‘TMNT’ Sequel Geared Towards Adults Shares First Look

in Movies & TV

Raphael preparing to skydive in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Turtle-Mania II. The release of the CG-animated reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) in theaters this year helped put the half-shell heroes back on the map, but we can’t let it take all the credit.

In the 30-odd years since their heyday ended, the Ninja Turtles’ popularity hasn’t waned as much as we might have expected. Mutant Mayhem took a massive slice out of the box office and impressed fans and critics, but it was preceded by many popular TMNT installments.

The Turtles battling giant Superfly in New York in Mutant Mayhem
Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

Related: Brand-New R-Rated ‘Ninja Turtles’ Teaser Leaves Fans Shocked

Since the 1987 cartoon series departed our screens in 1996 and the original four-film series ended in 1993, we’ve had a ton of Ninja Turtles content. In 2003, the ’87 series was rebooted, and four years later, we got the CG-animated theatrical film TMNT (2007).

In 2012, a CG-animated series arrived on Nickelodeon, and two years after that, the first Michael Bay-produced live-action film hit theaters, followed by a sequel in 2016. Then, in 2018, we had another Nickelodeon animated series titled Rise of the TMNT (2018 — 2020).

Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' (1990)
Credit: New Line Cinema

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None of this even accounts for all the many Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games and comic books that have been churned out in that time. In terms of numbers, the comic books — where the franchise first started — wins out and then some.

Starting life under Mirage Studios in 1984, the comic books would continue under Image Comics, Archie Comics, and now IDW Publishing, which has been creating exciting new TMNT storylines since 2011. But you could say they hit their stride in 2020.

Jennika from the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' IDW comics
Credit: IDW Publishing

Related: ‘Mutant Mayhem’ Actor Open to Returning in ‘The Last Ronin’ Movie

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin (2020) is becoming more popular by the day. The dark retelling finds a lone Turtle living in an unfamiliar and dystopian future, where he embarks on a one-way mission to avenge the deaths of his three fallen brothers.

But Michelangelo isn’t alone — he teams up with a battle-scarred April O’Neil, her daughter Casey Marie, and a bastion of rebels who are attempting to reclaim the city from the dictator Oroku Hiroto, who also happens to be the grandson of The Shredder and the man responsible for the deaths of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Splinter, and Casey Jones.

'TMNT: The Last Ronin' cover
Credit: IDW Publishing

Related: Dark and Gritty ‘Last Ronin’ Trailer Proves ‘Ninja Turtles’ Is the Next ‘John Wick’

The Last Ronin ran for five issues and was followed up this year with The Last Ronin — Lost Years (2023), whose five issues focus on the preceding years that saw Michelangelo become the titular warrior, while in the present introducing four brand-new Ninja Turtle characters.

The Last Ronin became a best-seller with The New York Times and has been so popular with fans that there’s now a demand for a live-action film or television series adaptation of the comic book series. But it doesn’t look like either will happen anytime soon.

Michelangelo cover for 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin'
Credit: IDW Publishing

Related: Is the New ‘Ninja Turtles’ Film Canon With Any of the Previous Installments?

TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman recently confirmed that there are no plans for The Last Ronin movie and said that Nickelodeon is committed to developing the continuity established in Mutant Mayhem, which is the first installment in a shared universe.

However, a video game adaptation of the beloved comic book series is currently in development, which is said to be heavily inspired by the God of War games. The Last Ronin game recently shared its first teaser.

Check it out below, courtesy of PlayStation YouTube:

Related: Will the Live-Action ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot Be All-Female?!

But while The Last Ronin game is likely years from release, fans of this new TMNT sub-brand still have a lot to be excited about. If you’re all caught up on The Last Ronin comic books, you’ll be thrilled to know that a new series starts hitting shelves next year.

Announced a few months ago, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin II — Re-Evolution (2023) will follow the four new characters who were mostly teased in Lost Years. Odyn, Yi, Moja, and Uno are officially the four new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Odyn, Yi, Moja, and Uno in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin - The Lost Years' characters - Odyn, Yi, Moja, and Uno
Credit: IDW Publishing

Related: What Is the New Female ‘Ninja Turtles’ Sequel About?

Now, IGN has shared an exclusive slideshow preview of The Last Ronin II — Re-Evolution, which you can check out by clicking here.

Odyn, Yi, Moja, and Uno were first introduced at the end of The Last Ronin. They returned in Lost Years and the one-shot The Lost Day, in which they’re still relatively young Turtles. But going by these new images, it’s fair to say they aren’t children anymore.

The new Ninja Turtles with April in 'The Last Ronin - Lost Years'
Credit: IDW Publishing

Related: R-Rated, ‘Logan’-Inspired ‘Ninja Turtles’ Installment Confirmed

As per IDW Publishing, here’s the official synopsis for the first issue:

More than a decade after the Last Ronin defeated the Foot Clan, New York City finds itself in a state of steady decline. Now, the disparate gangs vie for economic and political control and the chaos is taking its toll.

It’s clear to Casey Marie that if something isn’t done soon, the city she knows and loves will be lost forever. So, whether they’re ready or not, she and her young pupils must raise a new coalition and lead the charge to keep the peace.

Witness the rise of the next generation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they fight to restore peace to the streets they live below!

Legendary TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman proudly presents the next epic chapter of The Last Ronin, reassembling the acclaimed creative team from the original monster bestseller for a second oversized, prestige format miniseries event!

Michelangelo in 'The Last Ronin' fan film trailer
Credit: YouTube channel “Speedokaggen” by creator Magnus Edlund / TMNT Copyright owners IDW Publishing, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures

Related: ‘Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’ Full Characters and Cast Guide

The Last Ronin II #1 was originally scheduled for release in December 2023. However, IDW has pushed the release date back to February 28, 2024. It’s disappointing, of course, but if the new series is anything like the two previous runs, it will be worth the wait.

In the meantime, if you’re hungry for R-rated TMNT action, check out The Last Ronin fan film on YouTube. Or, if you’re happy with the family-friendly Turtles, Mutant Mayhem is now available to stream.

Have you read The Last Ronin? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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