It's been over 30 years since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared on the cover of a comic book.
The creation of the fictional teenage turtles that are named after four famous Renaissance Italian painters is one of the most amazing stories of all time. In 1984, two broke and inexperienced indie comic artists named Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird accidentally created the four teenage turtles Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are now a worldwide phenomenon and their stories have appeared in numerous comics, video games, cartoons, and movies. Here are 7 fun facts about our favorite pizza-loving heroes!
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Almost Never Existed
The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic appeared in 1984, and it was originally meant to be a single issue. The creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman were completely broke and they had to borrow money from Eastman's uncle in order to publish their hand-drawn comic book.
The Ninja Turtles Started As A Parody Of Daredevil
The Ninja Turtles comic was not intended to be very serious and it was an open parody of Daredevil and some other comics. For example, the story of a young man who was struck by a radioactive metal container while saving someone about to be hit by a truck is exactly what transformed Matt Murdoch into Daredevil. The Ninja Turtles comic only emphasized what happened afterward.
Michelangelo Was The First Ninja Turtle
The first turtle that the comic's creators drew had nunchucks. Michelangelo is the one who uses this weapon, which means that he was the first Ninja Turtle.
The Original Comic Was Dark
The Ninja Turtles may seem like fun-loving cartoon characters, but their origin was much darker. The original comic that was published by Eastman and Laird was full of violence, alcohol consumption, and cursing. In the comic, the ninja turtles were quite violent and dealt with various dark themes.
April O’Neil Might Have Originally Been A Black Woman
From the original Ninja Turtles cartoon from the 1980s, we know April O'Neil as the girl with white skin, red hair, and yellow jumpsuit. But, in the comic book, April was drawn as a black woman with curly hair. Other characters that were made white for cartoon include Baxter Stockman and the iconic Shredder, who had to be the whitest Asian ever drawn.
Shredder Was Inspired By A Cheese Grater
Master Shredder is undoubtedly one of the most iconic villains of all time, but did you know that he was inspired by a cheese grater? According to the story, when doing the dishes one night, one of the creators of the comic, Eastman, accidentally put his arm through a rectangular cheese grate. This gave him the idea for the legendary character and he thought that any villain who is equipped with shredding skills and metal weapons would be quite frightening.
There Was Once A Female Ninja Turtle
"Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation" was live action television series which ran on Fox Kids from 1997 to 1998. The series introduced a female ninja turtle named Venus de Milo, who mysteriously vanished from the storyline one day. There were some reports that one of the creators (Laird) wasn't happy with the female turtle. Venus is the only female ninja turtle and the only turtle that was named after a famous work of art, rather than a painter.
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