TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

April 28, 2007 – 5:43 am

tmnt The [[Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]] ([[TMNT]]) is the name of a team of four turtle mutants. They are trained by Master Splinter to make them skilled ninja warriors. They fight the criminals and alien invaders in Manhattan city while residing in sewers of the city. The first comic book of TMNT was published by Mirage Studios in 1984. The first single issue comic was intended to be a parody of four comics popular in early 1980s Marvel’s Comics’ Daredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim’s Cerebus, and Frank Miller’s Ronin. The comic had its origin in a comical sketch drawn by Kevin Eastman while having a brainstorming session with his friend Peter Laird. They used money from a tax refund along with a loan from Eastman’s uncle and published the first issue of the comic on their own in May 1984. The comic was premiered at a book convention in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Kevin and Peter named their studio “Mirage Studios” as they lacked money to make a professional art studio in the beginning of their career. The comic book was published in the form of a big magazine and the artwork was in black and white on newsprint. Only 3000 copies were printed and this led to early prints becoming a collector’s item and being traded much above at their original price. 

Mirage published Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was a bi-monthly book and was released in alternating months with the regular Eastman and Laird book during 1987-89. The art of the Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was provided by Ryan Brown and Jim Lawson. The book also helped to fill he gaps in TMNT and provide continuity to the series. Eastman and Laird could not find time to write and illustrate the monthly comic book as they had to look after merchandise being sold in international market which was in great demand after TMNT became a huge success. Due to this, several artists were roped in to work for TMNT. Due to several artists working on the series it had a disjointed look. In the first two volumes 76 issues were published.

The title was revived in June 1996 by Image Comics and the series was made more action oriented. Major changes were made to the main characters in the third volume of the series. In December 2001, Mirage Studios resumed publication of the fourth volume under the title TMNT.  The series continues till issue #28 when series was put on hold for eight months by Peter so as to allow him to devote time to the movie being made on TMNT.
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The main characters of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello, Splinter, April O’ Neil, Casey Jones, and Shredder. Leonardo is the leader of the Turtles as he has all the leadership qualities such as courage, decision taking ability. He is a devoted student of martial arts with a strong sense of honor and justice. He wears a blue mask and his weapon of choice is a pair of ninjaken. His name is an inspired from Leonardo Da Vinci. Raphael is the Turtle with an aggressive nature and is always ready for a fight. He is fierce, sarcastic and is jealous of Leonardo as in his opinion he should be the leader of the Turtles. Raphael wears a red mask and uses a pair of sai as weapon. He is named after Raphael Sanzio. Michelangelo is an easy going Turtle, who loves to read comics, eat pizza, skateboard and is an accomplished writer. He uses a pair of nunchaku as weapon and wears an orange mask. His name is inspired from Michelangelo Buonarroti. Donatello is the least violent Turtle with interest in technology. He is a scientist as well as an inventor. He wears a purple mask and his weapon is a bō staff. He is named after famous sculptor Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi. Splinter, a mutant rat, is the Turtle’s sensei and adoptive father. He learned the ninjustu from his master Hamato Yoshi. April is the human companion of the Turtles. She was a lab assistant to Baxter Stockman, a mad scientist. Casey Jones is a close ally of the Turtles and fights crime with golf clubs, baseball bats, hockey sticks etc. and wears a goalie mask so as not to reveal his identity. Shredder is a villain ninja master and is the arch rival of the Turtles. He wears a suit of armor which is covered with sharp blades.

The first movie based on the characters of the Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was released in 1990. The movie was based on the comic books and showed the story in which Splinter and the Turtles meet April and Casey. It also showed the first encounter of Turtles with Shredder and Foot Clan. The movie was directed by Steve Barron and released by New Line Cinema.

The second movie based on the Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, was released in 1991. It introduced Turtles’ human friend Keno and Shredder’s mutant henchmen Tokka and Rahzar.

The third movie in the series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, was released in 1993. In this movie the Turtles travel back in time to feudal Japan. In that era they are involved in a conflict between villagers and the Daimyo.

The fourth movie of the Turtles, titled TMNT, released on March 23, 2007. It uses fully computer-generated graphics produced Imagi Animation Studios. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company. The movie sows that Shredder has been defeated, Leonardo is undergoing training in Central America, Donatello and Michelangelo have jobs while Raphael fights crime as “Nightwatcher”.

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