A surprise new iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles team was born in the grand finale of the TMNT: The Last Ronin storyline.
Warning: spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #5 below!
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are dead and now, a new team is being formed in their absence by Casey Jones Jr. In the finale of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #5 by IDW Publishing, the story ends with Michelangelo’s tragic death. However, the Turtles’ legacy lives on, as its revealed Jones Jr. is forming a new mutant team of Turtles, by recreating the experiment that transformed the original members.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have largely had the same team during their entire existence since first debuting in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The group, raised by their Sensei, Master Splinter, consists of their leader, Leonardo, the brains of the operation, Donatello, the hot-headed Turtle with attitude, Raphael, and the chill party-loving dude, Michelangelo. Over the years, the team has added some non-member Turtles, including April O’Neil and Casey Jones Jr. A fifth Turtle recently debuted in the comics, as Jennika became the newest Turtle to join the squad.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin ended with a bang, as Michelangelo successfully avenged his fallen brothers while being killed in his final battle against Oroku Hiroto. However, the epilogue in the issue reveals Casey Jones Jr., who has the mutant gene herself, is building her own group of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles now that the original team has passed. The surprise revceal shows Jones Jr. standing over an incubator as four Turtles are fed seemingly the same (or similar) ooze that transformed Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael from tiny Turtles into their mutant forms.
The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles might all be gone, but with Michelanagelo passing on Master Splinter’s journal to Casey Jones Jr. before he passed, she’s being set up as the next iteration of the team’s new leader. The tease also seems to be more than just a fun full-circle moment, as the page features the text “to be continued,” suggesting the fully grown new team will be revealed in future storyline continuing the Last Ronin’s epic ending.
It’s fitting that the dark story showcasing the final stand of the Turtles ends with a message of hope and a tease of the next generation of the team that was born out of the chaos. The reveal of the new not-so-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles makes for a perfect conclusion to the Last Ronin storyline and sets up an exciting future for the all-new team going forward. We can’t wait to see where the story goes next and the next evolution for the all-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #5 by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Ben Bishop, Peter Laird, Esau Escorza, Isaac Ecorza, and Luis Antonio Delgado is in comic book stores now.
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