It’s an interesting time to be a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There’s a new TV series, new games, new toys; it’s basically like the late ’80s / early 90’s all over again. However, all is not well. Rumors surrounding Michael Bay’s upcoming reboot claim his film will feature extraterrestrial Turtles originating from a planet of Turtles. That notion alone made hardcore fans want to set their nearest Transformers toys on fire in protest. The Turtles were already a strange idea from their conception. Despite that fact, there seem to be many versions of the Turtles floating around which pointlessly level up the lunacy to even higher degrees. With that in mind, we figured now would be the perfect time to discuss four of the most insane incarnations of the TMNT.
Mutant Turtles: Legend of the Super Mutants
Perhaps it’s not much of a shock that the Japanese adaptation of Ninja Turtles was as bizarre as a Gary Busey fever dream. After all, anime can sometimes be a trip down the acid-trip lane. Aside from proving the Japanese aptitude for multiplying crazy and dividing by a seizure, the show ‘Mutant Turtles’ generally existed to parody children’s pop culture and sell toys. Speaking of which we’ll be back after this message…
Although only two episodes were produced this anime still managed to take everything we dug about the Turtles and vomit gallons of ridiculous all over it. In the interest of everyone’s sanity, we’ll summarize the show’s most glaring odd spots. For starters, the Turtles inexplicably had a fairy friend and spent their days trying to stop Krang (aka Octopus) and a mutated ‘Devil Shredder’ from awakening an evil fairy ‘Dark-Mu’. Because being teenage, mutant, ninjas weren’t wacky enough the Turtles were granted additional Power Rangers-ish morphin’ abilities by a magic crystal that allowed them to transform into bootleg copies of Wolverine.
A live-action adaptation may as well star four Hugh Jackmans.
Also, the show sent the entire Foot Clan on vacation to Miami Beach. Why do you ask? We’re guessing even an army of robot ninjas appreciate time in the sun, drinking piña coladas and checking out the ladies. Damned if we know.
That subtitle says it all.
Image Comics TMNT
The short-lived Image Comics version of TMNT is a well-known source of scorn among some Turtle fans. To say this comic had balls is putting it mildly. When the book’s creators, Frank Fosco, Eric Larson, and Gary Carlson crafted this gritty adaptation of the Turtles they certainly didn’t have kiddie fans of the cheesy 80’s cartoon in mind. If they did it was either to traumatize them or put some hair on their chests.
Pants? Who needs stinking pants.
Despite criticism of the comic we credit it for completely awesome artwork that returned the Turtles to their classic black and white roots. Also, the series willingness to push the envelope off a cliff and drop an Acme safe on it was oddly refreshing. So how far did this comic go in the insanity department? Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this series was that it brazenly depicted horrific disfigurements of three out of four the Turtles. For example, here is Raph with half his face blown off…
The same thing happened to our
Raphael figure as kids when he fell on the BBQ.
Aside from the above slice of Turtle torture porn, during the course of the series Leonardo lost a hand, Splinter mutated into a monstrous bat and Donatello had his shell crushed and became paralyzed. However, that situation was remedied by simply turning broken Donny into a cyborg. Honestly, depending on what type of a Turtles fan you are, you either secretly love this series as you would a slutty 2nd cousin or hate it like a diagnosis of herpes. Moving on…
Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation
Aside from being bat-shit crazy, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, was also several shitty flavors of awful. The short-lived series introduced many new and ridiculous elements to the Turtles franchise. The most notable addition was the silly inclusion of a fifth female Turtle named Venus de Milo.
Venus was basically a post-op Leonardo.
Confusingly, the series was originally promoted as a direct continuation of the mega-popular ’80s/90’s cartoon series. In reality, the show loosely followed the continuity of the live-action films. In fact, the Turtles even lived in the same abandoned train station featured in the last two movies. Shredder however was inexplicably alive (despite seemingly dying in the movies) and no longer Super Shredder. Also, April O’Neil and Casey Jones have simply left off the show because fuck main supporting characters. The last thing we’ll mention about this moronic series is that it spawned a crossover with the Power Rangers.
The only thing wrong about this is that it exists.
The TMNT Coming Out Of Their Shells!
Every Turtle toy you bought as a kid caused THIS.
Despite the fact that this is our number one entry we would rather not talk about it. Unfortunately, a giant blank space instead of text would look awkward so let’s quickly give you the gist of this mindboggling version of the TMNT and get it over with. Let’s do this thing, together.
“Coming Out Of Their Shells” was an abortion disguised as a live musical tour that occurred in 1990. It was endorsed and sponsored by Pizza Hut. The tour was basically the equivalent of the Star Wars Christmas Special for Turtles fans. Shockingly, a spin-off from this horrid tour lead to a less successful concert called “Getting Down In Your Town”. Seriously, that actually happened. As did this…
Worst. Shredder. Ever.
Had we written a list of worst versions of the TMNT this entry would have been just as suitable in the number one position. Atrocious costumes, a mind-numbing story-line, ear piecing music and a screaming audience of kids who dragged their poor idiot parents to the 7th level of hell. This was TMNT at its lowest.
That said, feel free to enjoy this youtube video of the festivities!