5 Best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Incarnations

Posted on: July 25th, 2012

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With the one time threat of a Michael Bay movie set to erase any love fans have left for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I thought it was time we remembered them at their best. Especially since we may soon be ushering them in at their worst.

What a pessimistic bastard I am. But just in case I never get to look at the Turtles in the same way in coming years, here’s a hearken back, and forward to as good as it’s ever been for the mean, green, mutant teens (I couldn’t resist a rhyme):

The Soul’s Winter Elseworld



At the peak of their fame in the mid-late 1980′s Eastman and Laird let other creators in on the TMNT action (they were busy with the tv show and merchandising) and one of the offshoots of this anthology style was Sandman Artist Michael Zulli’s 3 part TMNT Tale that saw the characters re-imagined in a darker, edgier elseworlds style tale that was closer to their feudal Japanese origin.

Soul’s Winter was heralded a classic, with the turtles, Splinter and Shredder taken to a new dimension that while hyper-real, imagining the Turtles as actual reptilian ninja, was set in a austere magical, mythical landscape.

It’s as bad-ass as the turtles have ever been.


Archie Comics = Awesome?



What began life as a riff on the 1987 TV series, evolved into something entirely more tremendous under Ryan Brown and Stephen Murphy from issue #5 on.

Eastman and Laird let the creators open up into new tales that often incorporated social, environmentalist, and animal rights themes, introduced several new characters of various races and backgrounds, including humans, mutants, aliens, and other anthropomorphic creatures (Mondo Gecko, Leatherhead, Slash).

It also built new layers onto established players such as April O’Neil, who began training with a katana, and the Shredder, who gradually revealed a sense of honor. The stories were often seen as “deeper” and more “serious” than the cartoon. As the new tales and characters were explored, original antagonists Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady were eventually phased out early, making later appearances during stories involving alien worlds and in general the series took on an explosive, extensive and entirely more interesting life of it’s own.

I hate to say it, but for a comic coming out under Archie, this series kicked fucking ass!

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  • Cameron Arthur

    You sir deserve a metal! My favorite are souls winter and the original.

  • Gerardo

    I’m a huge fan on TMNT. FYI. You can’t ruin our childhood in the future! No new movie will ever change that, nor Michael Bay. If his new movie sucks, then it sucks. If the are aliens, then they are aliens. If they are not teenagers, then they are not teenagers. If you love the originals, you have to support what’s new and give it a shot. If it dont work out, that will never change how I feel about TMNT. If it bothers you that much, then are u really a fan?