The real, canon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol.3
The fourth (but third chronologically, as the original Vol. 3 was non-canon) volume on Mirage's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles written by the turtle's co creator Peter Laird and drawn by Jim Lawson and with painted covers by Michael Dooney released it's first issue in December 2001 and was published bi monthly until June 2006. It is known for featuring many interwoven plots which feature in one large ongoing story interspersed with some social commentary.
The comic Omits the events of the third volume which had been licensed to Image, it marks the passage of time between the second volume and the current in real-time. The turtles are no longer teenagers and are aged somewhere in their early thirties.
The comic depicts the four turtles once again living together in the sewers of New York close by April O'Neil and Casey Jones who are now married. Their adoptive daughter Shadow lives in Northampton being trained in Ninjitsu by Master Splinter. In the fifth issue the Utroms land on Earth and set up a base in Upper New York Harbor. Since their arrival aliens and other bizarre life forms like the turtles have slowly become accepted by the public although not without prejudice.
The volume features longtime TMNT characters such as Karai who still leads the Foot Clan and Professor Honycutt who came to Earth with the Utroms. It also adds new characters and elements including some from the seven year gap between volumes, most of which have get expanded upon in the sister book Tales of the TMNT.
In June of 2006 Peter Laird put the book on hiatus so he could work on the TMNT cgi movie. The comic resumed in April 2008, readers could now download the comic for free as a high resolution pdf file at www.wowio.com. Alternatively they could read a version of book at the official website www.ninjaturtles.com or order a physical limited edition copy of the book directly from Mirage. The comics are now on indefinite hiatus again after the franchise was sold to the Nickelodeon TV network.