It’s a Great Time To Be a TMNT Fan
Dean Stephenson | On 02, Jul 2013
A picture of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed car was posted on Frontburnr’s Facebook page this week, and it reminded me – TMNT is definitely making a comeback.
When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I loved the cartoon and I had an action figure (yes, just one of them because I didn’t have money of my own and I only got what my parents or grandparents gave me.) I loved playing with my Donatello toy despite the fact Michelangelo was my favorite Turtle. I also had a Konami TMNT handheld, but didn’t discover the console games on NES and SNES until I was a little older. Like many people my age, I was definitely obsessed with the Heroes in a Half Shell in my youth.
In 2011, I started reading comics for the first time thanks to DC Comic’s New 52, which is a revamp and relaunch of their entire line of ongoing, monthly superhero comics. When I started going to the comic book store to pick-up the New 52 #1 issues, I noticed IDW had recently rebooted the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics. I knew TMNT started with comics but I had never read the original Eastman & Laird series.
I decided to buy the first issue of the new IDW series thinking it would be a one-time, impulse purchase purely for the sake of nostalgia. I was pleasantly surprised to find I really enjoyed it and continued to purchase them. There has been a variety of takes on the Turtles’ origins over the years, and I can honestly say the origin story in the IDW comics is the one I prefer the most. The most recent story arc entitled “City Fall” started last month, and it looks very promising.
Last year, Nickelodeon launched a new TMNT animated television series. Initially, I was skeptical of this new show. Seeing the original cartoon through rose colored lenses, I wasn’t sure if I’d like this new TV take on the Turtles. In 2003, 4Kids Entertainment made a TMNT cartoon that ran until 2009. I discovered it sometime in between those years, but never really gave it a chance. I saw a few episodes and couldn’t get past my bias towards the original series I had grown up with.
I started watching the new Nickelodeon show on Hulu sometime after it started, and I was once again surprised by how much I liked something new for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The opening theme song and Splinter’s new look has taken some getting used to, but overall… well…I just might like it more than the original cartoon (Shhh…don’t spread that around.)
In February, it was announced Activision now has the license for TMNT video games. I don’t think there’s been a good Turtles game since TMNT for Gameboy Advance, which was published by Ubisoft in 2007. Ubisoft also published the Turtles in Time remake that was released in 2009 for XBLA, but it pales in comparison to the original, classic brawler. Activision is scheduled to release their first Turtles title this summer with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, which is a downloadable title that will be available on XBLA, PSN, and PC. Though I think the Turtles look a little strange and the quality of the game has yet to be determined, it’s exciting to see this franchise returning to the video game medium. Hopefully Activision will get this license in the hands of the right publishers and we’ll see some excellent games.
I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see a game with the Nickelodeon show’s art style. And perhaps a return to the 2D brawler genre? 2009 wasn’t that long ago but it’s been a long time since the Heroes in a Half Shell were the kings of beat-’em-up. Newer titles like Castle Crashers and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World have brought new life to the genre and the Turtles is the perfect candidates to keep the hot streak going (As long as they don’t try for another remake.) I’d also love to see a Batman: Arkham City-like AAA game, even if it’s not made by Rocksteady Studios. Checkout my thoughts on a Batman style TMNT game here.
Based on what I’ve seen of the new comics and new cartoon, I’d say the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back and better than ever. I’ve got a lot of love for the TMNT of my youth, but I’m excited about what’s being done with the franchise right now. It’s a great time to be a Ninja Turtles fan!
Are you enjoying the new comics? What about the new show? Feel free to share your love for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the comments section below.