Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Archie Comics)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Archie Comics)

title = Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures
comic_color = background:#ff8080

caption = First issue
schedule = Monthly
format = Ongoing series
publisher = Archie Comics
date = August 1988 - October 1995
issues = 72
past_current_color = background:#5be85b
main_char_team = Leonardo
Master Splinter
writers =
artists = various
editors =
pencillers =
inkers =
colorists =
creative_team_month =
creative_team_year =
creators = Kevin Eastman
Peter Laird

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures" was a comic book series published from August 1988 to October 1995 by Archie Comics. It is mainly based on the stories of the mutant turtles Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, their rat sensei Splinter. It is set an alternate universe.

The initial story lines were close adaptations of the TMNT 1987 TV series, but by the fifth issue Eastman and Laird handed the series over to Ryan Brown and Stephen Murphy who introduced new stories and characters distinct from the show. In their hands the comic immediately diverged from the cartoon series into unique new story arcs, often incorporating social, environmentalist, and animal rights themes. The series are often seen as "deeper" and more "serious" than the cartoon. The series was ground-breaking for a children's comic book and developed a strong fan base.Fact|date=June 2008 The original series rogues gallery, Krang, Rocksteady and Bebop were eventually phased out completely early, whilst Shredder remained a recurring adversary.

The series lasted for 72 issues; in addition, there were numerous annuals, specials and mini series. No trade paperbacks of the runs have been collected and published.

Major story arcs

Heroes in a Half Shell: Mini-series #1-3:This mini-series adapts the first 5 episodes of the 1987 TV series: "Turtle Tracks," "Enter the Shredder," "A Thing About Rats," "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X," and "Shredder & Splintered." The Turtles rescue April O'Neil from the Foot Clan and confront Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady for the first time.

Issues #1-4:Adapts the second season episodes of the animated series: "Return of the Shredder" and "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles." The Eye of Sarnoth plot thread is developed in future issues, taking a different path than the animated cartoon.

Issues #5-11:Introduces fellow mutants, Man-Ray, Leatherhead, Wingnut and Screwloose (who later form the Mighty Mutanimals). Also introduces concepts as Cudley the Cowlick, Stump Asteroid and it's inter-galactic wrestling, the Turtles' wrestling costumes and the polluted Earth in the future. After returning from Stump Asteroid, the Turtles meet Wingnut and Screwloose wo seeks revenge on Krang for destroying their home planet "Huanu", and later confront the Rat King for the first time. The Turtles battle the mutant villains, Wyrm and Scumbug, as well as the spy-turned-mutant, Chameleon. These issues offer decidedly different character origins and interpretations than the animated cartoon series.

Issues #12-13:The Turtles are recruited by Cherubae to battle the Malignoids, an alien bug-like army sent out by Maligna. The battle is exploited by Stump Asteroid television. The Turtles are joined by Leatherhead, Wingnut and Screwloose, and other intergalactic wrestlers. Shredder, Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady are connected with the alien threat, and Cherubae banishes them across the universe as punishment (Shredder to an Earth prison, Krang to the landfill planet Morbus, and Bebop and Rocksteady to an Eden World planet). Cherubae is revealed to be the sorceress who mutated Leatherhead as "Mary Bones", (her Earth disguise, Cherubae is her true form) and Leatherhead renounces his former life as helping Shredder for a while to become a wrestling idol on the Stump Asteroid as he was seen as a monster on the Earth.

Issues #14-18:The Turtles return to Earth just in time to rescue April O'Neil from poachers in the rain forest of Amazonas, Brazil. They are aided in their tropical adventures by Jagwar, Dreadmon, and Man-Ray. Upon their return to New York City, Mondo Gecko is introduced and joins the Turtles after he decides to break up with his girlfriend Candy Fine, believing his mutation from human to human-lizard would make their relationship impossible to pursue.

Issues #19-20:Evil businessman, Null, sends his alien lackies, Scul and Bean, to attack the Turtles. The Turtles, Splinter, April, and Mondo Gecko are rescued by rats which Splinter summons to chew through their ropes. Having beaten Scul and Bean to a standstill, the aliens escape (but not before Raphael and Mondo can sneak aboard their ship). Together with Man-Ray, Jagwar, Dreadmon, Leatherhead, Wingnut and Screwloose (the newly formed Mighty Mutanimals), Raph and Mondo defeat the alien warlord, Maligna (this arc overlaps with the events of "Mighty Mutanimals" mini-series #1-3). While Raphael is away fighting with the Mighty Mutanimals, the remaining Turtles meet Chu Hsi, a firefighter in Chinatown, New York City who is empowered with an ancient Warrior Dragon (popularly known as "Hot Head") spirit after an old man trying to help him by throwing some mystic East Asian substance into a burning house where the firefighter tries to help a child. Together with their new ally they defeat a giant Foot robot, which is later revealed to have been a ruse by Shredder to get the turtles to show themselves. The Warrior Dragon defeats the giant Foot robot by throwing it on the Statue of Liberty.

Issues #21-25:April O'Neil is revealed to have obtained competence with the katana sword under Splinter's instruction, and together they aid the Turtles in their battles against Vid Vicious and Shredder. Raphael returns to help defeat Shredder and aid his friends in the final fight with Krang, who has allied with Belly Bomb to take possession of Shredder's body. The mutant turtle, Slash, battles the Turtles for the first time. The turtles remove Krang from Shredders body and reminds Shredder he owes them.

Issues #26-27:Here environmental political issues are tackled. In "The Keeper", an alien spacecraft lands in Tibet, and out comes "Boss Salvage" who abducts rare animals from the Earth, among them the Yeti T'Pau who searches help by Splinter. Boss Salvage also abducts the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot and a merman. The reason is that he sees no future for them on the Earth because of pollution, but the Yeti persuades Boss Salvage that there still is hope, referring to all who are engaged in environmental politics. In "In the Dark" animals are mutated after illegal industrial pollution in Innsmouth, Massachusetts and April makes a report about illegal pollution. She calls the turtles, and she they also get help from the local teenage girl "Beth Ann". The mutants want revenge on humanity, and put poison in the food with substances putting humans in a zombie-like state.

Mightnight Sun: Issues #28-30:Continued from the April O'Neil backup stories in issues #24-27, the Turtles, Splinter, and April travel to Japan (by hiding in an aeroplane) to rescue Fu Sheng and Chu Hsi (Chu Hsi is the human alter ego of The Warrior Dragon from issue #20) since Chu Hsi is kidnapped by ninjas in Chinatown, New York City and sent to Hiroshima, Japan. They battle the samurai-masked villain Chien Khan (Japanes for "Dog King", since he is really a giant dog) and his humanoid vixen warrior, Ninjara. Chien Khan forces Fu Sheng to summon the Warrior Dragon (if not he will use a knife to kill a young teenage girl, the street child Oyuki Mamisha who later becomes friend to April O' Neil) whom Chien Khan uses to brainwash with a witchcraft and destroy a nuclear power plant and set free an interdimensional demon. Chien Khan's recklessness regarding the nuclear plant enrages Ninjara, who decides to help the Turtles defeat him. Through meditation, Splinter is able to summon the ancient gods, Izanagi and Izanami, who defeat the demon and free the Warrior Dragon from Chien Khan's witchcraft. The Turtles and Ninjara defeat Chien Khan and his men before he escapes in the confusion. Ninjara has a change of heart. She decides to accompany the Turtles and leave her criminal life behind.

Issues #31-36:The heroes have further adventures in Japan, the Japanese culture and religion is studied, and gangsters who illegal make money on sumo wrestling are stopped. Raphael and Ninjara become close and April and Chu Hsi share a kiss. The Turtles, Splinter and Ninjara begin a long quest on land and sea heading west while the human characters go by aeropplane back to New York City. In Tibet the heroes fight, with the help of a four armed anthropomorphic tiger named "Katmandu", to protect the incarnation of a lama (who happens to be "Charlie Llama", an anthropomorphic llama) from the evil Chinese wizard Mang-Thrasha who kidnapped Charlie Llama from his "Crystal Palace". The "Whirling Dervishes" and skeleton versions of them are fought. When the group finally arrive, Charlie Llama dies while a young woman gives birth to a child. Journeying through the deserts in the Middle East, the group is attacked by Al’Falqa who believes they have stolen the Black Stone of Mecca. The sacred stone has actually been stolen by Shredder and a cat mutant "Verminator-X" from the future. The black stone is saved by the heroes before the villains disappear in a mysterious vortex-window. They also plan to kidnapp Splinter, but gives him back since Shredder owes the turtles after they helped him from Krang.

Issue #37:Cudley the Cowlick appears in the Middle East dessert before the gang and proposes to take them to Stump Asteroid for another wrestling competition. If the Turtles participate Cudley will then drop everyone back on Earth at any location they desire, including New York. The Turtles agree, compete against each other, and Donatello emerges victorious and also defeats Cryn' Houn, here known as "El Mysterio".

Issues #38-39:In a crossover with the Mighty Mutanimals, the Turtles fight the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Null in Brazil.

Issues #40-41:In issue #40, as he and his brothers sail home, Donatello is taken by a spirit to 1492 where he and his brothers encounter Christopher Columbus (who reached the Americas that year). The Turtles must defend the natives from Columbus' raids, but it all turns out all to be in vain as the natives are either captured as slaves or die of disease. In #41, Raphael, while on a date with Ninjara to show her around New York City, is reminded of the Turtles battle against a mammoth mutant. The parts of the story in the present are drawn by Chris Allen while the flashbacks are drawn by Ken Mitchroony, who drew the earlier issues of the comic in the Shredder era the flashbacks take place in.

The Future Shark Trilogy: Issues #42-44 :The Turtles, Splinter and Ninjara are taken to the future by the future versions of Raph and Don. Don explains how in the future, some time after Splinter's death because of high age, global warming has melted the polar ice caps and left most of New York City under water. The present turtles have already seen this earlier, after a mistake by Cudley the Cowlick after their first visit to the Stump Asteroid, and said it was a possible future. This created a rat problem but Don invented robot traps to eliminate the rats, much to the Rat King's chagrin. His robots won Don fame and wealth, which he used to fund his company Turtleco, along with a talented young cat mutant named Manx. Manx began to enhance himself as a cyborg named "Verminator X", obsessed with becoming immortal. Soon he and Don were archenemies.

:Verminator X, Armaggon the shark mutant and a time displaced version of the Shredder (from issue #36) broke into Turtleco, kidnapped the future Mike and Leo and stole Don's experimental time slip generator. When Raph attempted to stop them, his eye was blown out by one of Armaggon's missiles. Don built another machine in order to get reinforcements in the past. Armaggon works on powering the machine with Adolf Hitler's brain, the Roswell Alien's bones and the white stone of mecca so he and his cohorts can rule all of space and time. Splinter, Ninjara and the six Turtles ambush the bad guys with a time slip, but Armaggon escapes, taking Leo as a hostage, into his machine with both Raphs and the "present" version of Don in pursuit. While the remaining Turtles battle Shredder and Verminator X, the Rat King shows up to get his revenge on Future Don, using his powers to control Splinter. Luckily, the Turtles have a surprise ally in the future version of Merdude, tricking Verminator X to fire his blaster, destroying the wall and letting sea water come in to free Future Leo and Mike which turns the tide in favor of the Turtles. Don and the two Raphs pursue Armaggon in a mystical swamp land some local fairies call Thantia. The two Raphs use their shared training to kick Armmagon over a waterfall. They recover Leo and escape through a time hole created by Future Don, but leave Armmagon stranded in Thantia.

:All eight Turtles, Past and Future, say their goodbyes. They send Shredder back to his own time with his memories of this erased but Verminator X escapes their custody. Before the Turtles are sent home, Future Raph bid a tearful farewell to Ninjara and gives his younger self an ominous warning about the fragility of relationships. In the final panel, we see Armaggon next to a destroyed Turtleco building, revealing Thantia is an even farther future version of Earth.

Read-along adaptations

Three read-along adaptations were released on audio cassette by Random House. Published from 1989-1990, they feature an uncredited voice cast. These books include the three-part "Heroes in a Half-Shell!" story which was merged into one five-chapter book title "Heroes in a Half-Shell!: The Complete Adventure!". The second book is "Return of the Shredder", and the final book, "Intergalactic Wrestling and Other Adventures", includes the stories "Of Turtles and Stones and Mary Bones", "Intergalactic Wrestling" and "Wild Things."

Main characters

* Leonardo, The unofficial leader of the group. He is the most talented fighter and is closest to Master Splinter.
* Donatello, The inventor of the group, Donatello builds most of the turtles gadgets and vehicles. In the future, he wears a purple jacket and is seen without his mask.
* Raphael, The wisecracking jokester of the group, Raphael can be quite sarcastic and goofy at times. In the future, Raphael wears a hat and an eye patch.
* Michelangelo, The most relaxed member of the group, he is mostly into pizza and goofing around with Donatello.
* Splinter, Sensei and surrogate father of Turtles. Former leader of Foot Clan in Japan. Betrayed by Shredder and mutated into a rat-man.
* April O'Neil, Initially reporter for Channel 6 as in TV show, but later becomes free-lance journalist. Trained by Splinter in ninjitsu and katana.

Other characters

* Wrestler Turtles, The wrestling costumes worn by the Turtles on Stump Asteroid were designed by Eastman and Laird in 1983 and were actually intended as real suits for the TMNT to wear in their self-published comic book series. The idea was quickly shelved, however, and the Turtles were outfitted in their familiar costumes: bandanna, elbow and knee pads, belt, etc. Creators Brown and Murphy incorporated the discarded costumes into the Adventures title feeling they were an important part of TMNT history, and that they shouldn't be hidden away and forgotten in some drawer. Most notably, Raphael wore his wrestling outfit, a full body black leotard, for some time after returning from the asteroid which seems appropriate because after all he is a ninja.
* Cudley the Cowlick, An alien in the shape of a cow's head who transported the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the Stump Asteroid where they would fight against several aliens in their wildly popular "wrestling" outfits. Mirage Studio's staff artist Steve Lavigne created Cudley.
* Man-Ray, An anthropomorphic Manta Ray the characters met in an adventure and was later spilled over into the "Mighty Mutanimals" comic-book series.
* Jagwar, As his name implies, he is a Jaguar-like mutant the Turtles met when in South America. Another spillover character to the "Mighty Mutanimals". Jagwar was created by Mirage Studio's artist Michael Dooney.
* Dreadmon, A hyena-like mutant with superhuman speed and stealth-like capabilities who guarded an Aztec Temple in South America. Once again, placed into the "Mighty Mutanimals" comic book series.
* Vid Vicious, Preceding the Teletubbies, Vicious was a man with a Television grafted into his body which was used to hypnotize people.
* Wingnut & Screwloose, An alien bat (Wingnut) and an alien mosquito (Screwloose) from the planet Huanu, they first met the TMNT in issue 8, where they were seen vandalizing windows before the Turtles stopped them. They appeared again in issue 13, where they briefly assisted the Turtles in battle against Maligna's Malignoids. Later on in the series, they joined the "Mighty Mutanimals".
* Mondo Gecko, A teenage gecko who shares Michelangelo's affinity for skateboarding, leading them to be close friends. He later joined the "Mighty Mutanimals".
* Scul and Bean, Two aliens, one with a meteorite launcher in his skull, and both with tremendous mandibles. They were generals in the army of Maligna.
* Maligna and the Malignoids, The matriarch of a vicious society of insect-like aliens who attempted to overtake the planet earth.
* Chien Khan, A dog-like man who controlled a large empire of ninja, whose second-in-command was a young fox-like woman named Ninjara.
* Ninjara, Chien Khan's second in command until after the TMNT defeated Chien Khan once and for all, and convinced Ninjara to join them in their battles against evil. She became one of the group for the greater part of the series afterwards and Raphael's girlfriend.
* Oyuki Mamisha, A teenage girl from Japan who was up to no good until April O' Neil and the turtles showed her that life could be better. She became April's sidekick for the spin off-comic "April O' Neil" in which Chien Khan returns to his former glory in a battle with a demon who also took control of a large group of Ninja.
* Nova Posse, A team of space adventurers that hail from Dimension X. Their commander is Luna Azul, and the other five members are Exeen, Grotto, Rave, Trip, and Zebulon. They take care of Qark after Sarnath's fate is left unknown in issue #50.
* Tattoo, A Japanese sumo-wrestler who obtained his name for having multitudes of tattoos. He asked Splinter for a favour and requested that the TMNT rescue his chihuahua dog "Inky" from a group of Yakuza who wanted him to throw his next fight for gambling purposes.
* Al Falqa, A talking eagle created by Mirage Studio's artist Jim Lawson that the Turtles encounter in Saudi Arabia.
* Katmandu, A four-armed tiger-like creature clad in Ancient East-Indian Armour. Turtles encountered him in the People's Republic of China. Katmandu was created by Ryan Brown a Mirage artist.
* Null, A businessman wearing a purple leisure suit who was ultimately responsible for the death of the Mighty Mutanimals, when he contracted a group of cyborgs to kill them. The death was highly controversial and somewhat gory as a spread of machine-gun bullets tore the group down. He was also responsible for a three-part story arc in the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" storyline including the horsemen of the Apocalypse; Death, Famine, War, and Pestilence. Null himself seemed to be somehow the leader of the group, giving orders to Death who in turn controlled the other horsemen like puppets. Null seemed to be somehow linked to hell. Originally the character had two small horns projecting from his forehead, and with every new deed of evil he committed he grew more demonic. Eventually he grew larger horns, a demon-like tail, and wings like a bat.
* Death, Famine, War, Pestilence, The four horsemen of the apocalypse.
* Armaggon, An evil, time-traveling, talking shark who set the scale for the "Future Turtles" timeline in which the TMNT travel to the future and meet their future selves, wherein Splinter has died, and Ninjara has left Raphael, who is missing an eye.
* Verminator X, Also known as "Manx", and is half-cat, half-machine, as well as being Donatello's Apprentice. He is only apparent in the future timelines, and eventually has a Catharsis in a controversial book (Part 5 of the second Future Turtles storyline, based on the Action Figure franchise in which the turtles have mechanized suits and rocket-launcher fists ) in which Raphael is willing to kill him for the greater good, resulting in destroying the machine that had taken-over and poisoned Verminator's mind. At the end of this arc, Verminator survives and becomes good once again.
* Scumbug, An exterminator called to spray the Shredder's lair is turned into a giant cockroach.
* Wyrm, A mutated monster planarian worm that fought Scumbug.
* May East, An ancient evil sorceress from whom April O'Neil is descended.

External links

* [http://www.ninjaturtles.com/comics/archie/archie.htm Official Website]

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