Beyond the fact that they’re anthropomorphic mutants trained in the art of ninjutsu, the key selling point behind everyone’s favourite half-shell heroes has been their rebellious age. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, pizza-chomping amphibians in the prime of their life has always provided a great foundation, for characters whoa re flawed, are always learning, and looking to make their own mark on the world.
Come October, the ninja turtles are going to be all grown up.
IDW Publishing will release a new story written by Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz, drawn by the Esau and Isaac Escorza, called TMNT: The Last Ronin. The Dark Knight Returns of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Last Ronin features one of the turtles battling to survive in a future that has gone horribly wrong. A future that Laird and fellow TMNT co-creator Peter Laird imagined all the way back in 1987.
“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,” Eastman said to Newsarama.
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.
As for which of the Turtle brothers will be taking on the leading role in TMNT: The Last Ronin? That’s a mystery that Eastman won’t be talking about until the series steps out of the shadows on October 28:
You always set out to create a story full of twists and turns, elements to push the dramatic effect and the characters to places where a fresh look at decades-old concepts could be firmly grounded – and from the very beginning of this one, Tom and I tried to design the story in a way that, just when you think you know where the series is clearly going at the end of an issue, we’re going to take you to a whole new level in the following.
We want that page-turning ‘Holy shit, I didn’t see that coming’ feeling we enjoy about the stories we like to read. Buckle up and hang on – lots more to be revealed…
A TMNT story with Old Man Logan flavour that harkens back to the grim ‘n gritty roots of the beloved gang? The only thing I can say to that, is cowabunga. You can check out a short preview of the first issue, right here.
Last Updated: October 8, 2020