The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return to their original design in order to defeat a new enemy, illustrating how brutal they originally were.
Warning! This article contains spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022
the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have evolved greatly in style and personality through the many forms of media they have appeared in, from comic books to television shows and feature films. But their latest appearance confirms that of all these different looks, the original incarnation of the Turtles is officially the most brutal.
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022 by Juni Ba with story advice from Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz, the Turtles are on a journey of closure and acceptance after the tragic death of their father, Master Splinter. The four brothers reunite for the first time in a long time since the creation of Mutant Town and their respective responsibilities in running their new home. This reunion is a journey of reconnecting with each other while accepting the loss that all four of them share.
In the issue, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles battle an entity embodied in fear and sadness, an ancient spirit that lurks on the outskirts of a graveyard and feeds on people’s despair. By defeating this creature, the turtles will also overcome their own inner turmoil and emerge from the experience more fulfilled than they were before. However, to truly come together and defeat this monster, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael must return to their original appearance and act in unison if they have any hope of beating the creature. The turtles drop their different colored masks and wear the only color of red, just like they did in the original TMNT cartoon race. In doing so, the Turtles quickly work on the monster as they each become more serious and focused during battle, as if changing the color of the mask also causes them to revert to their original personalities.
In the original version Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comically, the turtles are much different than they are now. Each was equally focused, engaged, and even deadly when the situation called for it. The first issue of TMNT by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird saw them literally kill Shredder by slashing and stabbing the villain before throwing him off the roof of a building, which is a far cry from the “PIt’s izza time!“the energy they are known for now.
In today’s landscape, and even since the popular cartoon series of the 80s, turtles have become much lighter than their original depictions. With this change came a natural evolution for the characters that did not initially result in a new weakness or a decrease in their effectiveness in their unique new roles within the team. While the change in tone of the Turtles made them more fun and heroic without weakening them, the release of the latter TMNT the adventure makes it clear that no matter how far Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles come to realize their individualism, they will never be as brutal as they were in their original form.
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