The mid-90’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series from Image is returning to comic stores thanks to IDW with a new conclusion by the original creative team.
If you are a lifelong fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the mid-90s were a pretty dark time for you.
Mirage Studios had stopped publishing new TMNT books due to low sales and decided to outsource the creation of a new series to Erik Larson and Image Comics. The series, written by writer Gary Carlson and artist Frank Fosco, took the whole concept and characters in a pretty dark and grim direction. So much so that when the series was prematurely cancelled with issue #23, Mirage said the whole series was not a part of TMNT canon.
Shortly afterward, Nickelodeon bought the property from Mirage and the Image series was quickly forgotten. Back issues have become incredibly hard to find in the years since and have remained out of print.
But thanks to IDW, who currently holds the license to publish comics based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, that is about to change.
IDW has announced plans to republish all 23 original issues of the old Image series. In addition, the series, retitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends, will be in full color with the the work done by Adam Guzowski.
For most TMNT fans, that would be enough to make them happy. The Image series has long been the missing piece of the history of the series and for many this will be their first time able to read this very different version of the concept.
However, that’s not all.
As the folks who read the series when it first came out are aware, due to its cancellation, the series was never given a proper ending. That too is about to change.
IDW has revealed they will be publishing an additional three issues of the series done by the original creative team of Carlson and Fosco. They will finally be able to conclude the series in the way they always envisioned.
Carlson and Fosco recently talked to io9.com about their return to the series and if they would be making any changes to the ending.
Carlson: We’re staying true to our original vision. We knew back then that the end was near and we were aiming to finish out the run leaving the TMNT more or less as they had been when we started our run. We didn’t quite get there. Now we will.
Fosco: We were coming up with these stories as we went. No telling what kind of conclusion we would have come up with if we did it back then. We never really got far enough to give it all that much thought. We had some ideas what Donatello may have been about and would have tried to resolve his story line.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends #1 arrives in comic shops and digital devices on May 16, 2018.