Changes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Close your eyes, take in a deep breath.. with that breath take in everything you know about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Now release the breath letting that information go just for a little bit.  Remember that information will always be there, the old shows and comics are not erased.  They will remain in the public eyes for years to come.  Though now we get to see a new, and the best way to view something new is with fresh eyes and without comparison.  Nothing can and will replace your favorite media of Ninja Turtles, and the new is not looking to replace it.  The new is only opening doors for new fans, and giving us old fans something else to look into.

Since the original cartoon series Ninja Turtle fans have had to take this breath and look at something new, each time we turned around.  If you try to compare Mirage, Original Toon, Live Action Movies, Archie Comics, Image Comics, The Next Mutation, Mirage Volume 4, the 4Kids series, the CGI film, and IDW Comics you will find one core thing in common, four mutated turtles, with a ninja master rat, the Foot Clan as their first true enemies, and the Shredder.   Everything else, changes from universe to universe.

Was April O’Neil in every universe?  No, she was not.  She was cut from the Next Mutation.  Was Splinter always Yoshi’s pet rat?  No, in the original cartoon series and the Archie Comics he was Hamato Yoshi.  Were the Turtles always mutated by alien ooze?  No, the live action movies had it as toxic waste.  Did the Turtles always wear different colors?  No, they started off wearing all red and did through the run of the Mirage and Image Comics, as well as the first five issues of the IDW Comics.  Are all of these changes ok with every fan?  No, there are fans who are set in what they like and that’s ok.  Do all these universe have fans of their own?  Yes!   Every media of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a fan base, people enjoy the Turtles for different reasons and they drift with the difference universes.

Is it ok, not to like every universe?  Of course!  Though it would be nice if people would sit back and give the other areas a try, or not to be so hard attacking things out of respect for fellow  Ninja Turtle fans who enjoy the other medias.

Each of these medias have a lot of heart put into them by the creative teams behind the universe.  With the original comics, Eastman and Laird took their passion and turned it into something others could enjoy.  They did so in less than six months!  The original cartoon had a new creative team, changing things and adding new ideas to share their creative side with Fred and Bill Wolf, David Wise and the first set of voice actors for the Turtles.  The movie crew had the challenge of bringing the Turtles alive, for fans of both universes that were already out and growing and did so with amazing results!  And the list goes on, each person who’s touched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has given them their own shine.

Now we have new hands touching everything of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with the IDW Comics growing more popularity with every issue.  The cartoon series starting to tease us with a short trailer and images of the new design for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Nickelodeon.  And a movie that has caused such waves amongst the fandom that because of demand, it’s release date was pushed back to change a script in which no one really knew what they originally had.  There is a script out there, but no proof of it being real.  All of this, has been amazing to sit through and watch the uproars and excitement that swept the internet.

In Summer 2011, I had the honor to meet Ciro Nieli, the man behind the new Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.  He was amazing to talk to.  While I did not ask for or receive spoilers, I did want to know one important thing.  Is he a fan of other medias of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?  The answer, is yes.  He cares deeply for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I heard the passion in his voice as he talked about the other areas of TMNT and this made me sure in my heart and mind that they have the right man for the job.

I know right now there are a lot of changes we’re looking at.  Though with each change, there is a new story to be told.  If we were to get the same story repeated over and over, no new series will survive.  People will know what is coming and find themselves bored with the show and comics.  People will be able to predict, and will compare even more so.  A great way of showing that is my very own reviews.  Right now IDW is releasing the original Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Comics in color, my reaction to these first so many comics coming our way is to compare them to the color versions that were already released.  Not to just sit back and write reviews on their color work alone, but to set it up next to what we’ve already seen.  Though each new comic of the IDW comics is written with more of a fresh review as they are a new story that I do not know where they’re going.  Like everyone else reading these comics, I am a long for the ride through these new adventures.

For over a year now images of the new Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been released, so we’ve had a year of people sharing their feelings.  Doing so in many different ways, written, vocal, fanart, and videos.  Once again there is a large mixture of fans, those who dislike the changes and those excited for the new.  For me, I was disappointed with the three toes when I first saw the feet.  I was thrown off by Donatello being the tallest Turtle.  I was bummed seeing blades added to the nunchucks and bo staff.

Though a year has passed, and as I think about the three toes I remember my first reaction to the plastrons on the Turtles in the Next Mutation and realized it did not change the Turtles.  Then I think of Donatello’s height and realize that it might work for him.  With the weapons, I think of the past where Michaelangelo lost his chucks to a grappling hook and then to tonfas.  Those changes did not change how I felt about Michaelangelo.  And blades in chucks is better than going back to a graffle hook or Tonfas!  These are things I’ve had a year to think about.  The biggest thing that helps me through the changes is remembering that this is a new universe and it is not replacing anything that we’ve already had.  It's just giving us something different to look at.

Of course, two of the biggest changes that I’ve seen with the new show is Splinter and April,  as we’ve all seen these images by now.  Splinter is tall and looks much different than we’ve ever seen him.  And April is a teenager.  These are changes that I’m interested to see how they play out.  Is Splinter’s personality going to change like his appearance did, or are we going to see a Splinter who is just as loveable as the other versions out there that can kick butt when he needs to.  With April, what is worse for April fans, her being a teenager or cut from the show all together?  The Next Mutation cut her out completely and gave us a teenage female in her place, who was a mutant Turtle.  I personally, rather have a teenage April, than a new female Turtle.  So while these are big changes, it will create new stories and I’m curious in where they are going with both of these characters.

A new show is coming.  I’ve seen both the excitement and fears racing through the fandom.  Though for me, I’m just going to step into this ride and take it for a spin, see if these personalities, adventures, and villains hold my attention all as their own show, their own universe.  Maybe down the road we can have another “Turtles Forever” where these new Turtles will get the chance to meet the 4Kids, original toon or Mirage Turtles.  Only time will tell.

Please share if you are excited or fearful of these new universes that have entered the realm of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Why you feel the way you do about the changes.  And if you’re one of the people who do not like the new changes, are you still willing to give this new series a chance?   Answer these questions, or feel free to comment and ask your own questions below.

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