‘TMNT: The Last Ronin’ Trailer Breakdown

in Movies & TV

Donatello headshot from 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appears to be enjoying something of a second heyday. Of course, nothing will ever live up to “Turtle-Mania,” the period between the late ’80s and early ’90s that saw the franchise explode onto the pop culture scene and dominate every television screen and toy store around the entire planet. But it’s close enough.

Whether or not you’re a fan of the latest movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023), you’ll agree that the 3D-animated reboot hasn’t done the franchise any harm, not only by putting it back on the map where the box office is concerned, but doing what many other iterations have done before it; bringing in a new generation of fans.

The Ninja Turtles looking menacing on a rooftop in 'Mutant Mayhem'
Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

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

One of the most impressive things about TMNT is its ability to endure. Starting way back in 1984 in the form of the gritty Mirage Comics graphic novels, the franchise has since gone through many comic book publishers, video game titles, animated shows (and a live-action show), animated movies, live-action movies, and waves of different toy lines.

Mutant Mayhem might be the first installment in a wider shared universe, which is set to continue next year with the 2D-animated series Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2024) on Paramount+, but the franchise is doing just as well across other forms of media, namely in the video game and comic book arenas.

The TMNT ready to fight in the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem' trailer
Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

Related: Will One of These Actresses Play April O’Neil In the Live-Action ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot?!

Earlier this year, Shredder’s Revenge (2023) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection (2023) transported fans back to the golden era of arcade-style beat-’em-ups. However, the next major gaming title from TMNT will take the franchise deep into the future, far from familiar characters and settings.

IDW Publishing’s ongoing comic book series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin (2020), has become incredibly popular with fans and was even a bestseller with The New York Times. The demand for more has been so high that a second series was released earlier this year, while a third series is due to start hitting shelves early next year.

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

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The comic book series focuses on the lone surviving Ninja Turtle, Michelangelo, who, in a bleak and dystopian future, embarks on a one-way mission to avenge his three fallen brothers, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael, and his father, Master Splinter.

The Last Ronin is unrelated to IDW Publishing’s primary Ninja Turtles timeline, which has been running since 2011. Instead, it exists as an entirely independent continuity, one that has launched a “sub-franchise,” spawning tee-shirts, action figures, and soon, a brand-new “Triple-A” video game that’s said to be heavily inspired by the popular Gods of War series.

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

Related: ‘TMNT’ Sequel Geared Towards Adults Shares First Look

The first teaser for The Last Ronin game appeared online a few months ago, and though it doesn’t show any gameplay footage or cutscenes (as it’s in the early stages of development), it does tease the deaths of the three Ninja Turtles and Master Splinter, which makes sense considering it’s based directly on the first five issues of The Last Ronin.

Whether or not the game will lean into the follow-up series, The Last Ronin — Lost Years (2023), remains to be seen. It’s unlikely, though, given the fact that Lost Years would justify a sequel to the game, which would make way for the arrival of the brand-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Odyn, Moja, Yi, and Uno.

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

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The Last Ronin game will focus entirely on Michelangelo, however, it has been confirmed that we can also expect to see Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael appear in the form of flashbacks and hallucinations, just like in the comics.

We don’t know whether we’ll be able to play any of them (which would be pretty cool), but we’ll definitely see these characters killed off in the game, just as the trailer suggests.

TMNT: The Last Ronin Video Game Trailer

Check out the trailer below, courtesy of PlayStation YouTube:

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

If you’ve not read the comics yet, some of the imagery in the teaser trailer might not mean all that much to you. But if you’re happy for spoilers, read on, as we’re about to explain the deaths of six major characters in The Last Ronin.

TMNT: The Last Ronin Character Deaths

Leonardo (and Casey Jones)

In The Last Ronin trailer, we see burning debris before one of the four candles, each representing a Ninja Turtle, goes out. Leonardo, the leader of the Ninja Turtles, meets his maker in the sewers with the hockey stick-wielding vigilante Casey Jones where they’re caught in an explosion caused by the mad scientist Baxter Stockman.

Raphael

In the trailer, a second candle is extinguished by water. Amid a war between Splinter/the Turtles and Shredder/the Foot, the hot-headed Raphael hunts down Shredder’s daughter Karai on the docks; however, during their fight, they both wind up on the wrong side of the river. Raphael dies, while Karai becomes comatose for several decades.

Donatello (and Master Splinter)

Donatello’s death in The Last Ronin might be one of the most shocking. In an attempt to put an end to the war, Donatello and Splinter visit Shredder’s grandson Oroku Hiroto to negotiate a truce, only to be ambushed by the deceitful warlord and ultimately killed by a shower of arrows, which can be seen putting out one of the candles in the trailer.

Though all of these characters are all killed off in The Last Ronin, they still appear many times throughout both the first series and in Lost Years, in the form of flashbacks and Michelangelo’s hallucinations (the deaths themselves are also told through flashbacks).

Michelangelo

Michelangelo is killed off at the end of the first series after a bloody and brutal battle with Oroku Hiroto. The last Ninja Turtle sustains numerous fatal injuries but doesn’t go out without putting an end to the cruel dictator first.

He dies in the arms of April O’Neil’s daughter, Casey Marie. However, his death gives rise to four new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Odyn, Moja, Yi, and Uno, who can be seen in the last panel of Issue #5, with Casey raising them in the original Turtles’ NYC sewer lair.

These four new characters appear throughout Lost Years and take center stage in the one-shot comic book Lost Day. The upcoming third installment from the “Ronin-Verse,” The Last Ronin II — Re-Evolution (2024), will see them officially replace Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

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

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

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll get a live-action adaptation of The Last Ronin anytime soon, as TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman recently confirmed that Nickelodeon is focused on developing the Mutant Mayhem universe.

But at least we have The Last Ronin game to look forward to. The trailer might not reveal all that much, linking back to the comics rather than the game ahead, but if the last few TMNT installments are anything to go by, whether it’s the recent comic books, Mutant Mayhem, or the video game Shredder’s Revenge, it’s sure to be another “Turtle-y” awesome hit.

Per IDW, here’s the synopsis for Lost Years, the latest series in The Last Ronin universe:

RETURN TO THE RONIN-VERSE!

In the smash-hit miniseries TMNT: The Last Ronin, readers were taken on a pulse-pounding trek through time — past, present, future — to witness the final gut-wrenching days of the Heroes in a Half Shell.

For Michelangelo, in particular, the march to his heart-breaking last battle was long and dangerous, taking him from New York City, to Japan, across Asia and Europe, and then back home again to administer final justice against those guilty of killing his family.

But what happened during those fateful years when he had only the need for vengeance and Master Splinter’s journal to guide him? What battles did he fight? What hard lessons did he learn?

The Last Ronin issues 1 to 5, Lost Years issues 1 to 5, and Lost Day are out now.

Re-Evolution was initially scheduled to start releasing from December, however, IDW has pushed the release date to February 28, 2024.

There’s no release date for the TMNT: The Last Ronin game.

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

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