I'm Gilgamesh, also known as Dermot Mac Flannchaidh. I'm 40 years old, and I have read or watched TMNT in some form since the late 1980s. I also have good friends of similar age who are TMNT fans, though none of them are editors on Turtlepedia.
Some TMNT stuff was always meant for grownups.
My TMNT thoughts and interests
One of my primary TMNT interests. I read some of volume 1 as a teenager, then the rest of volume 1, most of volume 2 and virtually all of volume 4 when I was older. I really want to see the story completed and have some real closure to the various storylines.
- Favorite characters
- April O'Neil - For me, April was always the glue that held the family together and kept Splinter, his sons and Casey from being complete psychos. For most of the series, there was just no proper story without her.
- Leatherhead - Fascinating character. Has so much potential, but seems underdeveloped.
- Raphael - Honestly, only as his secondary mutation in Volume 4. He developed a more monstrous appearance, but actually became a kinder person. I liked this Raph.
- I also like the Triceratons, but not really any individual character.
As a teenager I was a huge fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness and a few of the other books I was fortunate enough to get ahold of. Unfortunately, I never had a real opportunity to play these RPGs, as I could never find anyone else to play them with. I did like the Dr. Feral scenarios, though they haven't aged well over the decades.
- Favorite characters
- Victor Feral - I used to like Feral when I was younger, but the Palladium version's character tropes haven't aged well, and is too easily seen as a "Dr. Wily clone" even though Palladium TMNT actually pre-dates the first Mega Man game by a year or two. That said, I still respect the potential the character had to offer. In particular, Victor Falco from the 2012 TV series made a far more interesting ersatz version of Feral than he ever did as a shoehorned version of the Rat King.
- Igor - The Palladium version recycles too many Frankenstein's lab tropes verbatim such that Igor is too blatant a stock character at first glance. Still, this Igor is also a bit more complicated in other ways that gave his character potential, especially as a character with his own agenda who is keeping many sensitive secrets from Feral. One of the Palladium supplemental scenarios greatly develops Igor's character in ways that made me appreciate him more. He's an interesting template, but only as long as he isn't just some Frankenstein-inspired stock character, because he can clearly be much more than that.
- Karl - I mean, I know he's an evil sociopath, but the situation he's in still garners sympathy because it is one no one really deserves. He's a lab assistant who's absorbed a respectable education on the job, but has done so as a slave since childhood, hating the role he's stuck in, and would gladly escape if given the chance. After all is said and done, Karl is an interesting character template regardless of whether he's good or evil.
- Otto Rattus - One of the first "noble demon" character archetypes I realized I could really respect. He's not "good," per se, but he's honorable to a fault, and everything he's ever done has been out of loyalty to Feral, seeing as the two of them have something of a father-son relationship. Otto is also a mutant rat yet has been surgically altered to look human, and has successfully formed a social life in the human world, but other mutants can still instantly sense what he is.
If Otto has a significant flaw as a character design, it's that his scripted absolute loyalty to Feral may rob him of some potential for independent character development—if he commits evil acts, it's because of Feral, and if he cooperates with the protagonists, it's to help Feral—it's all for Feral, and that's the only reason he has or needs. Otto might have been more interesting with more individual behavioral traits beyond those dictated by his obedience to Feral. (I've found myself having similar complaints about Tiger Claw, since it would have been awesome to have seen him show some development by actually doing something disloyal to his master for reasons relating to his personal sense of honor.)
I certainly watched some of this when I was a preteen, like many of the younger Generation X-ers have. But it was never "great," if that makes sense? It had a half-decent first couple of episodes, and then...a whole lot of nothing all that interesting. I didn't really become a TMNT fan until I entered adolescence and discovered the Mirage version. As an adult, for the most part, I consider the 1987 series a nuisance; a cheap, nakedly-toyetic "anti-TMNT" that can't compare to the real thing and never really deserved the attention it got.
Never read it much when I was young. Read some of it as an adult, and I do appreciate how it matured along with its audience in a way the 1987 version never did. But I was never a devoted fan.
Played most of the games that appeared on NES, Megadrive/Genesis, Super NES and Game Boy Classic. Some were fun in their time, but the one I still love to this day is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters for MegaDrive/Genesis. Why such an admittedly mediocre game? Sure, its gameplay is unbalanced, and its story is painfully facile. Then there's the awesome soundtrack by Miki Higashino. Many of those in-game tunes are still the characters' theme songs in my mind. It may be the only reason I still remember characters like Sisyphus.
I largely have never played the later video games.
Watched the first, second and third films when I was young, and the 2007 film as an adult. Honestly, I could take them or leave them. Haven't seen the 2014 film at all, and I'm not in a big rush to see it either.
I finally got around to reading these comics, and I can't say I'm a fan. It reads and feels like an enormous Mirage guest era arc, lacking much of the charm and likability of volume 2 and volume 4. It's not so much the way the characters were changed (Raph disfiguring his face, Donatello becoming a cyborg, Leonardo losing a hand)—I could actually live with these when done well, and issue 25 had a way of wrapping up those plot points and miraculously healing their bodies.
But what felt like too much, laid on too thick, was how extensively the comic crossed over with Savage Dragon. I can understand an incidental crossover without a lot of mutual baggage, like Cerebus the Aardvark. But having Savage Dragon's Chicago coexisting on such a plot-critical level with Image TMNT's New York City created what, to me, was an enormous plot hole for Image TMNT in general: If "freaks" in Chicago live and work openly in the public and are integrated in its public sector, why can't mutants so much as be spotted by strangers in New York? Civilized mutants living in New York could be judged as possible visitors or immigrants from Chicago. This all was a bit too much of a strain to suspension of disbelief.
These enormous plot holes considered, I'd rather pretend Image TMNT never happened. And apparently, Peter Laird agreed. XD
Never watched it when it was on the air. But since it's gone off the air, I've heard good things about it, especially if one is a fan of the Mirage version.
So far I've seen some of it, and I can't really say I'm a big fan. It's like a G-rated out-of-sequence version of Mirage with much cornier dialogue. I guess some of the artwork isn't bad, though.
A relatively newer passion of mine, and I was responsible for 99% of the edits for MNT Gaiden articles on Turtlepedia before all articles were moved to the Mutant Ninja Turtles Gaiden Wiki where I am administrator.
- Favorite characters:
- April O'Neil - Middle-aged mom April is cool April, especially in how she's the only supporting character who manages to maintain good relations with all four of the turtles. She retains her Mirage role of being the glue that holds the family together.
- Davianna Wallace - She was actually pretty annoying at first, especially when she was willing to believe that Raph was her Augustus. But she became a lot more interesting character after she was kidnapped and started having to find her own courage.
- Michelangelo Hamato - The one seemingly uncursed brother, who undergoes wonderfully deep character development in this series. His brothers aren't uninteresting characters, but they have developments that make them very creepy. Creepy is good for this story—it fits the darker tone of MNT Gaiden—but it also makes them a little harder to sympathize with.
- Renoir - The story wouldn't be half as interesting without him. One of the most interesting things about him is how "ordinary" he was before his transformation, and how good an audience surrogate this makes him. I especially like how he's not exactly a "fifth" turtle, as he's not really in the same league as the four older turtles. Rather, he's interesting in how he genuinely represents a younger generation of turtle, and also helps glue the younger cast of characters together.
- Sadao - A most unlikely emotional and moral anchor for Leo. Sometimes, I think Sadao is really the only thing that keeps Leo interesting to me at all. It's hard not to sympathize with him too.
Interesting reincarnation. (In more ways than one, if you're familiar with the plot.) This version certainly has potential, but I'm still not certain yet if I can say I really like it. I think it needs more time and plot development for me to make up my mind.
- Favorite characters:
- Harold Lilja - An eccentric foil for Donatello. He can only seem to get more interesting.
- Old Hob - He's not exactly Leatherhead, but he's strangely interesting in his own way as this story's version of "the other original mutant."
- Mondo Gecko - Granted, this version of Mondo Gecko's background isn't as well developed as some of the other versions, but his character is much more interesting in his friendship with Seymour Gutz, who has deep psychological scars. Seymour's grim, depressing outlook does not burden Mondo, and indeed Mondo patiently and therapeutically helps Seymour learn how to appreciate life better.
- Pete - Initially a joke character and useless member of the Mutanimals, he started to really shine in the miniseries Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals where he was also established as a warm and caring friend who worried about everyone else's nightmares and wished blueberry cola were real.
- Slash - The unexpected team mom of the Mutanimals, Slash acts as the heart and conscience of the team. Initially Old Hob's first real friend, he also befriends Michelangelo, but his most kind-hearted moments come in concern for Pete's well-being. His personality and character development are roughly equivalent to Leatherhead from the 2012 TV series, rather than that series' version of Slash, and I like IDW Slash for many of the same reasons I like 2K12 Leatherhead.
- Splinter - This Splinter seems a lot better developed than Mirage Splinter. Not that I didn't like Mirage Splinter, but some things about his character seemed overly informed or two-dimensional. Splinter is not just wise because you're told he is—he has to actually show you why he's wise, and has to be believable as a person who earned that wisdom long and hard through a difficult life. Then he gets even more interesting after he becomes jōnin of the Foot Clan, and reveals just how long his dark gangster streak can truly be (and really always was).
When this show started, it was different. It was primarily marketed to the TV-Y7 crowd on Nickelodeon, but it had something that none of the other incarnations seemed to have before—its teenage turtles actually behaving like believable teenagers. With Splinter as the disciplinary dad, this series had a witty, clever sitcom element that made it watchable and rewatchable even to adults in ways the 1987 series could not claim.
I found myself wishing this show weren't so constrained by the TV-Y7 template, so that it could be frank about tackling more realistic teenage issues with a teenage-appropriate level of maturity, more like TV-14. After all, the show kept driving home that most of the main characters were angsty volatile teenagers. Those of us who were once teenagers ourselves, know very well that these characters are likely thinking and feeling and experiencing all sorts of things that a TV-Y7 show can only imply while walking on eggshells. Such things can be done maturely without actively seeking refuge in vulgarity just to artificially shore up an edgy rating. (Not that there's anything wrong with these ratings if the subject matter genuinely necessitates them.)
In particular, my friends and I kept noticing interesting things about Leatherhead, Michelangelo, Raphael, Slash and Anton Zeck—specifically, that each of them were strongly hinted to have an LGBT character facet. This wasn't about stereotypes, but about common wisdom and intuition we had accumulated during our lifetimes as gay people, including things that reminded us of ourselves and our other gay friends that you tend not to encounter in hetero people. And then after Korra and Asami from The Legend of Korra were revealed to be a romantic couple, we thought and hoped that maybe Nickelodeon was being more open to LGBT issues in a youth-appropriate manner, so that LGBT people of all ages would no longer feel so invisible when they watch shows like these.
But season 3 made me uncomfortably realize that this was not going to be a daring show anymore. Eventually, all my friends and I each got fed up with this TV series to the point where we just couldn't keep watching or enjoying it anymore. I was the last one to finally give up on the show. I generally still liked the first two seasons I had enjoyed, but was annoyed by the show's gradual abandonment of any good writing or lasting depth and its increasingly toyetic nature. Instead of Nick being more open to LGBT characters and audiences, it almost seemed more likely that Korra and Asami had actually embarrassed them and had actually been snuck under their noses, which meant that the gay moments in Nick's TMNT series were also probably snuck under their radar. (This turned out not to be the case, as Nick had known about and green-lit Korra and Asami all along. But I digress.) There is something worse than feeling ignored by mainstream entertainment as a minority demographic: It's when you feel acknowledged, and then unceremoniously ignored like you never existed or mattered. What the show did to its LGBT fans was very cruel...and sadly also still very invisible to most mainstream viewers. In this day and age, it shouldn't still be so difficult just to have G-rated gay characters on a TV-Y7 show.
In my time on this wiki, I have made over 1000 animated GIFs from Nickelodeon TMNT episodes. There are so many fond memories there. But I've largely stopped making any more GIFs, because I no longer like any of the new episodes. Each time I saw what I thought was the worst episode of the series, it wasn't long before I saw an episode that was even worse. The show no longer had any soul or lasting substance, the writing become awful, and I wished the show could have been cancelled sooner if it couldn't respect itself, its audience or the TMNT mythos.
I loved this series. I really, really wish it hadn't ruined itself the way it did.
- Favorite characters:
- Dogpound - The only stage of Chris Bradford's character development I really found interesting. Human Bradford was too unlikable, and Rahzar was too wasted as a character. But for a while, Dogpound really shone as a character struggling so hard to deal with chronic failure and inadequacy.
- Donatello - Hilariously angsty and adorkable as hell. In many ways, his character development was far most interesting than that of his brothers. And I liked his drama with April and his banter with Mikey. Well, again, mostly in the first two seasons.
- Irma - I admit I was disappointed when Irma turned out to be a major antagonist. I wanted more for her than to just be a Kraang spy inside an Irmabot. I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
- Jason - I found this character interesting for reasons having nothing to do with him being Mondo Gecko or "cowabunga." He's a teenager who mutated, then was kicked out by his parents and became homeless, then exploited by Xever Montes, but still managed to maintain a semblance of sanity and optimism. The funny thing is, my fondness for Jason came at the expense of my fondness for Xever. I had some sympathy for Xever before, but it's now so much harder to like someone who deliberately exploits vulnerable children.
- Leatherhead - This character started out angry, but later stabilized his moods and became a character that reminds me far more of Vincent from the 1980s Beauty and the Beast series. And for a while, my friends and I were absolutely convinced he was Mikey's boyfriend. It Came From The Depths had a very romantic nature to it, with scenes that felt like a first date, a first argument and a scene of "I'm falling for you" angst. Then came Into Dimension X! when it revealed that Mikey and Leatherhead had actually been sleeping and spooning together. And in conventional wisdom, two guys past puberty don't do that unless they are romantically or intimately involved. The show kept milking their strong romantic emotional bond, especially in Battle for New York, Part 1 and Part 2, but later it became more evident that the show wasn't taking them seriously.
- Michelangelo - I used to think he was an infectiously fun character. And in season 1 in particular, he could still be surprisingly deep, sober and spiritual, showing a zen-like wisdom under that easy-going exterior. His character started to go downhill in season 2, and by season 3 he was practically Patrick Star. Yes, Mikey was the most childlike, but even he was supposed to gradually grow up.
- Raphael - There have been many angry, moody Raphaels, but this Raph was the only one we could call a bitch, and we loved him for it. While he certainly had his masculine side, his personality had a deliciously queer tint to it, making him seem more like a catty, sassy, prima donna of a tomboy big sister than just another tough guy big brother. And like a big sister, he was right there to counsel Donnie on what to do with April, to bitch with Leo about his dangerous infatuation with Karai, and to catfight with Karai herself, all while appearing remarkably indifferent to the presence of women in the way Donnie and Leo are not. And to top it off, gurl could vogue. So when his attachment to his beloved pet Spike was upgraded to raw emotional tension with his man Slash, it already fit Raph like a glove. In discussing it with my friends, it was notable that we generally agreed Raph was likely gay, rather than probably bi or pan like we suspected of Mikey. Even his brief acknowledgment during The Alien Agenda of Leo finding Karai hot, it felt less like Raph himself thought she was hot, and more like Raph was teasing Leo in a very Raph way in an episode where Raph did plenty of that.
Then came season 3, and Raph soon slipped from being one of the deepest and most complicated characters, to becoming one of the most neglected. His queer tendencies gradually completely evaporated, and then by Dinosaur Seen in Sewers!, for the first time, he seemed uncharacteristically cold to Slash (compared to the tenderness Raph had lavished on Slash as recently as Clash of the Mutanimals). And Raph's treatment of Zog only made Zog more sympathetic and made Raph more unlikable. Suffice it to say, I no longer trusted the show to make him even half as interesting as the first two seasons had. This is simply not the Raph I knew and loved.
- The Newtralizer - Newtie was uncommonly badass, and even rather sexy...in a psychotic sort of way.
- Slash - Damn. I'm familiar with the Slash template being the "bad turtle" in other TMNT incarnations, but this has got to have been the single most interesting Slash to date. Giving this Slash such a turbulent emotional attachment with Raph was sheer genius, and greatly helped Raph's character development as well. And the unmutated pet turtle Spike was enchanting as well, while that lasted. But Slash's last half-decent episode was Battle for New York, and he was never an interesting character since.
- Splinter - I've gotta say—Splinter as a middle-aged disciplinarian dad was the best thing they could have done with this character template. It made the interaction with his sons all the richer, and also gave him some great opportunities for expression and sarcasm. This Splinter was also incredibly badass, and didn't seem weak or frail at all. But by season 3, the show was using him less and less,
and they eventually decided to permanently kill him off because he wasn't on the show enough. But that decision and the motive behind it was the one that most infuriated and alienated my friends, because it increasingly appeared that Nickelodeon simply doesn't respect TMNT, its viewers or its mythology.That announcement of permanent death turned out to be an internet hoax, but what actually did end up happening after season 3 can best be summed up in a joke: "Splinter was murdered, but everyone else died on screen." The patriarch was eventually reunited with a family of vapid, one-dimensional caricatures with wooden dialogue. When no one is being well written anymore, it becomes harder to keep caring whether Splinter (or anyone else on the show) is alive or dead—I like to call that Schrödinger's Apathy.
A good (re)start, after New Animated Adventures, with the promise that it would be allowed to carry more of a story and be allowed to deviate from the 2012 series continuity. But for all that leverage Amazing Adventures was supposedly given, it ended up being effectively no different from NAA—highly episodic stories with no later follow-through and no meaningful continuity separate from the TV series. The only permanent difference happened in Robotanimals!, but that was the end of Amazing Adventures anyway. And what was that permanent change? They killed off Baxter Stockman who was still alive in the TV series, but at least they kept Splinter alive after the TV series had killed him off.
My Fan Music
- Continue (2A03)
- Donatello (VRC6)
- Michelangelo (VRC6)
- April O'Neil (VRC6)
- Ray Fillet (VRC6)
- Sisyphus (VRC6)
- DeviantArt (dermot's collections)
- Turtlez - Pizza Dayz by Knuxlight