A subtle clue at the very end of The Last Ronin’s journey could solve one of the dystopian miniseries’ great lingering mysteries.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for TMNT: The Last Ronin #5
With the explosive conclusion of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin, fans were finally treated to the ending of the beloved mutant animal family as envisioned by the original creative team. But one of the most nagging questions surrounding the apocalyptic miniseries can be answered in subtle and gruesome detail.
TMNT: The Last Ronin is a series notable for its effective and powerful use of ’80s retro aesthetics, with co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird teaming up with Tom Waltz and artists Esau & Isaac Escorza, and Ben Bishop in what looked like originally to a recall to the first Ninja Turtles started in 1983, in what was called the Mirage Comics continuity. This led to the expectation that The Last Ronin was to focus on this particular version of Michelangelo (the first), and the universe the series was set in was the continuation of that world. But with each chapter unfolding in the dark and violent narrative, from the appearances of the characters to the survival of the others, this possibility has become less and less likely. By the end of the tale, most of the continuities had been disqualified…but Last RoninThe latest issue of may well reveal the truth.
In 1988, after seeing their TV pilot lit green for a Saturday morning children’s cartoon, Eastman & Laird managed to strike a deal with Playmates Toys to sell the first line of action figures based on the concept. Even before the 5-episode miniseries that would become the long-running program aired, Playmates sold $23 million worth of hero likenesses in the last half of the year alone. The toys had slight differences from their animated iterations, particularly in the variety of shades of green in the brothers’ skin tones. A subtle difference, and the only one that someone looking very closely at the toys’ details would see, let alone remember years after their release. But it is a quality that is clearly mentioned in the final scenes of the story, depicted in TMNT: The Last Ronin #5, in which the now-dead Michelangelo is reunited with his deceased family in the afterlife.
With these two images juxtaposed, the implication is clear: based on the brilliant coloring work of Luis Delgado and Ronda Pattinson, the sequel appears to be drawn not from the comics, movies, or TV shows, but rather based on the first line of toys released in 1988. There’s a rather shocking message to this choice, if readers enjoy the ramifications of the comic book content.
Whether intentionally planted by Eastman, Laird and Waltz or not, the final chapter supports the idea that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were never meant to glorify violence, but that the tendency to throw these beloved characters into the suffering and torment is more like a child. playing out bloody fantasies with their plastic figures. In this light, the overwhelming sense of regret carried in Michelangelo’s quest for revenge in response to the death of his family also takes on new meaning.
Could it be the regret communicated from a parent to a child, figuratively or literally? Should Last Ronin therefore to be seen as a tragic commentary from creators Eastman and Laird, reflecting the Turtles’ rise from an amazing family to a commercial franchise that has too often let popular demand dictate its direction, not loyalty to a passionate fan base. or the characters themselves?
A subtle and terrifying swan song, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin offers bombastic action and nuanced postmodern discussion. On sale now wherever comics are sold.
Next: Ninja Turtles: Last Ronin Is A Bloody Vintage 80s Spectacle
Source: The New York Times
Marvel’s X-Men Reboot Could Save Humanity From The Eternals
About the Author