, who gradually revealed a sense of honor. The stories were often seen as "deeper" and more "serious" than the cartoon. As the new tales and characters were explored the cartoon villains Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady were slowly phased out making later appearances during stories involving alien worlds, while The Shredder remained as a recurring adversary. Ken Mitchroney did most of the pencils until issue #28, when Chris Allan took over.
The series was extremely popular (said to be more so then the Mirage line). It ended with a 3-part saga called "Year of the Turtle", which featured one last battle with the Shredder who had gained great power from a mystical talisman.
The series lasted for 72 issues; in addition, there were numerous annuals, specials and mini series. No trade paperbacks of the runs have been collected and published, other than the versions by Random House and Tundra Publishing, but published by Archie, that collected various issues and stories, and were sold with a tape dramatizing the action. Archie did reprint the comics in a digest format series titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Digest which they published quarterly from 1993-1994. These collected TMNTA issues #5-#25.
In celebration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' 25th Anniversary, Archie Comics announced that they would release a 104-page, full color trade paperback collection of the first three issues of Archie Comics' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, which was the adaptation of the original animated show's mini-series "Heroes in a Half Shell" (though the trade paperback's cover features new art based on the newer TV series). The paperback was released in May 2009. Mirage Studios also printed a trade for the 25th anniversary, titled "Future Tense" reprinting Mighty Mutanimals #7 and "TMNT Adventures" #42-44 and #62-66 in July 2009. The trade was still in black and white at 228 pages.
With the success of the 2003 TV series, an unfinished story arc was to be released as a mini-series in the summer of 2009. The story arc is called "The Forever War". "Future Tense" was released to coincide with the release. However, due to buyout by Viacom of the TMNT property, the story was canceled and will not be published.
Major story arcs
Heroes in a Half Shell: Mini-series #1-3
- This mini-series adapts the first five episodes of the 1987 TV series albeit in a fairly condensed fashion: "Turtle Tracks", "Enter the Shredder", "A Thing About Rats", "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X", and "Shredder & Splintered". The only difference is that the comic changed or cut out scenes from the episodes such as the rooftop battle with the Foot Soldiers in the first episode or the Turtles waking up to train and having pizza topped with cereal for breakfast in the second episode. However, the comic manages to keep most of the more important parts of the episodes intact such as the Turtles saving April from the Foot Clan and confronting the Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady for the first time in the Technodrome .
- It adapts the first two episodes of the second season : "Return of the Shredder" and "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles". And just like the mini-series, various scenes were changed or cut out entirely. However ,The Eye of Sarnath arc was never resolved or even so much as mentioned again in future issues , starting from the next issue, the comic starts to have their own original and serialized stories.
These issues Introduces fellow mutants, Man-Ray, Leatherhead, Wingnut and Screwloose . These issues offer decidedly different origin stories taken directly from the back of the playmates toy packaging rather than the animated cartoon series. It also introduces other concepts such as Cudley the Cowlick, Stump Asteroid and the Intergalactic Wrestling . The Turtles also confront with different villains such as the comic's version of the Rat King , Wyrm and Scumbug , as well as the spy-turned-mutant, Chameleon.
- The Turtles are recruited by Cherubae to battle the Malignoids, an alien insect-like army sent out by Maligna. The battle is exploited by Stump Asteroid television. The Turtles are joined by Leatherhead, Wingnut and Screwloose, and other intergalactic wrestlers. Shredder, Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady are connected with the alien threat, and Cherubae banishes them across the universe as punishment (Shredder to an Earth prison, Krang to the landfill planet Morbus, and Bebop and Rocksteady to an Eden World planet). Cherubae is revealed to be the sorceress who mutated Leatherhead as Mary Bones, (her Earth disguise, Cherubae is her true form) and Leatherhead renounces his former life as helping Shredder for a while to become a wrestling idol on the Stump Asteroid as he was seen as a monster on the Earth.
- The Turtles return to Earth just in time to rescue April O'Neil from poachers in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil. They are aided in their tropical adventures by Jagwar, Dreadmon, and Man-Ray. Upon their return to New York City, Mondo is introduced and joins the Turtles after he decides to break up with his girlfriend Candy Fine, believing his mutation from human to human-lizard would make their relationship impossible to pursue.
- Evil businessman, Null, sends his alien lackeys, Scul and Bean, to attack the Turtles. The Turtles, Splinter, April, and Mondo are rescued by rats which Splinter summons to chew through their ropes. Having beaten Scul and Bean to a standstill, the aliens escape (but not before Raphael and Mondo can sneak aboard their ship). Together with Man-Ray, Jagwar, Dreadmon, Leatherhead, Wingnut and Screwloose (the newly formed Mighty Mutanimals), Raph and Mondo defeat the alien warlord, Maligna (this arc overlaps with the events of Mighty Mutanimals mini-series #1-3). While Raphael is away fighting with the Mighty Mutanimals, the remaining Turtles meet Chu Hsi, a firefighter in Chinatown, New York City who is empowered with an ancient Warrior Dragon (popularly known as "Hot Head") spirit after an old man trying to help him by throwing some mystic East Asian substance into a burning house where the firefighter tries to help a child. Together with their new ally they defeat a giant Foot robot, which is later revealed to have been a ruse by Shredder to get the turtles to show themselves. The Warrior Dragon defeats the giant Foot robot by throwing it on the Statue of Liberty.
- April O'Neil is revealed to have obtained competence with the katana sword under Splinter's instruction, and together they aid the Turtles in their battles against Vid Vicious and Shredder. Raphael returns to help defeat Shredder and aid his friends in the final fight with Krang, who has allied with Belly Bomb to take possession of Shredder's body. The mutant turtle Slash battles the Turtles for the first time. The Turtles remove Krang from Shredder's body and remind Shredder he owes them.
- This story line explores environmental political issues. In "The Keeper", an alien spacecraft lands in Tibet, and out comes Boss Salvage who abducts rare animals from the Earth, among them the Yeti T'Pau who searches help by Splinter. Boss Salvage also abducts the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot and a merman. The reason is that he sees no future for them on the Earth because of pollution, but the Yeti persuades Boss Salvage that there still is hope, referring to all who are engaged in environmental politics. In "In the Dark", animals are mutated after illegal industrial pollution in Innsmouth, Massachusetts and April makes a report about illegal pollution. She calls the Turtles, and she they also get help from the local teenage girl Beth Ann. The mutants want revenge on humanity, and put poison in the food with substances putting humans in a zombie-like state.
Mightnight Sun: Issues #28–30
- Continued from the April O'Neil backup stories in issues #24–27, the Turtles, Splinter, and April travel to Japan (by stowing away aboard an airplane) to rescue Fu Sheng and Chu Hsi (Chu Hsi is the human alter ego of The Warrior Dragon from issue #20) since Chu Hsi is kidnapped by ninjas in Chinatown, New York City and sent to Hiroshima, Japan. They battle the samurai-masked villain Chien Khan (a fusion of the French word for 'dog' and the Turkish/Mongol term for 'great leader;' essentially "Dog King", since he is really a giant dog) and his humanoid vixen warrior, Ninjara. Chien Khan forces Fu Sheng to summon the Warrior Dragon (if not he will use a knife to kill a young teenage girl, the street child Oyuki Mashimi who later becomes friend to April O' Neil) whom Chien Khan uses to brainwash with a witchcraft and destroy a nuclear power plant and set free an interdimensional demon. Chien Khan's recklessness regarding the nuclear plant enrages Ninjara, who decides to help the Turtles defeat him. Through meditation, Splinter is able to summon the ancient gods, Izanagi and Izanami, who defeat the demon and free the Warrior Dragon from Chien Khan's witchcraft. The Turtles and Ninjara defeat Chien Khan and his men before he escapes in the confusion. Ninjara has a change of heart. She decides to accompany the Turtles and leave her criminal life behind.
- The heroes have further adventures in Japan, the Japanese culture and religion is studied, and gangsters who illegally make money on sumo wrestling are stopped. Raphael and Ninjara become close and April and Chu Hsi share a kiss. The Turtles, Splinter and Ninjara begin a long quest on land and sea heading west while the human characters fly back to New York City. In Tibet the heroes fight, with the help of a four armed anthropomorphic tiger named Katmandu, to protect the incarnation of a lama (who happens to be Charlie Llama, an anthropomorphic llama) from the evil Chinese wizard Mang-Thrasha who kidnapped Charlie Llama from his Crystal Palace. The Whirling Dervishes and skeleton versions of them are fought. When the group finally arrive, Charlie Llama dies while a young woman gives birth to a child. Journeying through the deserts in the Middle East, the group is attacked by Al'Falqa who believes they have stolen the Black Stone of Mecca. The sacred stone has actually been stolen by Shredder and a cat mutant Verminator-X from the future. The black stone is saved by the heroes before the villains disappear in a mysterious vortex-window. They also plan to kidnap Splinter, but give him back since Shredder owes the Turtles after they helped him from Krang.
- Cudley the Cowlick appears in the Middle East dessert before the gang and proposes to take them to Stump Asteroid for another wrestling competition. If the Turtles participate Cudley will then drop everyone back on Earth at any location they desire, including New York. The Turtles agree, compete against each other, and Donatello emerges victorious and also defeats Cryn' Houn, here known as "El Mysterio".
- In a three issue crossover with Mighty Mutanimals (one of the issues was a Mighty Mutanimals comic), the Turtles fight the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Null in Brazil.
- In issue #40, as he and his brothers sail home, Donatello is taken by a spirit to 1492 where he and his brothers encounter Christopher Columbus (who reached the Americas that same year). The Turtles must defend the natives from Columbus' raids, but it all turns out all to be in vain as the natives are either captured as slaves or die of disease. In #41, Raphael, while on a date with Ninjara to show her around New York City, is reminded of the Turtles battle against a mammoth mutant. The parts of the story in the present are drawn by Chris Allan while the flashbacks are drawn by Ken Mitchroney, who drew the earlier issues of the comic in the Shredder era the flashbacks take place in.
The Future Shark Trilogy: Issues #42-44
- The Turtles, Splinter and Ninjara are taken to the future by the future versions of Raph and Don. Don explains how in the future, some time after Splinter's death because of high age, global warming has melted the polar ice caps and left most of New York City under water. The present turtles have already seen this earlier, after a mistake by Cudley the Cowlick after their first visit to the Stump Asteroid, and said it was a possible future. This created a rat problem but Don invented robot traps to eliminate the rats, much to the Rat King's chagrin. His robots won Don fame and wealth, which he used to fund his company Turtleco, along with a talented young cat mutant named Manx. Manx began to enhance himself as a cyborg named Verminator X, obsessed with becoming immortal. Soon he and Don were archenemies.
- Verminator X, Armaggon the shark mutant and a time displaced version of the Shredder (from issue #36) broke into Turtleco, kidnapped the future Mike and Leo and stole Don's experimental time slip generator. When Raph attempted to stop them, his eye was blown out by one of Armaggon's missiles. Don built another machine in order to get reinforcements in the past. Armaggon works on powering the machine with Adolf Hitler's brain, the Roswell Alien's bones and the white stone of mecca so he and his cohorts can rule all of space and time. Splinter, Ninjara and the six Turtles ambush the bad guys with a time slip, but Armaggon escapes, taking Leo as a hostage, into his machine with both Raphs and the "present" version of Don in pursuit. While the remaining Turtles battle Shredder and Verminator X, the Rat King shows up to get his revenge on Future Don, using his powers to control Splinter. Luckily, the Turtles have a surprise ally in the future version of Merdude, tricking Verminator X to fire his blaster, destroying the wall and letting sea water come in to free Future Leo and Mike which turns the tide in favor of the Turtles. Don and the two Raphs pursue Armaggon in a mystical swamp land some local fairies call Thantia. The two Raphs use their shared training to kick Armmagon over a waterfall. They recover Leo and escape through a time hole created by Future Don, but leave Armmagon stranded in Thantia.
- All eight Turtles, Past and Future, say their goodbyes. They send Shredder back to his own time with his memories of this erased but Verminator X escapes their custody. Before the Turtles are sent home, Future Raph bid a tearful farewell to Ninjara and gives his younger self an ominous warning about the fragility of relationships. In the final panel, we see Armaggon next to a destroyed Turtleco building, revealing Thantia is an even farther future version of Earth.
Mutations: Issue #45
- Splinter reminisces back to when he was human, how Oroku Saki became the Shredder, and the events that lead him to New York and the origin of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Splinter also reflects on their adventures with old enemies and meeting new friends (Mighty Mutanimals). Splinter catches the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ninjara working on his surprise birthday party.
- Ninjara's brother Naga comes to the turtles location to tell them that the elder (Ninjara's grandmother) of their clan was captured by a hunter who captures them for sport. Raph goes with Ninjara and Naga to their home land to confront the hunter. The hunter captures three of them, but the elder herself who was captured frees them all. The hunter goes after them and there's no escape, but the elder uses a Torii to open a gateway as a means of their only escape, the hunter goes into the Torii after them. They gateway leads them to hell and they are approached by a female demon. The only way back is to go through the Torii (portal) at the edge of a cliff, but only those who are "pure heart" can walk though the Torii and return home. The hunter walk through, but falls to his death. Then the Elder goes through the portal back to earth; Naga, Ninjara, and Raphael follow.
- The turtles and Splinter minus Raphael race off to an emergency they saw on the news. A creature name Sarnath, who is a Triasts created by the Mersia, and his pet Qark (dog type creature with spike tail) were causing the disturbance. Qark was capture and the news reporter (McIntyer) who was covering the disturbance was about to reveal Qark live on TV. The turtles and Splinter quickly helped Qark escape, but for a momentary Qark, the turtles, and Splinter were caught on camera and then vanished within seconds to escape. From there the turtles minus Splinter go with Sarnath in his spacecraft to pick up Raphael and Ninjara as they headed on to Dimension-X.
Black Hole Trilogy: Issues #48-50
- Part I
- On Sarnath’s ship heading toward Dimension X, Leo details their battle with (and befriending of) Sarnath and the Turtles' subsequent reveal over national television to Raph and Ninjara. Something more interesting awaits them, however: a black hole. Don explains that black holes are stars that have collapsed in on themselves, curving space around them and becoming so gravitationally powerful that not even light can escape their pull. Suddenly, they are attacked by the Imperial Aerwyl Fleet, who have mistaken Sarnath’s ship as belonging to some group called the “Nova Squadron”. The Aerwyl begin landing direct hits on Sarnath’s ship, inciting the Turtles and Ninjara to don pressure suits for safety. Sarnath guns down one of the Imperials as another flies out of control into the mouth of the black hole. The last ship, unfortunately, lands a critical hit, ejecting the Turtles and Ninjara into an asteroid field. Sarnath sends Qark away in an escape pod, asking the Turtles to look after his pet, as he drifts helplessly into the black hole. The Turtles attempt to fight back against the remaining Imperial ship with their handheld laser blasters, but they haven’t the firepower to do any damage. Luckily, Nova Posse shows up in the nick of time, destroying the last Imperial ship and rescuing the Turtles, Ninjara and Qark. Inside, Nova Posse introduces themselves as Zebulon, Trip, Rave, Grotto, Exeen and their commander, Luna Azul. Apparently, they were formerly of the Imperial Aerwyl Starfleet, known as the Nova Squadron, but struck out on their own (hence the animosity from their former employers). They explain that the black hole they just encountered wasn’t there six months ago, and neither was a star; it simply appeared out of nowhere.
- As Nova Posse approaches Stump Asteroid (where Cudley the Cowlick stands vigil with a fleet of ships), Trap gives them clearance to land. Stump and Sling come rushing out, but not to greet Nova Posse; they want to know when the Turtles plan to wrestle again. Raph cuts the crap and asks what Nova Posse is doing on Stump Asteroid. Stump explains that they’ve come to help defend them against the Imperial forces. While the expositioning is going on, Don leaves to try and find a bathroom. As he inspects the many strange toilets, a bright light and grey hands appear before him. Later, when Leo comes to check up on him, Don is missing, leaving behind only an empty pressure suit.
- MEGADEATH (Part I of VII)
- At a secret headquarters in an undisclosed location, four gun-toting weirdos open fire on a poster of the Mighty Mutanimals. They are the cyborg, Waster , the motorcycle-legged eyeball-headed freak, Dead-Eye , the skull-clad Lynch and their apparent leader, the grey-haired Fist . Fist tells his men that it’s finally time to go after the real thing; it’s finally time to kill the Mutanimals.
- MEGADEATH: Mini Series (Part II of VII)
- On the volcano base of the Mutanimals, Future-Don and Future-Raph appear through a timeslip. Future-Don reminds Future-Raph how important this trip is, causing Future-Raph to become sullen, knowing how things turn out for their friends in his present. A short while later, the two future Turtles appear through a second timeslip, bringing a haul of future tech along with them to install in the base. After saying hi to the Mutanimals, both teams get to work installing all the cool stuff. Suddenly, the four mysterious assassins drop in through the mouth of the volcano, guns blazing and swearing death to the Mutanimals.
- MEGADEATH ( Part III of VII ) The Gang of Four drops down from the mouth of the Mutanimals’ volcano HQ and immediately begin attacking. Future-Raph tells Future-Don that his “history books” were wrong and they arrived to late to stop whatever they came to do.
- As they attack, the Gang of Four introduce themselves. Lynch repels down on a rope, swing-kicking Jagwar in the jaw. While firing an assault rifle with one hand, Fist launches his other, uh, fist on a grappling cable from his arm, nearly knocking Wingnut’s block off. Dead-Eye blasts Future-Raph with his vertigo ray, disabling the Turtle. Finally, Waster removes his fake human mask, revealing a frightening, toothy robotic face underneath. Dreadmon nails Waster in the head with a bag of cement, causing the cyborg to accidentally blast open the hatch to the sea.With the Mutanimals and the Turtles down for the count thanks to the high-pressure blast of sea water, the Gang of Four take to higher ground. Lynch grabs a live wire and prepares to dip it in the water, electrocuting the mutants.
- MEGADEATH ( Part IV of VII )
- As the Mutanimals and Future-Raph and Future-Don lay stunned in the pool of water, Dead-Eye urges Lynch to hurry up and electrocute them with the live wire he’s clutching. Lynch is about to do the deed when the tiniest Mutanimal, Screwloose, pops out of his hiding place (having avoided the tidal wave). Screwloose stabs Lynch in the neck with his proboscis, then grabs the live wire and shocks him.
- Man Ray comes to next and uppercuts Fist. The rest of the Mutanimals and the Future Turtles get their bearings and continue the brawl. Future-Raph begins grappling with Waster, who extends his robotic tongue toward the Turtle’s eye-patch, intent on eating his brain. Raph isn’t about to let that happen and snatches the tongue, giving it a good yank.
- Meanwhile, Leatherhead and Fist test their muscle, ramming headfirst into each other.
- MEGADEATH ( Part V of VII )
- Inside the volcano base, the Mutanimals have gotten their second wind and are wiping the floor with the villains. Heroic victory seems assured, but Dead-Eye disagrees. He proclaims that the Mutanimals’ defeat is preordained and the victory of the Gang is historically assured. Using his vertigo ray, Dead-Eye incapacitates the Mutanimals. Then, claiming that they have done what they set out to do, Dead-Eye transforms his motorcycle into a hovercraft and the other three members of the Gang pile on. As the bad guys escape, Future-Don tells Future-Raph that things are seriously messed up. The Gang wasn’t supposed to attack the Mutanimals for another two months. Someone is messing with the timeline. And elsewhere, someone is watching them through a monitor, laughing to themselves…
- MEGADEATH ( Part VI of VII )
- On his new island home in the Caribbean, Slash reflects on his lost homeworld, Palmadise, and how his new homeworld is so similar. Not far away, on Mutani-Isle, Mondo Gecko and Candy watch a passing meteor shower, getting all romantic. Inside the volcano HQ, the other Mutanimals use their state of the art computers to try and dig up information on the foursome that recently attacked them. Man Ray suggests they use their satellite monitoring system to try and track them down. Suddenly, an emergency alarm goes off in the base. One of the meteors from the shower overhead has made it through Earth’s atmosphere unscathed and crashes on the beach of Mutani-Isle. Seeing the explosion from a distance, Slash thinks that his new homeworld is under attack. Enraged, he leaps into the ocean, swimming straight for Mutani-Isle
- MEGADEATH ( Part VI of VII )
- The Mutanimals step out to the beach to investigate the strange meteorite. Considering it didn’t destroy all of Mutani-Isle when it struck, Jagwar deduces that it isn’t a real meteorite. He is correct, as it is actually a spaceship containing Scul and Bean! Mondo Gecko tells Candy to take cover while he and the Mutanimals deal with Queen Maligna’s old goons. The fight goes well, as Wingnut eventually wins by using his shrunken wings to fly, lifting Bean up and dropping him on top of Scul. Thinking the battle over, the Mutanimals let their guard down, leaving them wide open to a surprise attack from the Gang of Four. Dead-Eye, Executor and Lynch mow the Mutanimals down with a stream of machinegun fire while Fist finishes the job with a blast from his rocket launcher. Their job complete, the Gang of Four tells Scul and Bean to quit playing possum so they can go. As they take off in the meteor-ship, Scul and Bean titter over what is to come.
- Appearing through a time-slip, future-Don and future-Raph discover they’ve arrived too late (funny, I thought they had a time machine…?). Future-Raph mumbles that things weren’t supposed to turn out this way as Don scans the bodies of the Mutanimals. They’re all dead. Suddenly, Slash emerges from the waves, enraged. Blaming the future-Turtles for the deaths of his friends, he swears to kill them.
- MEGADEATH (Part I of VII)
Terracide: Issues #55-57
- The present turtles are returning home in an airplane with blinded Michelangelo when they were attacked by an eyeball villain. Future Don and Raph comes to the present to find the Mutanimals dead and Slash attacked them. Candy stops Slash and tells of how the Mutanimals really died. After burying the Mutanimals, Future Don, Raph, Candy, and Slash heads out to find the present turtles. They find out that the plane carrying the turtles crashed and the coast guard had picked up the pilot and blind Mike. They land on a nearby island to come up with a plan when they were attacked by Null and his minions. The turtles take care of the minions while Candy was kidnapped by Kull. The turtles goes after Kull while present Leo and Don goes after Mike. The group chases Kull to Maligna's Hive World hidden on the dark side of the moon. Their ship was used as a distraction while they "time slipped" their way onto the hive world. Present Raph leads the way and Slash attacks the hive heart alerting Maligna of their presence. The hive attacks and they saved Candy as the hive slowly plunges into the sun. Slash tells them to leave while he prevents "the insects" from repairing the ship. Slash and the hive world burns up in the sun as the turtles escaped.
Early Years: Issue #58
- While in lock-up Mike recounts how the turtles got their colors. Three thugs steals a chip and uses the sewers to escape interrupting the turtle's training. The thugs shoot at the turtles and the turtles fought back. After dispatching the thugs Master Splinter mistakenly scolds Don because they are all wearing red masks and he couldn't tell them apart. After Mike mistakenly broke a vase but wouldn't take the blame they were all punished. They come up with a plan to take the tests that they excel at. Master Splinter realizes their deception and comes up with a plan to trick them. In the next test he only gave Mike the perfect score so that the brothers would fight amongst themselves. The thugs are back looking for the lost chip. The turtles defeats them and turns them into the cops. The turtles comes up with colored caps to identify themselves but later would change to their colored masked and initial belts later on.
Blind Sight: Issues #59-60
At a studio recording the latest live episode of Inside Affairs, McIntyre has the audience eating out of his hand regarding the dangerous “Teenage Mutant Turtles” he’s been reporting on. Tonight, though, he wants to invite a special guest to discuss the situation: April O’Neil, a close friend of the Turtles. As April takes her seat, McIntyre prepares to roast her alive on national television. April, however, has an ace up her sleeve. In the broadcasting control room, Oyuki slinks in and starts putting the moves on the A.V. tech, Squint, while distracting him, she slips a special video into the player. On stage, the audience is eating up McIntyre’s propaganda that the Turtles are monsters, but April takes it in stride, explaining that if they got to know the Turtles, they wouldn’t think that way. She then thanks McIntyre for allowing her to play a special video recording on the broadcast to show the truth about the Turtles (and McIntyre is none too happy about this turn of events).
As the video starts, an unknown cameraman follows Leo and Don as they infiltrate the USCGS Dater where Mikey is being held prisoner. Meanwhile, Leo and Don succeed in knocking out the various members of the Coast Guard and make it to the interrogation room right before Dr. Dick takes a cattle-prod to his victim. They knock the interrogator out and decide to seize his camera as evidence. Through the government camera, we can see that Leo and Don have brought along their old friend, Kid Terra (who is outfitted with his own recording helmet) and two of his human allies.
As they fight their way through several armed guards, Dr. Dick comes to and gives chase. The Turtles, Kid Terra and his men make it back to their escape raft, but Dr. Dick insists on plunging into the water after them. Unfortunately, he can’t swim. Despite everything he had done to him, Mikey leaps into the water, following the sound of Dr. Dick’s voice, and rescues the grateful scientist. Back at Inside Affairs, the video ends and the audience have a change of heart. They cheer for the Turtles and April, leaving McIntyre to desperately try to save face by thanking April for bringing the truth to light. In the broadcast control room, Oyuki bids Squint goodbye (encouraging him to call her sometime) as McIntrye storms in and gives the tech Hell. As April and Oyuki leave the studio, they find the Turtles waiting for them with a taxi amidst a crowd of admirers. In front of many flashing cameras, Mikey shouts “Cowabunga” and the Turtles drive away from the paparazzi.
Later, at Kid Terra’s eco-warrior group HQ, Oyuki is pleased to see that Mikey’s sight is slowly recovering. April compliments Kid Terra on having organized such a group. He explains that they’re so sophisticated, they were able to hack into government computers and learn about Mikey’s detainment as soon as it happened, which is how they bumped into Leo and Don during the rescue. With that exposition out of the way, they decides to see if they can’t find the rest of April’s missing friends.
Out in the desert, the Turtles and Kid Terra’s eco group perform an impromptu ceremony for the deceased Slash. Both Future-Don and Frances give some somber words, but Raph ruins the wake with some callous talk. Future-Raph is shamed by the self-centered actions of his younger counterpart and goes off to speak with him alone. Young-Raph is equally mystified by his own behavior, but rather than admit it, asks Future-Raph to tell him how he ends up losing Ninjara. Future-Raph refuses, telling him just to enjoy the time he gets with her. Speak of the devil, Ninjara shows up and takes a seat between the two. As the sun sets, a coyote howls at the full moon and Ninjara believes she is pondering the mystery of tomorrow.
Future-Don is likewise shocked when he learns that the great flood that destroyed much of the Earth in his time was not stopped by the defeat of Maligna. Apparently, in the history his future stems from, Maligna invaded Earth and killed the Mutanimals herself and the subsequent battle that led to her defeat accelerated Earth’s global warming, leading to the great flood. Future-Don now realizes that the flood had nothing to do with Maligna; Mankind did it to themselves all along. Kid Terra, though, is melancholy for another reason, as this is the first he’s heard of the Mutanimals dying. Future-Leo attempts to console Kid, telling him that it was just their destiny to give their lives in the battle against Maligna, one way or the other.
The next morning, Splinter and the old Indian janitor share a telepathic communication as they contemplate the day ahead. The old man tells Splinter that in a past life he was an owl and will be so again, which is why his name is Sleeping Owl. Splinter tells Sleeping Owl that he was once a man. They rejoin the group and bid farewell to the Future-Turtles and Nobuko, who return to their time and place. Sleeping Owl telepathically asks Splinter if his sons were once men, too. Splinter explains that they were baby turtles who became man-like and are growing more-so by the day. This reminds Sleeping Owl of a story and he asks the Turtles to listen. It is the story of the Earth’s creation.
In the beginning there was only a great empty sea and the Maker. The Maker created the Holy People, a group of deities who lived amongst the stars over the sea. He then planted three seeds in the great sea and they became Water Beetle (the swimmer), Beaver (the builder) and Turtle (the mother). One day, a Star Person fell asleep while watching over a Star Tree and both fell toward the great sea. Water Beetle quickly began bringing mud up from the bottom of the sea and placed it on Turtle’s back. Beaver then used his tail to pat down the mud and form it into a continent for the Star Person and their tree to land on. The Star Person then planted the tree which gave life to the continent they now live on, called Turtle Island.
Raph finds the story mellowing and thanks Sleeping Owl for sharing it. He then thanks Kid Terra for everything he and his group have done to help them. The gang then decides it’s time to get going as a coyote howls in the distance. Elsewhere, Water Beetle and Beaver (dressed as doctor and nurse) tell their patient that they have done all they can do to help her. They say that all she can do is rest and wait. The patient is revealed to be Turtle, hooked up to life support systems. In terrible pain, Turtle begs them to give her something to ease her suffering. Meanwhile, the Maker, who is all, feels a small part on his side suddenly begin to ache.
Dreamland : Issues #62-66
In the future, Verminator-X breaks into a high tech lab and succeeds in hacking into the Hubble II space telescope. With it, he spots an approaching alien space craft which intrigues him.
Elsewhere, Raph stands atop the corpses of his enemies (the Shredder, a Foot Soldier, a Malignoid and Armaggon). As he revels in his victory, a sudden downpour of acid rain begins to melt away his flesh. Raph welcomes the pain and celebrates as he is reduced to little more than a skeleton. Raph suddenly wakes in his bed and describes the nightmare to his coyote-woman/girlfriend, Mezcaal. Mezcaal suggests that it’s a message from his subconscious, showing him his inner self.
At Turtleco, Don struggles to remove all the modifications Armaggon made to his timeslip generator. As he begins to disconnect the human brain hooked up to the device (unaware that it belonged to Adolf Hitler), the portal shows him a picture of Nazi Germany toward the end of WWII. Confused, Don shuts off the generator when he gets a call from Leo. Calling from his dojo, Leo says that something strange is going down. He and four of his students (Nobuko, Miles, Carmen and a mutant baboon named Bob) were on patrol when they caught four robbers stealing some gyroscope parts bound for a space station. Before Leo could question their motive, the robbers each bit down on a pill that vaporized their flesh, committing suicide. Don agrees that the matter bears investigation and offers to pick up Mikey while Leo grabs Raph.
At Gabrielle’s Orphanage, Mikey is taking some time to work on a new piece of art (a sketch of April as an angel). Suddenly, Don arrives at the window wearing a set of cyber samurai armor. He asks Mike if he’d like to help investigate some possible terrorist activity and Mike gleefully suits up. At the Turtle Island club, Mezcaal is busy throwing some hoodlums out of the joint. Leo shows up in his own set of armor and asks Raph to come join their brothers on patrol. Much to Mezcaal’s irritation (as she has to stay behind and run the joint on her own), Raph suits up and leaves to join the party.
In the basement of Turtleco, where Don has his partially dismantled timeslip generator stashed, the brain of Adolf Hitler awakens. Confused, it uses its connection to the timeslip generator to open a doorway to Berlin, at the close of WWII, by sheer power of thought. In the flooded streets of New York, a boat carrying equipment for NASA’s asteroid mining operation is being attached by armored henchmen. After one of the guards is killed, the Turtles arrive in their Cyber Samurai armor and take down the robbers before they can get anybody else. Don removes their helmets and finds that they’re nothing more than lifeless corpses, reanimated with advanced cybernetics.
From his lab, Verminator-X curses that the Turtles have foiled yet another of his robberies. Finally having had enough, he decides to take some offensive measures. After answering some questions for the police lieutenant, the Turtles decide to split up and patrol for more clues. As soon as Mikey is alone, though, Verminator pounces from the top of a skyscraper and begins tearing apart his armor with his cybernetic claws. Landing on the roof of the Empire State Building, Verminator beats Mikey unconscious and prepares to kill him. He’s interrupted by a strange, shadowy alien who encourages him to forget the Turtle and pursue his greater plans.
Patrolling the flooded streets, Raph is startled by an alien space craft that bursts out from beneath the water and launches toward the moon. Fearing that something bad has gone down, Raph attempts to contact Mike but gets no answer. Back at Turtleco, Leo and Don determine that the cyborg zombies fit the M.O. of their old enemy, Verminator-X. As Don heads down to check out the timeslip generator he had to abruptly abandon, he finds it turned on and set to Nazi Germany. Even worse, several objects are missing, including the brain. But an even worse crisis pops up, as Raph returns with the battered body of Michaelangelo… and he isn’t breathing.
Later at the infirmary of the Turtleco building, Don has gotten Mikey stabilized, though still on life support. Mezcaal wonders if Mike would be better off in a hospital, but Don explains that their mutant physiology makes them tough patients even for trained specialists; only Turtleco has the proper equipment to keep Mikey breathing. Unfortunately for the Turtles, they can’t stay and watch over their wounded brother; they have to head through the time slip generator and see what happened to the missing brain. Leo leaves his students behind to keep Mikey safe and the three Turtles then jump through the time slip.
Out in space, an alien named Crainiac shows Verminator-X the imminent fate of planet Earth: A comet is careening toward it and will shortly destroy the whole world. Verminator isn’t sure he likes the sound of that, at least until Crainiac offers him a business proposition. Crainiac explains that there are alien races incapable of dreaming and that they pay good money for the brains of unique individuals that have lived exciting lives. They then siphon the memories of those people and use them as dreams. Crainiac has collected many human brains, but one very special one still awaits…
In the tunnels beneath war-torn Berlin, the brain of Adolf Hitler has forged a makeshift robot body (really just a jar with tripod legs and pincher arms) and is desperately trying to reconvene with his younger self to prevent his defeat at the hands of the Allied forces. Hitler’s brain kills a member of the resistance hiding in the tunnels, then trudges off. Not long after, the Turtles arrive through the time slip. They find the body, but before they can ask too many questions, more members of the resistance arrive and open fire. The Turtles escape to the surface and find Berlin in ruins, as Allied planes continue to drop bombs on the city. Hitler’s brain has succeeded in teaming with his younger self and together they’ve mustered several members of the Reich to hold off their enemies. The Turtles are pinned by gunfire until a bomb drops and destroys the robot body of Hitler’s brain (and scatters the Nazi soldiers, too). Raph punches young-Hitler in the jaw and they snatch up the gooey brain from its shattered globe. Unfortunately, Don has lost his time slip remote and they now have to race to the entry point for their one shot at returning home when the time slip portal briefly reopens.
They make it back to the tunnels, only to be accosted at gunpoint by a dazed and confused Hitler. As the time slip opens up, Leo tells Hitler that they are demons and they have come to take his soul to Hell. Hitler refuses to let them and, instead, blows his own brains out with his gun. The Turtles return through the time slip with Hitler’s not-blown-out brain as the young Hitler’s lifeless body falls to the rubble.
As the Turtles return to Turtleco, they find Verminator-X and Crainiac waiting for them. They have subdued Leo’s students and demand that the Turtles hand over Hitler’s brain. Don tells “Manx” (Verminator) that he was once a brilliant scientist and shouldn’t be associating with such criminal scum. Verminator is unmoved and escapes in Crainiac’s spaceship, intent on finishing his project before Earth’s destruction. As the ship zooms off, Raph notices a groggy Michaelangelo clinging to the bottom of the hull. Weakly, Mike promises to hold on for as long as he can and find out where they’re headed.
Inside a strange pool, Leo (in his Cyber Samurai armor) is being swarmed by dozens of human brains, clasping onto him with their stems. Leo ponders how he ended up in this crazy predicament…
Leaving the Turtleco building in their Cyber Samurai armor, Raph manages to find Mike floating in the water below. Apparently, Crainiac and Verminator-X are still on-world, merely hiding out in the flooded streets. Speaking of them, in his underwater base, Crainiac inspects Hitler’s brain and is shocked to find it still functional. He then asks Verminator as to the status of “the project”. Verminator says he’s finished installing the stolen NASA parts, though he wished he could have gotten more. Crainiac reminds Verminator about the deadly comet heading Earth’s way and that every second counts.
At the Turtleco building, the Turtles, Mezcaal and Leo’s students gear up and split into teams. Leo and Don (in their armor) infiltrate the underwater base from below, while Raph, Mikey and the rest go in from above. Sneaking in, Raph’s team stumbles onto one of Verminator’s Thanotics labs: a lab full of corpses hooked up to strange machines. Raph trips over a device and suddenly all the corpses spring to life. As the corpses attack, Leo’s students fight back and begin tearing the zombies apart, though the numbers against them are great. Eventually, the corpses overcome the heroes. Undersea, Leo and Don find an unguarded entrance. Knowing it to be a trap, but having no other means in, they go through. The Turtles find themselves in a strange pool full of human brains (which takes us back to where we started). The brains begin attacking and there are too many for the Turtles to fend off. Eventually, they start slithering inside their Cyber Samurai armor.
Watching from security monitors, Crainiac and Verminator laugh at their success.
Back in the lab, the zombies are begging for death while attacking Raph and his team. Uncollapsing Don’s hi-tech bo staff, Raph decides to fry the cadavers with electricity. This only makes things worse, as now they’re killer zombies that are on fire. In the brain tank, Leo is about to black out when Don saves the day with a pulsar blast from his gauntlet. He tells Leo that he could have just cranked up the thermowaves in his Cyber Samurai armor to fry the brains around him, but Leo says he hasn’t read the owner’s manual. Raph then resorts to plan B. He uses the staff to draw out all the electric energy coursing through the cadavers, as that’s what’s keeping them “alive”. Raph succeeds in shutting down the corpses, but the staff cannot hold all that energy and fires it out in a huge blast. The blast smashes a nearby wall, emptying the brain tank. Don and Leo step out of the goo and rejoin the team.
From another room, Verminator and Crainiac step in and get the drop on the heroes, holding them hostage with their guns. Crainiac wants the brains of the Turtles, as they’re sure to fetch a good price. Raph and Mikey think fast and knock the guns out of the villains’ hands by throwing a nunchaku and a brain. Raph and Verminator tussle a bit, with Verminator regaining his gun. Crainiac draws his sword and is about to cut the brain out of Mikey when Verminator turns his gun on Crainiac. Apparently, a part of their deal involved Crainiac promising to only harvest already-dead brains. Enraged at Verminator’s betrayal, Crainiac abandons him to die on Earth when the asteroid collides and flies off laughing in his ship.
While Verminator is distracted, Raph grabs one of the fallen guns and holds it to Verminator. Raph tells Verminator to drop his weapon or he’ll kill him on the spot. Verminator calls Raph’s bluff, knowing that the Turtle would never kill an enemy. Raph shoots Verminator at point blank range in the head. The other Turtles are appalled, but Raph insists it was the only way; that killing Verminator was needed to save future lives. At any rate, it won’t matter for long, as the approaching asteroid will soon destroy the Earth. A short time later, a space ship piloted by Don targets the asteroid. A well-placed nuclear missile fired by his copilot destroys the asteroid and saves the Earth. Don’s copilot is revealed to be Verminator (now going by his original name: Manx). Apparently, Don repaired his cerebral cybernetics, removing certain “bad parts”, and not only succeeded in saving Manx’s life, but returning him to his younger, gentler personality. The day saved, the friends fly back to Earth.
Moon Eyes Saga: Issues #67-70
The Early Years: Issues #71 -72
The Forever War ( Cancelled )
Three read-along adaptations were produced by Radio Arts Productions, Inc. and released on audio cassette by Random House. Published from 1989–1991, they feature an uncredited voice cast. These books include the three-part "Heroes in a Half-Shell!" story which was merged into one five-chapter book title "The Complete Adventure!". The second book is "Return of the Shredder", and the final book, "Intergalactic Wrestling and Other Adventures", includes the stories "Of Turtles and Stones and Mary Bones", "Intergalactic Wrestling" and "Wild Things". A version of "The Complete Adventure" was also published by VideoMedia in 1990 as three separate issues. With the titles "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures", "Escape From The Robots" and "Battle With Dimension X".
- Leonardo: The unofficial leader of the group. He is the most talented fighter and is closest to Master Splinter.
- Donatello: The inventor of the group, Donatello builds most of the Turtles gadgets and vehicles. In the future, he wears a purple jacket and is seen without his mask.
- Raphael: The wisecracking jokester of the group. However, as the series progressed, he became more angry and sullen like other incarnations. In the future, Raphael wears a hat and an eye patch.
- Michelangelo: The most relaxed member of the group, he is mostly into pizza and goofing around with Donatello.
- Splinter: Sensei and surrogate father of the Turtles. Former leader of Foot Clan in Japan. Betrayed by Shredder and mutated into a rat-man.
- April O'Neil: Initially reporter for Channel 6 as in first TV show, but later becomes free-lance journalist. Trained by Splinter in ninjutsu and katana.
- The Shredder: Current leader of the Foot Clan and arch-enemy of the Turtles.
- Wrestler Turtles, The wrestling costumes worn by the Turtles on Stump Asteroid were designed by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1983 and were actually intended as real suits for the TMNT to wear in their self-published comic book series. The idea was quickly shelved, however, and the Turtles were outfitted in their familiar costumes: bandanna, elbow and knee pads, belt, etc. Creators Brown and Murphy incorporated the discarded costumes into the Adventures title feeling they were an important part of TMNT history, and that they shouldn't be hidden away and forgotten in some drawer. Most notably, Raphael wore his wrestling outfit, a full body black leotard, for some time after returning from the asteroid.
- Cudley the Cowlick, An alien in the shape of a cow's head who transported the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the Stump Asteroid where they would fight against several aliens in their wildly popular "wrestling" outfits. Mirage Studio's staff artist Steve Lavigne created Cudley. As of Tales of the TMNT #52 (November, 2008), Cudley was brought into Mirage continuity.
- Man-Ray, An anthropomorphic Manta Ray the characters met in an adventure and was later spilled over into the "Mighty Mutanimals" comic-book series.
- Jagwar, As his name implies, he is a Jaguar-like mutant the Turtles met when in South America. Another spillover character to the "Mighty Mutanimals". Jagwar was created by Mirage Studio's artist Michael Dooney.
- Dreadmon, A hyena-like mutant with superhuman speed and stealth-like capabilities who guarded an Aztec Temple in South America. Once again, placed into the "Mighty Mutanimals" comic book series.
- Vid Vicious, Preceding the Teletubbies, Vicious was a man with a Television grafted into his body which was used to hypnotize people.
- Wingnut & Screwloose, An alien bat (Wingnut) and an alien mosquito (Screwloose) from the planet Huanu, they first met the TMNT in issue 8, where they were seen vandalizing windows before the Turtles stopped them. They appeared again in issue 13, where they briefly assisted the Turtles in battle against Maligna's Malignoids. Later on in the series, they joined the "Mighty Mutanimals".
- Mondo: A teenage gecko who shares Michelangelo's affinity for skateboarding, leading them to be close friends. He later joined the Mighty Mutanimals'.
- Scul and Bean, Two aliens, one with a meteorite launcher in his skull, and both with tremendous mandibles. They were generals in the army of Maligna.
- Maligna and the Malignoids, The matriarch of a vicious society of insect-like aliens who attempted to overtake the planet earth.
- Chien Khan, A dog-like man who controlled a large empire of ninja, whose second-in-command was a young fox-like woman named Ninjara.
- Ninjara, Chien Khan's second in command until after the TMNT defeated Chien Khan once and for all, and convinced Ninjara to join them in their battles against evil. She became one of the group for the greater part of the series afterwards and Raphael's girlfriend.
- Oyuki Mashimi, A teenage girl from Japan who was up to no good until April O' Neil and the turtles showed her that life could be better. She became April's sidekick for the spin off-comic "April O' Neil" in which Chien Khan returns to his former glory in a battle with a demon who also took control of a large group of Ninja.
- Nova Posse, A team of space adventurers that hail from Dimension X. Their commander is Luna Azul, and the other five members are Exeen, Grotto, Rave, Trip, and Zebulon. They take care of Qark after Sarnath's fate is left unknown in issue #50.
- Tattoo, A Japanese sumo-wrestler who obtained his name for having multitudes of tattoos. He asked Splinter for a favor and requested that the TMNT rescue his chihuahua dog "Inky" from a group of Yakuza who wanted him to throw his next fight for gambling purposes.
- Al'Falqa, A talking eagle created by Mirage Studio's artist Jim Lawson that the Turtles encounter in Saudi Arabia.
- Katmandu, A four-armed tiger-like creature clad in Ancient East-Indian Armour. Turtles encountered him in the People's Republic of China. Katmandu was created by Ryan Brown a Mirage artist.
- Null, A businessman wearing a purple leisure suit who was ultimately responsible for the death of the Mighty Mutanimals, when he contracted a group of cyborgs to kill them. The death was highly controversial and somewhat gory as a spread of machine-gun bullets tore the group down. He was also responsible for a three-part story arc in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles storyline including the horsemen of the Apocalypse; Death, Famine, War, and Pestilence. Null himself seemed to be somehow the leader of the group, giving orders to Death who in turn controlled the other horsemen like puppets. Null seemed to be somehow linked to hell. Originally the character had two small horns projecting from his forehead, and with every new deed of evil he committed he grew more demonic. Eventually he grew larger horns, a demon-like tail, and wings like a bat.
- Death, Famine, War, Pestilence, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
- Armaggon, An evil, time-traveling, talking shark who set the scale for the "Future Turtles" timeline in which the TMNT travel to the future and meet their future selves, wherein Splinter has died, and Ninjara has left Raphael, who is missing an eye.
- Verminator X, Also known as "Manx", and is half-cat, half-machine, as well as being Donatello's Apprentice. He is only apparent in the future timelines, and eventually has a Catharsis in a controversial book (Part 5 of the second Future Turtles storyline, based on the Action Figure franchise in which the turtles have mechanized suits and rocket-launcher fists ) in which Raphael is willing to kill him for the greater good, resulting in destroying the machine that had taken-over and poisoned Verminator's mind. At the end of this arc, Verminator survives and becomes good once again.
- Scumbug, An exterminator called to spray the Shredder's lair is turned into a giant cockroach.
- Wyrm, A mutated monster planarian worm that fought Scumbug.
- May East, An ancient evil sorceress from whom April O'Neil is descended.
- Veronica Lodge, Riverdale's Princess and is in love with Archie Andrews.
- Sonic the Hedgehog, A Blue Speeded hedgehog who made a cameo with the turtles.
- In Ask PL #15, Peter Laird said that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures helped to act as a buffer keeping Mirage's TMNT and the 1987 TV series separate from one another, though this was not originally the intent of creating the Archie's TMNT comics. Adventures could appeal to fans of both other series, while insulating Mirage itself from feeling pressured to incorporate any elements created by the 1987 series. During both their runs, Mirage's TMNT and the 1987 series maintained very different styles and audiences, and neither Laird nor Murakami-Wolf-Swenson were particularly eager to have them directly overlap in any significant way.
- Since the discontinuation of all three older series, the newer IDW comics series has inherited much of the original appeal of the Archie TMNT comics, again appealing to fans of both Mirage's TMNT and the 1987 series.
- Several of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comic issues appear as independent alternate dimensions in the 2009 film Turtles Forever
- Deborah Stead (1989-06-11). Stead, Deborah New York Times ''Children's Books; Play Me A Story: It's Tape Time'' June 11, 1989. Retrieved January 24, 2009. New York Times. Retrieved on December 27, 2010.
2. tmntentity.blogspot.com/2008/06/archie-comics.html. Retrieved on November 21, 2020
- TMNT Adventures at The Official TMNT Web Site (archived)
- http://tmntentity.blogspot.com/2008/06/archie-comics.html ( Best Source of TMNT info )