Could you ever have imagined a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot in which some of the titular characters are female? Well, before the controversial Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016) was released back in 2016, your answer would have likely been “no”.
Since then, there have been a number of female-led reboots. And while the Ghostbusters reboot was both a critical and financial disappointment for Sony Pictures, that hasn’t stopped the TMNT franchise from moving forward with a similar project.
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Recently, it was reported that the IDW Publishing comic book miniseries “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin” (2020), which follows an older Michelangelo as he attempts to avenge the deaths of his three brothers, is getting its own prequel titled “The Lost Years”.
The first issue in that series has since been released, and it introduces four brand-new Ninja Turtles into the fold, two of whom are female. TMNT in no stranger to female Turtles, though, with The Next Mutation‘s Venus de Milo and IDW’s human-turned-Turtle Jennika.
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However, these four new Turtles will replace Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello. “The Last Ronin” kills off the original Turtles, and though “The Lost City” takes place years before, it has been confirmed that “The Last Ronin 2” is now in development.
In an interview on Rolling Stone‘s Twitch daily show, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, who also co-writes “The Last Ronin” series alongside Tom Waltz, addressed killing off the original Ninja Turtles, while also hinting to the future of the new line-up.
“You wanted their end, their moments,” Eastman said, “which are an important part of this story to be poignant and perfect and not wasted. That it was all with the same heart and soul that you put into that character’s creation.”
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Eastman also talked about why Michelangelo was chosen as “The Last Ronin”, saying “It was the firstborn, and it was the one who had the longest path to travel from the laid back, kind of comedic one, to become this character that ultimately has to resolve this issue.”
As for the newly-introduced Turtles, Odyn, Yi, Moja, and Uno, Eastman said, “The evolution of the new characters — the new turtles — it was the same heart and soul,” before joking, “It would be easy to say, ‘Oh here’s more turtles and they’re named after four scientists.'”
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Eastman went on to emphasize how these new characters fit into the future of TMNT. “The story and how you’re introduced to them and as you see them grow, and what they’re going to become in The Lost Years, you’re seeing the tip of the iceberg, the fingernail if you will, of what we’re going to do with them.”
So, it sounds like these new characters will replace the four original Turtles we’ve known and loved for decades — at least in the comic books. With that said, it’s possible the upcoming live-action reboot will take a page out of “The Lost City” and give us female Ninja Turtles.
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“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin — The Lost Years” Issue #1 is on sale now. Kevin Eastman has confirmed that the series will run five issues with a one-shot called “Lost Day”, which will lead into “The Last Ronin 2”.
Meanwhile, animated reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) from producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be released in theaters on August 4, 2023.
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Are you excited for a female-led Ninja Turtles reboot? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!