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Turtles

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Cold Blooded Heroes

Twelve hundred dollars. The amount of money needed to create the first issue of the

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; a group of four crime fighting ninjas that take on an

interesting body form. This group is interesting in the fact that they are a very successful

parody of another super hero from the past. After watching the movie and doing some

research on the hero Daredevil, it seems that the storylines are similar and will be

explained later. The turtles are also interesting in that they do not have powers just more

or less karate skills. The turtles also have special meaning to me in that I grew up with

them but never really comprehended the history.

There are four turtles that are considered major characters and their leader will be

considered a part of the group because he too will occasionally fight crime. Leonardo

is the so called leader of the Turtles. He is courageous, decisive, and a strict student

of martial arts. He has a very strong sense of honor and justice. He wears a blue mask

and wields a pair of ninjaken(Wikipedia,2007). He is named after

Leonardo DaVinci(Wikipedia,2007). The next member is Raphael. He is considered the

team "anti-hero." Raphael is very aggressive and usually throws the first punch. His

personality is fierce, sarcastic, and full of anxiety. He wears a red mask and wields a pair

of sai(Wikipedia,2007). He is named after Raphael Sanzio the painter (Wikipedia,2007).

Michelangelo is the next member of the group. He is easy-going and free-spirited and

also provides much of the comic relief. While he loves to read comics and eat pizza, he is

also very adventurous. His catch phrase is known as "Cowabunga!ÐŽ± He wears an orange

mask and wields a pair of nunchaku(Wikipedia,2007). He is named after

MichelangeloBuonarroti(Wikipedia,2007). Next is the ÐŽobrainsÐŽ± of the group. Donatello is

a brilliant scientist, inventor, and technology connoisseur. Donatello has a reputation as a

wise guy. He is the least violent Turtle, preferring to use his mind to solve conflicts. He

wears a purple mask and wields the bЁ­(Wikipedia,2007). He is named after the sculptor

Donato di NiccolЁo di Betto Bardi (Wikipedia,2007). Next is the master of the group.

Splinter is the Turtles' sensei and adoptive father. He is a mutant rat who learned the

ways of ninjutsu from his own master, Hamato Yoshi. Splinter's name is a parody of

Stick, the man who mentored Daredevil.

The creation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is pretty similar to the creation

of other super heroes that I have read about. In 1983, two men named Kevin Eastman and

Peter Laird were drawing sketches. Kevin wanted to make Peter laugh so he created a

mask-wearing turtle, who was equipped with nunchakus. Peter took that drawing and

tweaked the picture said it was a ninja turtle and then passed it back to Kevin. Kevin

drew three more turtles, each with a different martial arts weapon, and added teenage

mutant. The next morning they looked at the pictures and decided that they needed an

origin story and they worked on a first issue. They borrowed money from Kevin's uncle

and with that money they were able to form Mirage Studios (RetroJunk,2007). The origin

comic was influenced by Frank Miller's Daredevil. From Daredevil they got the idea of

rivaling ninja clans, Splinter is a parody of Daredevil's mentor, Stick, and the foot clan is

parodied from a ninja clan called the hand(RetroJunk,2007)

There were two things about the first issue that made it even more special. It was

made in black and white and it was printed as an oversized magazine (Wikipedia,2007).

Only 3,000 copies were produced and they sold out very fast (Wikipedia,2007). A few

months later, the origin would sell for over 50 times what it actually cost (Wikipedia,

2007). These comics were very dark and definitely not for kids. Instead of getting the bad

guys sent to jail, they would kill.

The first issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is available to view on the

internet and the adventure they go on is a great introduction to all of the major characters

and also to the type of actions the turtles are willing to take. The first issue begins with

the turtles fighting 15 members of a gang. They defeat them and run away as the police

were showing up. When they got back, Splinter told them of their origins. The origin of

the turtles starts out in Japan. There is this man named Homato

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