Like his brothers, Raphael was a simple pet shop turtle until exposure to toxic "ooze" mutated him. He was raised by Splinter along with his brothers, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello.
Raphael was created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.
Raphael was initially presented as more independent than the rest of the turtles. In the first issue he voiced his opinion that he hated living in the sewers and loved the open night skies even though his brothers didn't seem to mind. He was chosen by Splinter to deliver a message to the Shredder, infiltrating the Foot headquarters defeating many of the guards and left behind one of sai blade with a note attached which challenged the Shredder to a duel to the death. Along with his brothers he battled the Foot and the Shredder killing him. Subsequent issues elaborate on Raphael's personality presented him as the hot headed member of the group who was quickest to anger. He was closest to Michelangelo but during a sparring session he lost control and attacked his brother with a monkey wrench taking the rest of the turtles to restrain him. Raphael ran away disgusted by the thought that he could have killed his brother and lamenting that he can't keep his anger under control.
While out he encounters a vigilante called Casey Jones who was violently beating some muggers. Raphael intervenes and lectures Casey for his lack of control to which the human replies that he doesn't think that the turtle is so different. Raphael points out that he at least tries to control his anger. The two of the form a close bond started a crime fighting partnership.
When Splinter was captured, Raphael was the most reactionary, strongly insisting that they go after Master Splinter without any forethought. During his family's exile in Northampton he would be the first one up in the morning and the last to go to sleep at night. His days would be spent goofing around with Casey including trying to fix up a truck while continually insulting each other and his nights would be spent on the roof of the farm house barn keeping guard over his family. Raphael prefers the rough, city life which plays into his distrust of the magical or alien world.
In the Image series which follow the Mirage TMNT, Raphael is blasted in the face and disfigured. After that, he wore one of Casey Jones' hockey masks for much of the time, and eventually just an eye patch. Later, Raphael wore Shredder's armor in an attempt to psychologically dominate a number of the New York Mob, with whom the Foot Clan was engaged in a losing gang war. He donned a slightly variant version of the armor, and pretended to be the Shredder to get the advantage on his pursuers. He succeeded in defeating them and was then accepted into, and given control of, the New York faction of the Foot Clan for a brief time.
In this reboot, Raphael was separated from his brothers. He saves a young Casey Jones from his abusive father and after hitting the streets to fight crime is reunited with his brothers.
Major Story Arcs
Return to New York
After a year Raphael grew angered that they had not returned to New York to confront the Foot. Accusing Leonardo of cowardice the two came to blows with him knocking his brother through the wall of the barn. Walking away he said he would go back to the city alone and told his brothers not to follow him. In the sewers of New York he battled Foot Ninjas who were using the tunnels to move around the city. He was also shocked to find something else in the sewers. When his brothers arrived at the lair they found Raphael who had a plan to take down the Foot and help in the form of Triceraton called Zog whose mind was failing and thought the turtles were his commanders. The turtles and Zog managed to infiltrate the Foot headquarters battling an army of ninjas. Raphael left the rest behind eager to confront the Shredder himself but is attacked by Shredder's Elite Guard who managed to subdue him.
Luckily he was rescued by Leonardo who scolded him going off alone to which the turtle sadly concedes that he lacks self control. Finally accepting his brother Leonardo's leadership he rejoins Donatello and Michelangelo allowing Leonardo to deal with the Shredder.
After the "City at War" story line the three of the four turtles moved back to the city full time. Each turtle decided to get their own living space with Raphael choosing to live in an abandoned cathedral. At this time it was noted that he was beginning to become more disciplined while Leonardo was becoming more impulsive, Raph shrugged this off as their natural order would always be "buttin' heads". After battling a cyborg Baxter Stockman Raphael was captured by the government agency DARPA who believed him to be an alien. Taking him back to their facility in Nevada. After a failed breakout attempt he is rescued by his brothers, Casey, Mr. Braunze and Nobody. Braunze wipes the memories of the events of Raph's capture and rescue from the turtles and the DARPA agents minds. The turtles however would become aware of them upon Braunze's return.
Raph returns back to New York and finds himself once again seeking the open air. On one night, he drunkenly runs into a gang. This gang also happens to be vampiric and they bite Raphael. This causes a secondary evolution making his body grow massive and bulky similar to a giant Snapping Turtle. Fugitoid first attempts to calm the raging Raphael down, but Raphael knocks his head off. Leatherhead unveils himself and battles Raphael on the New York streets. Finally, Leatherhead manages to calm Raphael.
Later, Raphael regains his normal, functioning brain making the secondary mutation only cosmetic. He is occasionally jokingly referred to as "Dino-Raph." He, the Fugitoid, Leatherhead, and Donatello search for a cure for Raph while simultaneously searching to return the shrunken Donatello back to size. Donatello builds a exoskeleton similar to the Utrom robots and he, Raph, and Casey confront the Vampire gang. This time, they win easily.
The Distant Future
Raphael is often depicted wearing an eye patch over the left eye and a leather jacket in his older age. In one particular story, he fends of hundreds of Foot Ninjas in Japan over a baby that he attempts to return home. Raphael displays an adept mastery over all weapons in this future self, and he brutally slays many of the Foot. When he finally finds who stole the baby, he discovers that he has been chasing the baby only to be brought to Karai. Karai is nearing 100 years old, and she states that she wanted Raphael to chase her Ninja so it could be "just like old times."
In the Casey Jones and Raphael mini series whose first issue was published by Mirage but after one issue was renamed Bodycount and published by Image Raphael comes to the aid of Casey Jones in a fight over a woman. The woman called Midnight is being hunted by her brother Johnny Woo Woo because she is attempting to leave her crime family, Casey Jones agrees to help her and the turtle grudgingly agrees to help also.
The trio engage in a race across America to get to what Midnight calls Sanctuary with Woo Woo and his men on their heels. During their travels Raphael gets a taste for guns and enjoys the rush of fighting with them, despite Jones preferring to keep with usual weapons. At a major showdown in Sanctuary Casey is shot during the firefight which causes Raph great shock and he breaks down believing his best friend to be dead. After the battle and Woo Woo and his men are all dead Jones gets up revealing the bullet had hit his lucky hockey puck that he wears around his neck.
Change Is Contant
During the first arc of IDW`s run, we find Raphael has been separated from his brothers. He is living on the streets and eats what he can find in dumpsters and trash bins. It is while rifling through one of these that he overhears an argument and sees Casey Jones being beaten by his father. Raphael intervenes and protects Casey and eventually chases Casey`s father off and the two immediately become friends and hit the streets to fight crime.
It is while out fighting that Raphael learns of a mutant cat named Old Hob who attempted to make a meal of him in the sewers when they were both exposed to the ooze. Old Hob, wanting revenge for the eye Splinter scratched out protecting Raphael and his brothers in the sewer encounter, attempts to kill Raphael when his brothers show up and after defeating Old Hob`s men and chasing the mutant cat away the family is at last reunited.
Enemies Old, Enemies New
With the four brothers at last reunited we find them practicing in the sewers where Raphael is fast learning to fight as Ninja. He comments that he feels like he's working a muscle he had but never used, like he already knows what to do. It's then that Splinter gives the brothers new masks, each with their favored color. It is then that Splinter shares with the Turtles their story of how they were once a family in Feudal Japan executed by the leader of the Foot Clan, Oroku Saki. Meanwhile Old Hob, begins helping Baxter Stockman, head of Stockgen, and is given control of mousers to use against the Turtles and Splinter.
The Turtles are soon attacked and Splinter is kidnapped leaving the Turtles to face a horde of mousers without him. When the fight is over they immediately begin a search for their father and Raphael, saying Leonardo is moving to slow, begins to argue with his brothers but calms as they at last begin the hunt for Splinter.
Powers & Abilities
Raphael's defining weapon is the Sai Blades he carries often shoved in his belt. He displays a more erratic form of Ninjutsu, and is often unpredictable, but rash, in battle.
Out of all of the turtles, Raphael is depicted the most often with other weapons. These vary from pikes to swords, and he still displays his brutality with each.
The streets of New York are suddenly being hit by an escalating wave of crime. April O'Neil is a reporter working on the story when she is mugged on her way to her vehicle. She is rescued when Raphael tosses his sai into a light and in the darkness the Turtles bind the attackers. His sai is lost and though his brothers see the fight as a victory he feels it is a failure because he left his sai behind. Later while leaving a movie theater he sees a purse snatcher and after taking the purse back and returning it to it`s owner, pursues the thieves who are being attacked by Casey Jones. They fight when Raphael accuses Casey of using excessive force. After losing to Casey he is on his way home when he sees April being attacked by Foot Clan and he again defends her. She faints and not sure what to do Raphael takes her to the turtles` home.
When she recovers the Turtles escort April home and upon returning to the sewer find that Splinter has been kidnapped and so they return to April`s apartment and stay with her. While she is at work Raphael and Leonardo have an argument over plans for finding Splinter leading Raphael to go outside onto the rooftops where he is attacked by the Foot and just as April returns home is thrown through her apartment`s skylight. The Turtles escape with the aid of Casey Jones who had been watching from another rooftop and flee to an old farmhouse belonging to April`s family where they all await Raphael`s recovery.
Once he is able they begin training and after having a vision of Master Splinter while meditating the Turtles decide to rescue their master. An ambush is set for the Turtles in the sewer but they manage to overcome and eventually defeat the Foot and their leader the Shredder and are reunited with Master Splinter.
After defeating the Shredder in the previous film, the Turtles are living with April O'Neil and looking for a new home. The Turtles save a teenager named Keno who is fighting some thieves and after Raphael throws him in a garbage can, they finish the fight for him. Meanwhile, the Shredder returns and finds his Foot clan have fled to a dump to regroup. Shredder,wanting revenge, calls for the Foot to kidnap April as she would be the best way to find the Turtles. April, on her news report interviews a Professor Jordan Perry, a scientist for Techno Global Research Industries (TGRI), who is helping to clean up waste the company left behind.
Some of the crew cleaning up discover dandelions which have grown to great proportions and are overheard by a member of the Foot who has gone undercover as part of the news team. He reports back to Shredder who then demands the source be discovered. Meanwhile the Turtles are cleaning April`s apartment when Splinter shows them the canister which contained the ooze which created them, and printed on it are the letters TGRI. Professor Perry is then at TGRI destroying the remaining ooze when the Foot arrive and take the canister as well as Perry. The Turtles soon arrive themselves to learn the secrets of their creation.
After Donatello uses a computer to find out that one of the canisters of ooze is still active the Foot attack and escape with the ooze. The Turtles then decide to move out of April`s apartment and back into the sewers when Keno shows up and discovers them when he sees Raphael`s toes sticking out and stomps them. Splinter explains their story and when he mentions the Foot Keno volunteers to be recruited into the Foot to see why they took the ooze.
Splinter refuses to allow it but Raphael sticks up for Keno`s idea. The Turtles all go back to the sewers to find a new place to live and while searching Raphael argues they should be attacking the Foot not home shopping and leaves in a fit of rage. While he's gone the other Turtles quite literally stumble onto an old abandoned subway and make their new home. At this time Shredder has Professor Perry create another set of mutants with the ooze the Foot stole using a snapping turtle(Tokka) and a wolf (Rahzar). When they are full grown they are superior in strength but have the mind of an infant.
It's then that Keno, working with Raphael, is recruited by the Foot when Raphael sneaks in and takes the last test required of Keno for him. Shortly after Keno is led to the Foot clan`s hideout where Raphael follows. They are making plans when they are spotted and Raphael sends Keno off to tell the others while he stands and fights to give him a chance to run but is eventually overrun and taken prisoner where he comes face-to-face with the Shredder. Keno runs to April`s to tell the others but finds only April is there. The remaining Turtles infiltrate the Foot and find Raphael tied to a post.
When they attempt to reach him they spring a trap which Splinter has to save them from. This leads to Shredder sending Tokka and Rahzar to fight the Turtles who are unable to defeat them.When Donatello is thrown through a roof and rescues Professor Perry the group manages to escape through a sewer entrance in the dump. In order to bring the Turtles out of hiding, Shredder sets Tokka and Rahzar loose on the city to destroy at will. The next day April is given a message to give to the Turtles that they have to meet Shredder or he will set his mutants loose on Central Park and so Donatello and Professor Perry come up with a chemical to reverse the effects of the ooze on Tokka and Rahzar but it must be ingested to work so Michelangelo comes up with an idea to give it to them in powdered doughnuts.
When the Turtles try to give it to them as a fake peace offering at the meeting they catch on and attack. The fight ends when the Shredder ingests some of the remaining ooze and becomes a super strong "Super Shredder" and knocks a dock down on top of himself and the Turtles, who survive by going under the water and at last return home.
The film begins in 1609 with a man running from four Samurai and eventually getting captured. Meanwhile the Turtles, in the present, are training while listening to music when Raphael throws his sai into the radio and begins complaining about the fact that they train all day long but never go out and fight, like they should. Splinter and the other Turtles shut him down and he stomps off to calm himself when April O'Neil enters their sewer home with gifts for all four brothers. She asks where Raphael is and Donatello tells her he's "cooling off."
While the Turtles look at their gifts April opens Splinter`s gift an old lamp. Meanwhile in ancient Japan, the captured man, Kenshin, argues with his father and enters a temple throwing the priests within out. He then finds a scepter, the same as April`s lamp, and reads the inscription written thereon. Winds begin to blow and in the future the same begins to happen and suddenly April vanishes replaced by Kenshin while April replaces Kenshin in the past. She is apprehended and tried as a witch by Kenshin`s father and an Englishman named Walker there to trade with Kenshin`s father.
Meanwhile in the present, the Turtles make friends with Kenshin and decide to go back in time and get April. When they appear they are on horseback, mid battle, where Michelangelo is lost when his horse takes off into nearby woods and he is knocked out, losing the scepter. Raphael and the others crash their horses and travel to the nearby town.
There they are mistaken for an honor guard and after following some of Walker`s men they find April being held in a cage and set her free as well as another Englishman who looks just like Casey Jones. Raphael, during a break, comments on the beauty of this place having no trash in the water only to made fun of by his brothers when they are attacked, again mistaken as honor guard and are led to Mitsu, a woman leading the rebellion against Kenshin`s father. They taken to Mitsu`s village and arrive just as it is being burned to the ground by Walker and his men and the soldiers of Kenshin`s father.
Michelangelo is released from a prison Mitsu's people had kept him in and rescues Mitsu's son, Yoshi, who Raphael quickly bonds with telling the boy that fighting is for adults and he should have fun instead of fighting. Meanwhile Kenshin's father agrees to buy guns and cannons from Walker to stop the rebellion. Donatello then completes a second Scepter to try and use to go home but Michelangelo grabs it, not wanting to return home, begins arguing with Raphael who starts a tug-of-war with the scepter and he and Michelangelo drop it down a well.
When news of a second attack on the village comes, Raphael goes to visit Yoshi who he finds crying and to cheer him up, gives Yoshi a yo-yo. In return Yoshi gives him the scepter that was lost in the woods. Raphael immediately takes it to his brothers and confronts Mitsu about it being hidden from them but her father was the one hiding it to force the Turtles to help fight the coming battle. Mitsu is kidnapped by Whit, the Casey Jones of the past, and the Turtles are forced to give up the scepter.
She is taken to the castle but is rescued by the Turtles who fight their way through the soldiers there and defeat Kenshin`s father as well as Walker and his men and get back the scepter. Raphael and Michelangelo are considering staying behind when the scepter is activated. Mitsu tells Raphael and Michelangelo to go home, that they are a family and so at last they return setting things right.
After the defeat of Shredder, Raphael has decided to take it upon himself to keep the streets of New York clean of crime when other turtles have taken up other roles. Raphael donned a new armored costume and uses chains as weapons. He became known as the Nightwatcher, a super hero known for his brutality he quickly made a name for himself in the underbelly of New York.
None of his brothers knew of his new alter ego, it was only later that Casey Jones discovered his identity and joined his fight against crime in the absence of the turtles out on the streets.
Raphael was once a small turtle lab rat who was administered with mutagen, which amplified his healing and strength by Eric Sacks. Following the disaster after the new opposition between their mistress April O'Neil's father and Sacks over the latter's true allegiance, the former tried to burn down all their research, but April got them out in secret and brought them out to safety, along with three other turtles and another rat which received the same mutagen. All of them became a family, with Splinter the rat as their father figure in the sewers, growing larger and stronger with time from their experimentation, eventually learning the martial art of ninjutsu, where he learned to be a master of a pair of twin sais, able to carve a statue of himself with it in a matter of seconds.
The most eager and self-reliant, he wanted to begin their war against the Foot Clan as quickly as possible, which ended with his existence in danger of revelation after his former mistress April, now a reporter, caught a shot of him.