The TMNT as they are commonly known was once nothing more than a black and white comic strip but soon their fame sky rocketed with Saturday morning cartoons, comic books, and even a series of movies.
The story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles starts in Japan in the year 1964 with the pet rat of Hamato Yoshi. The rat would often watch his owner as he practiced Ninjitsu and would try and mimic him. Yoshi was the best warrior of the Foot Clan, his only rival was a man named Oroku Nagi with whom he competed in all things but none more fiercely than for the love of the lady Tang Shen. Both tried to woo her but from the beginning she loved only Yoshi. One day Yoshi walked into Shen's home to find her being beaten by Nagi who demanded that she love him, enraged by this Yoshi fought and killed Nagi.
Yoshi's shame was great, by killing a member of his own clan he had only two options ; to end his own life and hope for honor in the next or flee to another country. Yoshi chose the latter and took Shen and his pet rat along with him to immigrate to New York.
Back in Japan Nagi's younger brother Oroku Saki vowed vengeance against those responsible for the death of his brother. He enrolled in the Foot Clan and over the years became their deadliest warrior. The Foot decided to expand it's influence to the rest of the world and chose Saki to lead it's American branch. Using this opportunity for revenge Saki set up the Foot in New York and took on the persona of " Shredder". He tracked down Yoshi and Shen and killed both of them in cold blood.
Yoshi's pet rat was forced to scavenged the streets for food until one day he saw a road accident involving a truck carrying toxic waste. A canister came flying out out of the truck and struck a bowl of four baby turtles which was being carried by a young boy. The canister and the four turtles fell into an open manhole. The rat followed them down into the sewers and saw the four turtles covered in the ooze which was spilling out of the now broken canister.
Not knowing exactly why, he gathered them up getting ooze on himself. He awoke the next morning to the shock that they had doubled in both size and intellect. The four turtles followed the rat everywhere except above ground. They all began walking upright but the rat received a shock when one day one of the turtles actually spoke the word "Splinter" and in doing so named the rat, soon they all began to speak.
Knowing that the outside world not understand them Splinter began training them in the art of Ninjitsu which he had learned from his Master Yoshi. With an old renaissance art book that he found in a storm drain he gave them all names ; Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Their first appearance was in Mirage's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1.
Major Story Arcs
Facing the Shredder
When the turtles were thirteen years of age, after facing off against a street gang known as the Purple Dragons, Splinter decides that their training is now complete and told them the full story of their origin. He had grown old now and thought that he had not long to live and so charged the turtles to avenge the death of his Master by killing The Shredder.
Raphael was chosen to deliver the message to Shredder. He infiltrated the Foot Clan's Head Quarters dispatching many of the ninja guards. After spying on Oroku Saki inside a separate building, he threw one of his sais through the window. Attached was a note which challenged Shredder to a dual to the death to restore the honor of Hamato Yoshi.
The turtles arrived on the roof top location specified on the note and waited for their foe. From afar Saki now in his Shredder guise watched and wondered who the four mysterious creatures were and how his murder of Yoshi could still come back to haunt him. The turtles were suddenly surrounded by Foot Ninja, with which they did battle. The turtles managed to defeat the Foot with some injuries. It was then that the Shredder chose to face the turtles. The four turtles initially tried to battle the Shredder individually but the armored warrior was too strong.
They decided to face him all together, not faring much better until Leonardo managed to plunge his Katana through the Shredder's torso. As the Shredder lay bleeding he told the turtles to "finish it" but Leonardo refused, offering him his Katana saying that the Shredder would regain his honor if he ended his own life. Saki refused and took out a Thermite Bomb which would wipe the rooftop clean of all life. Donatello quickly used his Bo Staff to knock Shredder and the bomb off the roof. As he fell the bomb exploded killing The Shredder. With their mission complete the four turtles returned home.
Not long after the defeat of the Shredder, Master Splinter became troubled at a news report of the scientist Baxter Stockman and the invention he hoped would put an end of New York's rat problem, the Mousers. Splinter's ill feeling proved to be well deserved as in the sewers the turtles rescued a young woman who was being attacked by the Mousers.
Taking the woman back to their lair, she introduced herself as April O'Neil and explained that she was Stockman's Lab Assistant until she discovered that the Mousers true purpose was to steal money from banks as well as extort money from the City. Disgusted by this she ran from him ending up in the sewers but Stockman turned the Mousers on her. The four turtles decided to return with her to Stockman's lab intent on stopping his schemes. While being attacked by the Mousers, Donatello and April managed to them down.
The turtles escorted April out of the Sewers were she gave them her phone number telling them to call if they ever needed her help. The turtles returned home to find it in ruins and Master Splinter was no where to be found. Knowing that soon the Police and repair crews would be there to investigate and fix the damage done by the Mousers the turtles returned to the surface and used a phone box to call April who arranged to meet them.
April met them in her van and told them they could stay with her for the time being. They soon ran into trouble as April's van matched the description of another van involved in an armed robbery twenty minutes prior. Knowing that they couldn't be stopped by the police for fear of being discovered by the authorities they led the police car on a chase around the city until finally leading them to the real robbers.
After moving in with April, Raphael found it particularly hard without their master. A sparring session with Michelangelo gets out of hand Raphael grabs a monkey wrench and lunges at brother. The rest of his brothers managed to stop the angry turtle. Raphael ran out of the building disgusted by the thought that he could have killed his best friend and lamenting that he can't keep his anger under control.
While out, Raphael overhears a mugging in an alleyway but when he gets there he witnesses an individual wearing a Hockey mask stopping it. The turtle soon realizes that the man who identified himself as Casey Jones wasn't letting up on the muggers and could easily kill them. Raphael stops the fight but is in turn attacked by Casey himself. Knocking the turtle to the floor, Casey makes his escape. Raphael realizes that he can't simply let the vigilante go and follows him to the Park where they begin to fight again. This time Raphael beats Casey. After being lectured by the turtle on his violent methods Casey points out that he doesn't think that Raphael is so different, to which Raphael responds that he at least tries to control his temper. At that moment, they hear someone being mugged calling for help and the two decide to stop the crime together.
Turtles in Space
While searching for their missing Master the turtles come across a building with the logo T.C.R.I., the same acronym that was printed on the canister of ooze that mutated them. Wanting to investigate the full truth of their origins the turtles infiltrate the building but they are baffled when every floor they search looks the same. They find a key card and use it to gain access to a locked room but are shocked to find a tube filled with liquid and their Master Splinter floating in the center.
Shocked and angered three turtles go to break the tube they think is displaying the corpse of their Master but Donatello stops them explaining that Splinter is alive in Suspended animation and the machinery around them was supporting his vital functions. Suddenly, the turtles are interrupted by several brain-like creatures operating humanoid exo skeletons. The turtles retreat into another room with a giant machine that the creatures don't want to risk harming. Unfortunately the control panel of the machine is damaged, the turtles are dematerialized and teleported away.The turtles materialize on the planet D'hoonib in the middle of a battle.
They come to they aid of Professor Honycutt, a brilliant scientist whose mind is trapped in the body of an android, who is being hunted down by Federation soldiers who want him to build a transmat device which they hope to use to further their militaristic ambitions. Realizing that this "Fugitoid" may well be their key to returning home they decide to stay with him. The turtles and their new friend go to an alien cantina to try and arrange passage off the the planet but the bar is soon raided by soldiers of an alien race known as the Triceratons who kidnap Honycutt. Stealing an aircar the turtles follow the Triceratons to what they they think is their base but are shocked to learn is a spaceship which is on it's way to the Triceraton Homeworlds.
The Triceratons discover the stowaway turtles in a trance to conserve oxygen. The soldiers equip the turtles with breathing devices so the can survive in the Triceratons' atmosphere and quicly imprison them, hoping to use them as a bargaining chip to coerce Honycutt into building a Transmat for them. Realizing that the Triceratons and their Prime Leader Zanramon are just as evil as the Federation he swears never to build a Transmat even if it means the death of his friends.
Honycutt is forced to watch the turtles are placed in the Tri-Sports arena as they fight the Triceraton All Star Team. The turtles defeat their opponents and jump up into the stands picking up their android pal as well as taking Zanramon hostage. The turtles and Honycutt try to escape the arena but Zanramon is killed in a firefight, just when things start to look grim the turtles, Honycutt and several Triceratons are bathed in a white light and are teleported away.
The group find themselves back at the TCRI building on Earth. After a short firefight the Triceratons are teleported back to their homeworld leaving the turtles and the mysterious TCRI aliens. A tense moment is broken by the arrival of Master Splinter who explains that while the turtles were confronting Stockman the lair was attacked by Mousers. Retreating into the sewer tunnels he was injured and lapsed into unconsciousness when he was found by a TCRI workman who brought him to the building to heal him. The aliens who identified themselves as the Utroms explained that twenty years prior their space ship crash landed on Earth.
The craft being beyond repair they decided to blend in with humans by constructing exosuits, seeking employment and slowly gaining enough money buy a building turn into the Techno Cosmic Research Institute were they built a transmat so they could return home. A byproduct of their experiments with the transmats is the Ooze, thirteen years ago a road accident while on their way to a disposal site led to them losing a canister down the sewers which led to the turtles and Splinter becoming mutated.
At that moment the Utroms explain that the energy flash of transmat has put the TCRI building under human scrutiny and at that moment the National Guard are trying force their way in. The Utroms activate a self destruct and program the Transmat to take that back to their homeworld, offering Honycutt a place with them which he instantly accepts the group teleport out with the building imploding soon after. The turtles themselves are later teleported back to Earth into April O'Neil's bathroom.
What Goes Around...Comes Around
On Christmas Eve Leonardo goes out for a training run on the rooftops of the city when he is attacked by a literal army of Foot Soldiers. The fight goes on for hours with the turtle holding his ground until he's shocked by the sight of familiar foe. Back in April's apartment the turtles become worried that their brother had been gone so long and are about to go look for him when Leonardo comes crashing through the window. Severely beaten and barely conscious he tells them "he's back ... the ... Shredder."
The Foot Clan come bursting into April O'Neil's apartment. An intense battle breaks out which follows the turtles, April and Splinter trying to escape the building via the antique store bellow. As the enter the group switch on the lights of the store they are met by Foot Soldiers and the Shredder. A tense moment is interrupted by the arrival of Raphael's friend Casey Jones who has come to aid the turtles. A fire breaks out which attracts the police. Hearing the sirens the Shredder orders the Foot to scatter but vows that the "war is far from over". Realizing they need a place to go April is next seen riding in Casey's car, a U-Haul trailer attached with an injured Leonardo, the rest of the turtles and Splinter inside as it heads to Northampton.
Exile in Northampton
In Northampton the group stays in a dilapidated farm house which used to belong to Casey's grandmother. April finds life on the farm difficult, depressed and suffering from nightmares she keeps a journal which she writes down her observations on how each of her new family are coping with their first defeat.
Leonardo has healed physically but his confidence in himself has shattered. Everyday he goes into the woods hunt the local wildlife. We follow him as he has a skirmish with a large buck. The turtle is knocked down by the deer and he sits dejectedly in the snow, looking utterly defeated.
Donatello is obsessively working on the many repairs to the farmhouse. He fixes up a windmill and water wheel to provide electricity and hooks up a wooden stove for heat. His biggest project however is getting the hot water heater working. A brief moment of happiness ensues foe the whole group when he finally manages to get it working. April is surprised when she observes him with a typewriter and wonders what he could be writing about.
Michelangelo worries April the most. Where once he would laugh and joke about anything he hardly laughs anymore with the exception of some half-hearted goofing with Casey and Raph. He spends the majority of time alone in the barn taking out his frustration on a punching bag. We see him lashing out at aggressively punching through the wall of the barn.
Raphael's behavior scares April. Observing that his behavior is unbalanced and unpredictable. He is the first person to get up in the morning and the last to go to sleep. During the day he spends most of his time with Casey fixing up an old truck while playfully insulting each other. He spends most of the night alone on the roof of the barn keeping watch.
One day while walking on the lake the ice cracks and April falls into freezing water below. Leonardo is returning to farm after hunting in the woods and sees April's fall. Leo uses his katana and cloak to make a lifeline and pulls April out of the cold depths, and then carries her home. While the turtles and Casey are watching over the recovering April Splinter tells them that their spirits have drifted for too long and puts the team back to work, training together again.
A month after her fall into the ice April writes a more hopeful journal entry stating that "Life is good ... and life goes on." As the turtles and Splinter sit by a campfire the rat congratulates his sons on their progress and tries to relieve their concerns about April stating that she gained more by friendship than she has lost and thinks that April realizes that. The next day the turtles wake up a very happy April with breakfast in bed.
Archie Adventure Series History
Based closely on the animated series at first, the Archie version of TMNT developed a very distinct history of it's own over time.
The Beginning of our Heroes' Tale
As an alien ship crashes to central park, the TMNT meet an alien who is holding an object of great power which he calls "The Eye of Sarnath" the four turtles take possession of the object as the alien passes away. But this starship crash has also attracted the attention of The Shredder and his alien ally Krang, and the pair along with their Foot Soldier robots, Baxter Stockman, and a pair of mutated thugs known as Bebop and Rocksteady seek to take down the TMNT and claim the Eye of Sarnath as their own.
Shredder eventually claims the Eye and uses it to shrink the turtles But Splinter and April manage to free the TMNT and restore them to normal size, in the ensuing battle the Eye of Sarnath is lost forever into the sewers.
Now that the animated series re-cap is out of the way...
Shredder is desperately seeking to regain the Eye of Sarnath, using a submarine to search areas where the sewer runs off into the Atlantic ocean and Hudson river. Mutagen which has made it's way into the sewers has led to a scientist who has noticed mutations and deformities to investigate the area as well, and when caught in a bath of run-off mutagen, the man is transformed into Man-Ray, and an underwater battle ensues between he and Shredder, Man-Ray wins the fight, dragging Shredder onto the land and to the TMNT, but the turtles don't know what to make of their new ally, who seems on the verge of passing out, and after Man-Ray returns to the sea, the TMNT realise Shredder has escaped.
Shredder feels Bebop and Rocksteady are inept, and consider devolving the mutants with another Mutagen dose, but soon stumbles upon Jess Harley, a man who has been transformed by the Turnstone by Mary Bones into the alligator man known now as Leatherhead, Shredder takes the opportunity of Leatherhead's recent traumatic transformation to trick the Gator-Man into believing the TMNT work for Mary Bones and knew how to cure him. Leatherhead, Bebop, and Rocksteady attack the TMNT, and are winning, but Shredder's fears of Bebop and Rocksteady's lack of even common sense is proven when the pair let it slip that they are in fact the bad guys.
Feeling used Leatherhead throws a tantrum and the bridge they had been fighting on collapses beneath him, the TMNT are helpless to save Leatherhead, or capture Bebop and Rocksteady who are on the opposite side of the collapsed bridge. But the turtles themselves are then met with a strange sight, a giant Cow's head named Cudley The Cowlick, who sucks them into his mouth and transports the four to Dimension X to compete in the Intergalactic Wrestling Federation on Stamp Asteroid. Upon their arrival the team is relieved to see Cudley had also saved Leatherhead, but less so that the 5 reptiles of Earth were being forced to wear new costumes and fight for the entertainment of Dimension X's masses.
While the TMNT fought Cryin' Houn', Leatherhead battled Ace Duck. In the end both the TMNT and Leatherhead won, but Stump refused to return them to Earth, at least until Cudley coughed up the turtle's weapons at which point Stump and Sling were more then happy to have Cudley take them home, except Leatherhead, who chose to stay stating that "on Earth I'm a freak, but here I'm a hero" The TMNT respected their new friends decision and left without him.
Returning to Earth the TMNT were shocked to see New York City half underwater, and asked Cudley what had happened, Cudley apologized stating that he had accidentally brought them to an alternate future (look for this future much later in the series) and once again laps them up into his mouth and drops them into the appropriate timeline.
Upon being dropped off Raphael is hit in the head by a rock, and hears the laughter of Wingnut, an alien bat from Dimension X and his partner Screwloose, the Turtles engage in a brief battle with Wingnut & Screwloose, and come out victorious, but discover that the pair are actually enemies of Krang and potential allies, but before the TMNT can offer them a home in the lair, Cudley abducts the pair taking them to Stump Asteroid like the Turtles and Leatherhead had been before.
The Turtles then have a few battles that don't greatly impact the main story of this series against the Foot Clan, Scumbug, Wyrm, Codename Chameleon, and The Rat King, but are soon once again abducted by aliens, this time not by the well meaning Cudley, but by the Foot Clan's new allies The Sons of Silence, but luckily the Swamp Witch Mary Bones intervenes (the one who turned Jess into Leatherhead) and saves the TMNT, revealing herself to not be an old hag, but an incredibly beautiful shape-shifting alien who reveals her true name as Cherubae and that the Foot and the Sons of Silence must not gain possession of the Turnstone, to this end she reunites the turtles with Leatherhead, Wingnut, and Screwloose, who are also joined by Trap, an IWF wrestler who only made a brief appearance during the TMNT's last visit to Stump Asteroid.
Now that the TMNT and Cherubae had their allies in place it seemed Krang had the same idea, turning to Maligna, a fellow warlord who Krang knew to have a powerful army at her disposal. With Maligna's horde of Malignoids joining the Foot Clan and Sons of Silence, the TMNT, Cherubae, IWF wrestlers fought in a televised conflict dubbed, what else, The Final Conflict. At the close of this battle the TMNT and their allies proved victorious, Krang was transported to a Dimension X prison/toxic waste dump world, Rocksteady and Bebop to an extremely primitive, but peaceful planet, and Shredder was stripped of his battle armor and sent to a maximum security prison on Earth, but victory was bittersweet for Leatherhead, who Cherubae would not restore to his original human form.
Return to Earth
The TMNT are dropped off in South America by Cudley, there they encounter Jagwar, a leopard like creature who was born to a human mother and the Jaguar Spirit, the Turtles and their new ally become fast friends, and soon break up an illegal slash and burn operation in the rain forests, finding April O'Neil, who had been reporting the illegal operation undercover but was found out by the criminals who were led by Kid Terra (representing Mr. Null) During their adventures with Jagwar, the team also meet Dreadmon, a once human super-fast wolf like creature. Together the TMNT, April, Jagwar, and Dreadmon put an end to Null's deforestation operation, when Kid Terra reports this, Mr. Null is not pleased, and orders Terra to leave and report to oversee their interests in the Pacific Ocean.
The TMNT leave South America and once again join forces with Man-Ray, together the TMNT and Ray Fillet take on Null's Pacific Ocean dumping operation in order to protect a race of sentient aquatic creatures called the Glublubs, the TMNT succeed but one of the Glublubs is killed by a stray bullet Kid Terra fired at Man-Ray, The TMNT and Man-Rays adventures continue briefly, as the group take down a poacher named Cap'n Mossback.
Back to New York
Upon returning to Manhattan the Turtles and April become aware of activity at a warehouse Shredder had been known to use in the past, the Turtles investigate but only find a heavy metal band who is using the abandoned warehouse for band practice, the band inadvertently "wakes up" dormant Foot Soldier Robots who attack and knock it's lead singer Mondo and his pet Gecko into a stockpile of Mutagen vats, turning the musician into the TMNT's newest mutant ally, Mondo Gecko. The turtles and their new ally join forces taking down the Foot Soldiers and Mondo briefly moves into the lair.
The TMNT then have a brief encounter with a villain named Vid Vicious, who kidnaps April, it is Vid's support by Foot Soldiers that alerts the Turtles something is very wrong, and sure enough it is not long before Shredder who has apparently escaped prison makes his appearance,. The brothers beat Vid and rescue April with relative ease, but Shredder escapes in the midst of the battle. Soon after the Turtles, Mondo Gecko, and April O'Neil are captured by Scul & Bean but this is more a piece of history to read about on the Mutanimals page...
The TMNT following Raphael's return from space, where he helped the newly formed team The Mighty Mutanimals fight off Maligna's invasion are now a bit too relaxed for Splinter's taste, who reminds the TMNT Shredder is still on the loose and that they must keep their guard up no matter what. Meanwhile in Dimension X, Krang laments over his situation and is suddenly confronted by Slash, an alien turtle who is also a prisoner on the planet Morbus, Krang befriends Slash by promising him a world full of palm trees (an obsession of Slash) and as the two move across Morbus seeking a way to escape.
They come across a prison ship dropping off a particularly dangerous criminal named Bellybomb who Krang takes an immediate liking to and sends Slash to free, Slash and Bellybomb quickly overtake the guards and head towards Earth, inadvertently picking up Bebop and Rocksteady on the way. Upon arriving on Earth Krang and his two new allies come at odds with not only the Turtles, but Krang's former ally Shredder as well, and Krang has Bellybomb and Slash hold Shredder down, and the alien brain wraps around Shredder's head, taking over his body.
The fight continues with the three criminals from Dimension X on the winning side, but things turn around quickly as Slash notices a plastic palm tree in a pet store window, the alien turtle promptly smashes the window steals the palm tree and leaves peacefully no longer interested in fighting, the TMNT then focus on Bellybomb, and then finally force Krang off Shredder's body, just then Bebop and Rocksteady arrive with guns and a pack of animals they broke out of the zoo and Shredder retreats but not before Leonardo tells the Turtle's arch-enemy that he owes them one, Shredder reluctantly agrees. Rocksteady and Bebop are revealed to not be helping the villains Krang and Bellybomb, but rather taking them back into custody, the two mutants take Krang, Bellybomb, and the freed animals onto the stolen prison ship and head back to Dimension X.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are left with mixed feelings, relieved to see two dangerous enemies gone and that Rocksteady and Bebop had apparently turned over a new leaf,, but uneasy knowing Shredder and Slash were still out there and that they would likely cross paths with both again in the future.
After a couple short adventures in Tibet, the team heads to Japan where they discover the Warrior Dragon and his mentor Fu Sheng had been kidnapped by mysterious ninjas, the TMNT are soon attacked by a pair of ninjas dressed completely in white, the duo are so skilled the Turtles are barely able to defeat them, the ninja's return in defeat to their master Chien Khan sends his deadliest assassin Ninjara to kill the TMNT, she eagerly accepts saying "I'll bring you back their heads".
The Turtles are soon once again attacked by the pair of ninjas this time joined by the fox-woman Ninjara whose mastery of martial arts rivals their own, meanwhile Khan's plans for the Warrior Dragon are revealed, he intends to use the Dragon's power to open a portal to the underworld and free his demonic master Noi Tai Dar at which point he plans to sacrifice a teenage girl named Oyuki to bring the demon to full strength.
The Turtles eventually expose Khan's evil to Ninjara who then turned on Chien, but it was too late to stop the portal from being opened and Noi Tai Dar began to enter the world, but the team manage to save Oyuki and free the Warrior Dragon from his mind control, and as Noi Tai Dar is not at full strength the Warrior Dragon is able to defeat him and force the oni back into the underworld. Ninjara and Oyuki both choose to remain with the the Turtles and April after the battle is over, but Chien Khan disappears, presumed dead (but later resurfacing in the April O'Neil limited series)
The turtles, April, and their new friends have one more adventure before leaving Japan, helping a sumo wrestler named Tattoo rescue his dog Inky from gangsters threatening to kill his pet unless the undefeated sumo takes a dive in his next match.
Next the Turtles head back to Tibet and make a new ally in Katmandu a four armed tiger man and help defend a baby destined to become the reincarnation of Charlie Llama from the evil Mang Thrasha
The Return of Shredder
The TMNT's next adventure took them, Splinter and Ninjara to Iran, where they heard of six cloaked men stealing one of the countries most valued possessions the Black Stone of Mecca from a museum, the brothers are unknowingly being watched by Al Falqa, a falcon mutant who sought to recover the stone. The brothers begin to get on the trail of the thieves but are caught in a sandstorm which after subsiding they discover Splinter is gone. Al Falqa approaches the turtles and they join forces and Al Falqa sends his falcon to track down the thieves from the sky.
After the falcon returns and the group track down the criminals they discover the thieves to be Shredder, four Foot Soldiers, and a new adversary a cyborg cat mutant named Verminator X. The TMNT fight the Foot Soldiers while Al Falqa battles Shredder and Verminator X, but the cyborg cat breaks from the battle and threatens to kill Splinter if the TMNT don't surrender, at this point Leonardo reminds Shredder that he owed them for freeing him from Krang's control and the villain in turn tells Verminator X to let Splinter go. Shredder and his ally escape through a temporal portal, and Al Falqa is enraged thinking they escaped with the Black Stone, but Ninjara reveals that during all the fighting she had switched the real stone with a fake and gives Al Falqa the true Black Stone of Mecca.
The Four Horsemen of Null
The TMNT travel to South America once more and come across me. carrying torches and lighting fire to the rain forest the TMNT confront the men who after the seemingly human foes turn around the Turtles are horrified to discover to be undead zombies! The brothers, Splinter, and Ninjara continue to fight the zombies with little success but are soon joined by some unexpected and very welcome help from their old allies the Mutanimals. The Mutanimals explain that this is the work of Null, a villain who the TMNT and Mutanimals had dealt with in the past, but suddenly the group is attacked by three enormous monsters who identify themselves as Famine, Pestilence, and War.
The TMNT, Mutanimals and company engage the demons but just as they seem to be gaining the upper hand Death joins the fight, and splits the groups up into three illusion worlds where the separated allies each did battle with a different member of the Four Horsemen, and in a shocking turn of events the Horsemen emerge victorious.
But all is not lost, even though the TMNT and Mutanimals are now tied to posts with Null and Death watching and it is revealed why the teams could not do the Horsemen any harm, they were merely puppets controlled by Death, a fact that is discovered by Kid Terra who attacks Death and smashes the puppets, soon the two mutant teams break free and now that the Horsemen are no longer connected to Death make short work of the three monstrosities meanwhile Juntara, Azrael and Ninjara confront Null who doesn't take the three woman very seriously until they start to beat him at which point Null shoots at Juntara, but Kid Terra takes the bullet instead.
At this point Null states that they have no idea who they are dealing with and that with every act of evil he grows stronger, at this time large bat-like wings grow from the villains back and he flies away. Death meanwhile removes Kid Terra's soul bragging that at least the villains had some small victory, but his bragging would not last long as Juntara picked up the Reaper's own scythe and cut him in half with it, at which time Terra's soul returned to his body and he awoke injured but alive. Now all our heroes say their goodbyes as the TMNT prepare to go home.
The Future Shark Armaggon
After returning to their lair the TMNT, Splinter, and Ninjara are startled when a portal identical to the one Shredder and Verminator X had escaped through was opening in their living room, but this time it wasn't two enemies using the portal but rather two friends, or more precisely two of themselves! The two turtles were none other then future versions of Raphael and Donatello, who had come back in time to seek the aide of their younger selves, the two future turtles tell the story of why they had come back, a mutant shark named Armaggon had broken into their HQ and was caught trying to steal from Donatello's lab.
The turtles fought the shark until he retreated into the now mostly underwater streets of Manhattan, the turtles pursued as they were also adept at underwater combat, and were winning until Armaggon's allies Shredder and Verminator X intervened at which point Armaggon fired a torpedo at the Turtles, when future Raph and Don regained consciousness their brothers were gone and Raph had lost an eye in the explosion. The past turtles agree to help their future counterparts and travel to the future, where they discover the group had become quite wealthy due to Donatello's inventions and now live openly in the public.
Meanwhile Armaggon arrives at the villains hideout with numerous item he had retrieved from Null's deep sea dump, as well as an unconscious Merdude (see Mutanimals #7 for details) but is furious to discover Shredder and Verminator X had been duped into bringing back a fake copy of the Black Stone, an object the villains needed to indefinitely power their time-slip generator which was low on power. A series of hit and run battles soon take place and eventually the TMNT come out on top, but Armaggon flees into a portal with the TMNT in pursuit, the villains plans are revealed, he plans to change the course of evolution making sharks the dominant species on Earth, and claims himself not to be a mutant, but a living example of such evolution. Armaggon's plans to alter history are foiled by the TMNT.
On Mutanimals island an atrocity has taken place, the Mutanimals have all been murdered by four cyborg hitmen under the employ of Null and Maligna. This event leads the Turtles, Future Turtles, Slash, Ninjara, and Splinter into a deadly confrontation that not all our heroes will survive.
New Series (IDW)
In August 2011, IDW partnered with Nickelodeon to launch a new ongoing series written by creator Kevin Eastman. The series will be co-written by Tom Waltz with Dan Duncan supplying the art.
The first story arc was a four part origin story of the Turtles and introduced a new villain, the fearsome mutant alley cat Old Hob. Old cast favorites also returned, including Master Splinter, April O'Neill and Casey Jones. IDW and Nickelodeon have a long-term partnership to offer an all-new installment of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and graphic novels. IDW's new comics are part of a larger initiative to bring the Turtles to a new generation of fans, starting with these new storylines inspired by the original series that recapture the magic of the original Turtles comics.
The "5th" Turtle
In many incarnations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles there has at one point or another been a fifth turtle. These include Slash and the female turtle Venus de Milo. For that matter non-turtles such as Ninjara and Mona Lisa have also been considered part of the team. These "5th" turtles generally only appeared in the Archie Comic or in the cartoon and live action series.
In Other Media
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 - 1996)
An Archie comics-like animated series of the Ninja Turtles premiered in 1987.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Mikey all have one of their first live-action in-theater films in 1990. It got mostly positive, with some mixed reviews.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II : Secret of the Ooze (1991)
Only a year after the first installment of the live action movie series, a sequel is released. It got mixed reviews.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)
Two years after the second installment of the live action movie series, the final film of the franchise is released. Reviews were negative.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003 - 2009)
The Turtles had yet another animated series.
Turtles Forever! (2009)
This made-for-TV (Nickelodeon) movie was based around the crossover of the 1987-1996 and 2003-2009 animated series of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also towards the end the Mirage versions of the TMNT appear.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2009)
The Turtles had a full-fledged, in-theater film that made its debut in 2009. It was CGI animated, and got mostly positive and mixed reviews.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 - 2017)
On Nickelodeon, an ongoing CGI animated series airs regularly on the channel. However it differs heavily from the 2009 CGI film, and isn't in the same universe.
Ninja Turtles (2014)
A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (produced by Michael Bay) was release on June 6, 2014.
Homages and Parodies
Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters
Pre-Teen Dirty-Gene Kung Fu Kangaroos
Cold-Blooded Chameleon Commandos
The Genetically Altered Adolescent Karate Cows (The Fairly Odd Parents)
Immature Radioactive Samurai Slugs (Tiny Toon Adventures)