How Michelangelo Can Save The TMNT’s Dark Future

Mikey’s in a bit of a pickle here: how can he stop the overwhelming tyranny of the Foot and bring peace, freedom and justice to this dark future?

Those jumping into the new miniseries Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin were in for quite the shock when the long-anticipated run was revealed to take place in a dystopian nightmare, seemingly in which Michelangelo remains the only brother still alive, and as a much darkened character than fans are used to. Taking place twenty years in the future, the first issue saw Mikey – now the sole surviving hero and in his late-thirties – taking part in a failed, death wish-fueled assault on Foot Clan headquarters in a vain attempt to kill Oroku Hiroto, the head of the Foot and alleged son of Karai, the Shredder’s daughter. The attempt left Mikey almost dead from blood loss, but thankfully the issue ended with him safe and in the company of his old friend April O’Neil.

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Given that the Foot apparently has taken control of at least New York City, if not the rest of the world after Hiroto apparently succeeded in killing the three other turtle brothers, Mikey has his hands full if he wants to take revenge. Though April has often been portrayed as a skilled computer scientist, and thus might have the knowhow needed to take down the Foot’s mostly robotic force of monstrous death machines. Still, Mikey’s in a bit of a pickle here: how is he going to stop the overwhelming tyranny of the Foot and bring peace, freedom and justice to this dark future? Well, there’s a few ways this could play out.

Related: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Arrives to Massive Fan Demand

Renet the Time Apprentice


There is some ambiguity as to exactly which continuity/timeline this particular story takes place in, but, given a few errant details (Karai actually being Shredder’s daughter, the lack of a fifth turtle), TMNT creators Eastman and Laird are likely portraying a Superman Returns-style future of their original vision set out in the first Mirage Comics TMNT series in the ‘80s, taking basic elements they worked on and discarding whatever didn’t work. The original series was rife with zany, over-the-top sci-fi/fantasy elements which bled into the series at large. Perhaps the most nonsensical of these plot points would be Renet, the precocious teenage time apprentice from the far-flung 79th Dimension of Null Time. Portrayed as somewhat young and absent-minded, Renet serves the Master of Time, Lord Simultaneous, and, using his scepter’s ability to manipulate time and space, would occasionally show up to corral the boys into often dangerous adventures that involved skipping through time.

Because of Lord Simultaneous’ nigh-omnipotent powers – powers which Renet will one day receive – there was really only so many adventures the band could get into with Renet, as Lord Simultaneous could just show up and save the day Deus Ex Machina-style at any point. However, one possibility exists that Renet could show up, fully matured and having come into her responsibilities as Mistress of Time, and save the day when Mikey needs her most. She could even manipulate the space-time continuum to resurrect his fallen brothers… however that might be a tad much for the grounded tone the series projects.

The Fugitoid Returns with Help from the Utrom

Early on in the original Mirage TMNT series, the boys were introduced to Professor Honeycutt, a humanoid alien who accidently transferred his intelligence into the body of a robot. The first supporting character conceived by Eastman and Laird in their early career, Honeycutt is a somewhat bumbling but well-meaning old man who is seemingly forever on the run from forces of his home planet’s government that wants to use his invention, a matter teleporter known as “the Transmat,” as a military weapon. Honeycutt finds himself aided by the young Turtles when they accidently teleport themselves across the galaxy during a rescue attempt of Splinter.

Related: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin Review

This whole episode is revealed to be a misunderstanding (though not until after the Turtles are captured by Triceratops-Men and forced to battle in gladiatorial combat) when another race of aliens, the Utrom, reveal themselves to have been healing Splinter, not holding him captive. The Utrom are the basis for the villain Kraang who appears in other media and continuities, and are aliens who resemble large brains that move about in humanoid exoskeletons. In the Mirage books, the band of Utrom the Turtles meet are peaceful and friendly, having crash-landed on earth years ago and have since been working on building a teleporter to return home, which they ultimately do. They also created the mutagen that originally changed the Turtles and Splinter into mutated human-like creatures.

Though they have shown up in future adventures, the Turtle brothers have no way of contacting Honeycutt and the Utrom, but that doesn’t mean that they might not appear down the line to offer assistance. The Utrom are a vast civilization with the might of an empire under their control. If Mikey could somehow get in contact with them, it’s possible they can help bring down the Foot.

However, one possible detail points to this not being likely in this dark future. The “synja” (or synthetic ninja) used by Hiroto seem to bear more than a superficial similarity in design to the robotic exoskeletons used by the Utrom. If so, it’s possible that the Foot has somehow neutralized this threat, and is now using their ill-gotten technology to keep the world under their heel.

Mikey Can Use the Way of the Ninja: Stealth

While most likely out of necessity, Mikey’s one-man assault on Foot Clan headquarters was not a quiet affair. It was loud, involved lots of explosions and more direct combat than was likely necessary, largely in part because of Mikey’s desire for revenge. Ninjas are not known for their loud, bombastic and overpowering style, the way of the shinobi mostly historically involved subterfuge, stealth and disguise. In other words, rather than using his training to conduct a deliberate, patient infiltration that might have succeeded, Mikey relied too heavily on his combat acumen, which, while considerable, wasn’t enough against the might of the Foot.

What Michelangelo could do is, rather than picking an open fight, use whatever advantage he can get through April’s computer knowhow and take the compound using stealth, not loud distractions and needless violence. It would at the very least show he’s not a teenager anymore.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #2 goes on sale December 16 wherever comic books are sold.

Next: Ninja Turtles: Last Ronin is A Vintage, Bloody ’80s Spectacular

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Updated: November 9, 2020 — 1:36 am

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