When I look back on my life there are certain interests that have existed since my childhood that have never faded away. These interests include (but are not limited to) Batman, Ghostbusters, pro wrestling, and the Ninja Turtles. I’m always on the look out for cool and new ways to experience these things and something new is coming Ninja Turtles related that I’m excited for.
I haven’t done much with the Ninja Turtles the last few years. I think my adult Ninja Turtle fandom spiked 2012-2014 when the new series launched and I fell in love with the Turtles all over again. I enjoyed the heck out of the 2012 cartoon and even began reading the comics which were more mature in story and were very good reads. Time went on, distractions came up, and I never did finish the last handful of Turtles episodes nor did I read the comics to their conclusion. Outside of the Toys That Made Us documentary and the Turtle Power documentary, I haven’t really spent much time celebrating my fandom with the Turtles. Although, I did get a chance to meet Judith Hoag, who portrayed April O’Neill in the 1990 live action Turtle movie back at Galaxy Con in 2019. I also got a chance to meet Kevin Eastman (co-creator of the Turtles) back in 2017.
Over the past month, I’ve been hearing about a new TMNT comic called The Last Ronin. I ignored it, because I really didn’t feel like catching up on all the comics I’ve missed over the last three years or so, but the hype was just too big for me to ignore. This morning I set out to figure out what The Last Ronin was all about.
It’s being called The Old Man Logan of Ninja Turtles and features a story originally outlined back in the 80’s by Turtles creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. I’ll allow Mr. Eastman to explain it. (Quote taken from an interview with Newsarama).
This 31-year old outline was conceived while Peter and I were writing and drawing TMNT issue #11, the final issue of a long-running story arc back in 1987, and we weren’t really sure where we’d take the series next when this idea of a ‘semi-final’ TMNT graphic novel set in the future evolved, 30 years to be exact, to the year 2017.
We eventually shelved it due to, well, a lot of other TMNT things heating up in the late ’80s, but after all this time here we were, TMNT IDW having some of those same intense discussions… where do we go after issue 100? That’s when it all clicked, it’s time to dig this idea out of storage and see if there was a place for it post-issue 100. After I played with it for a few months, I showed it to Tom Waltz and that’s when things got really exciting.
The world we live in today, in my personal opinion, is a much darker and scary place than I have ever known or imagined – so when I looked down the road a few decades, I ended up painting a very harsh global environment as well as a character one. Tom is pretty much on the same page; this will be the most intense story we’ve ever done, but you never know – there might be a bright spot, glimmer or two of hope, here and there as well.
The plot involves an unnamed Turtle in a futuristic dystopian New York seeking vengeance for his family. That line alone is enough to sell me on it and these images really pushed it over the top for me.
Needless to say, I’ll be checking out The Last Ronin on October 28th.