TMNT’s Original Design Is Officially Their Most Brutal

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles revert back to their original design in order to defeat a new foe, 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 terms of style and personality across the many forms of media they’ve appeared in, from comics to television shows and feature films. But their latest appearance confirms that out of all of those different looks, the Turtles’ original incarnation is officially their most brutal.

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022 by Juni Ba with story consulting from Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz, the Turtles are on a journey of closure and acceptance following the tragic death of their father, Master Splinter. The four brothers come together for the first time in a long while since the establishment of Mutant Town and their respective responsibilities in running their new home. This reunion is a journey of reconnection with one another while also coming to terms with the loss all four of them share.


Related: TMNT’s Original Fifth Turtle Is Way Darker Than Their Newest Recruit

In the issue, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are battling an entity that is fear and sadness incarnate, an elder spirit that lurks on the outskirts of a cemetery and feeds off of people’s despair. In defeating this creature, the Turtles will also defeat their own inner turmoil and come out of the experience more fulfilled than they were before. However, in order to truly come together as one and beat this monster, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael need to revert back to their original looks and act in unison if they hope to have a chance at beating the creature. The Turtles abandon their differently colored masks and wear the single color of red, just as they had done in the original TMNT comic book run. In doing so, the Turtles make quick work of the monster as they each become more serious and focused during the battle, as if the change in mask color also made them revert to their original personalities as well.

TMNT's original design is their most brutal.

In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, the Turtles are way different than they are now. Each one was equally as focused, committed, and even murderous when the situation called for it. The first issue of TMNT by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird saw them literally killing Shredder by slicing and stabbing the villain before throwing him from the roof of a building, which is a far cry from the “Pizza Time!” energy they are known for now.

In the current landscape, and even since the popular ’80s cartoon series, the Turtles have become way more light-hearted than their original depictions. With that change came a natural evolution for the characters that didn’t initially translate as newfound weakness or of them being less effective in their new, unique roles on the team. While the Turtles’ change of tone made them more fun and heroic without weakening them, the release of this latest TMNT adventure makes it clear that no matter how far the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles come in achieving their individualism, they will never be as brutal as they were in their original form.

Next: TMNT’s Casey Jones Redeems His Most Devastating Defeat

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