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The newest comic book incarnation of the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, and the first new material produced after Nickelodeon's acquisition of the property. Set in a new continuity unconnected to any others, it features the return of TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman to regular creative duties after more than a decade away from the fold.
In ancient Japan, Hamato Yoshi and his four sons are murdered by the Foot Clan and their leader Oroku Saki. Centuries later, they are (apparently) reincarnated as a rat and four turtles, who are then used as test subjects for geneticist Baxter Stockman's experiments on brain enhancers, mutagens, and super-soldier formulas. Later, after an attempt at corporate espionage gone awry, they become exposed to mutagens, which metamorphose them into the characters we know and love.
The origin is not the only marked change. April, in this incarnation, was familiar with the unmutated turtles and in fact gave them their renaissance artist names. Casey Jones is a college student living with his father. Baxter Stockman is affiliated with Krang—now a general—but not the Shredder. Human versions of Bebop and Rocksteady have been introduced—their first appearance not directly connected to their original cartoon incarnations. All in all, it serves to give the series a “Ultimate TMNT” vibe: for the first time in the franchise's history, all of its disparate elements and characters are seen in one place. The Nickelodeon series follows suit, but has the light-hearted tone of the original television series.
For a breakdown of the more prominent characters in the series, visit the franchise character page. For information the various comic book series by original Turtles publisher Mirage, visit the Mirage TMNT page. For an overview of the franchise in general, see the franchise page.
The series includes examples of the following tropes:
- Abusive Parent: Casey Jones' father, now known as Hun.
- Adaptation Dye Job: Splinter--perhaps taking a nod from the second cartoon--now has gray fur.
- Adaptational Villainy: Karai is a more sinister figure with no sign of reforming or making up with our boys. Leatherhead manages to be slightly more diabolical than the 87 version. A number of the OT's villains get this due to the lowered censorship. Bebop and Rocksteady, for one, manage to break Don's back, likely permanently.
- Ascended Extra: Chet, in the Mirage comics, was the name of the little kid who originally owned the pre-mutated turtles--a one-page character. Here, he is April's supervisor at StockGen. And now the Fugitoid.
- Bio Augmentation: StockGen's real (ahem!) stock in trade.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Alopex seemed like a timid damsel on the run from her creators, but turned out to be so high in the Foot hierarch she could kick Bebop and Rocksteady around, and had the skill to make up for it. Turns out she was actually wanting to avenge the family she once had and Shredder had killed, and reformed, becoming the partner of Angel.
- Brawn Hilda: Koya the mutant falcon is huge and intimidating.
- Canon Foreigner: Old Hob, Alopex, Kitsune, Lindsey, Herman, Sally, Koya, Bludgeon, and plenty more.
- Eyepatch of Power: Old Hob.
- Face Framed in Shadow: General Krang.
- Fun with Acronyms: Issue 6 reveals Stockman's new Minefield Ordnance Unarming System Enhanced Robots
- High-Heel (digitigrade?) Face Turn: Alopex. Surprisingly, not Karai, who's a cold-blooded murderer.
- Mad Scientist: Aside from Baxter Stockman, Harold Lillja from the Donatello one-shot.
- Medieval Japan: Where Hamato Yoshi, Oroku Saki, and the original incarnations of the turtles lived.
- Mythology Gag: Multiple, a t-shirt inscribed with "cowabunga" to April's yellow shirts in issue #1 to the opening fight with Old Hob's gang in the first issue, which could be considered a nod to a similar opening in the original comic book.
- Never Bring a Knife to A Fist Fight: During the initial fight in issue #1, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Splinter all manage to hit their opponents with their weapons, while Leo is reduced to the old stand-by of cutting his opponents weapons. Old Hob's gang, which is armed with chains, crowbars and guns doesn't manage to land a hit at all.
- Past Life Memories: The turtles and Splinter appear to have slivers of these.
- Reincarnation: A huge part of the turtle and Splinter's origin.
- Replacement Flat Character: Koya for Alopex.
- Secret Project Refugee Family: Subverted: while they initially seem to be this, it turns that the reality is much more complicated.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Ordered by Splinter .
- Threatening Shark: Bludgeon.
- Ultimate Universe: Technically, anyway, due to the fact Peter Laird still has the option of creating new comics set in the original Mirage Universe if he wishes.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: One may notice Alopex got cuter after she reformed. And she was replaced by the terrifying Koya and Bludgeon after she left the Foot.