Rise of the TMNT : Leonardo's Design

The internet exploded shortly after the designs for the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series was released in February.  As fans of all ages found themselves split down the middle upon the new look and feel for the Ninja Turtles, as there’s no question that this is a road they’ve never been on before.  I tried to write one story that would include my thoughts on the Facebook Live, designs, show overall and even the toys.  But it got long and hard to write, let alone read.  Which brings me here, where I’m going to give a short write up about each of the things revealed about “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.  Let’s talk about Leonardo and his new design. 

I’ll like to start off saying my comments on these designs are my personal thoughts for each character.  Like, dislikes and fun facts.  These thoughts are not final judgement as I have not seen the series yet.  I have always found first reactions as the most hard and harsh for any new form of the Ninja Turtles.  As each of us fans are searching for what we would want to see, making it so not one creative team could ever please the entire fandom.  Let’s go into this with open minds to the ride that Ant Ward and Andy Suriano are bringing us on.

Leonardo has my attention here, as I look at him this does not scream Leonardo at me.  Though this Leonardo is not suppose to be near what I know him for.  He’s got way less clothes than Donatello, as he does not have knee or elbow protectors at all.  He’s got a grin on his face, showing he’s enjoying the fight he’s in.  He’s got different markings on his skin from light green to red.  And his shell is even a tint of blue.  His sword is huge compared to him.  His design comes off very sharp with the elbows and knees. 

Leonardo is a red ear slider, which is a very common Turtle to find at pet stores.  I personally have had a lot of red ear sliders as pets through my life, most of the time I’ve caught them in the wild and would later release them at the same pond where we caught them at.  Though, I do not recall red ear sliders having blue shells.  So his shell color is really different to me.  As are the markings on the arms and legs.  Leonardo does not seem built up as much as I’m use to him as either, he’s more slim with some muscle tone to his arms. 

Much like Donatello’s design, this style catches me off a little as I look at it.  As it could be mistaken for a different type of warrior for another show if I did not know better.  While I can tell he’s Leonardo by the shell and mask, it also feels so very new to see him like this.  At this point, I do not hate or love this design.  It’s got some interesting twist to it that makes me curious to see him in motion when the show comes out.

I know I’ve heard a lot of fans going “These are not my Turtles”, which is why I’ll like to remind everyone that Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird always encourage artist to share their own take on the Turtles.  If anyone sits down and reads through volume 1 of Mirage TMNT they would see that each guest artist brought forth a new design for how the Turtles look.  The art styles of Mark Martin, Mark Bode, Jim Lawson, Rick Veitch, A.C. Farley, and Michael Zulli is some of the amazing skills that brought heart and joy to the world of TMNT.  As a kid, the art style hurt the series for me, as I did not like all the change and stuck a lot to the Archie comics because for the most part it stayed to one story and a main design look for the Turtles.  But as an adult I’ve enjoyed going back through and reading all of the Mirage comics and taking in all the different take on the Turtles.  Then we have Turtles Forever, reminding us that these are all just different universes of the characters we love.

I will not judge these Turtles till I see at least a season of the series.  And even if it’s not my favorite I am already seeing things that have me excited to go for the entire ride.  Every version of Ninja Turtles has its strong points and weak points for me.  If put in a debate I can either build them up or tear them down.  I have a feeling this series will be no different, there will be things to enjoy and things to look pass for another day.

Leonardo is a new character at the beginning of this series.  He’s not starting off the leader we know and love, but the cool brother.  I am curious where that really puts him.  I would love to see him standing next to his brothers straight to see how tall he is.  I would like to see how that sword fits onto his belt with how large it is.  And I can’t wait to see where they’re taking his character in this series.

What do you think of Leonardo’s new design?  Like?  Dislike?  Do you like the red on his face?   Everyone has the right to like or dislike what comes around, because that’s what makes our world awesome!  So peace to everyone and let’s see where this journey takes us!

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