The Legendary Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the Making
The Legendary Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the Making

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird were two friends who entered a creative collaboration in the early 1980s. Essentially, it was a casual night and a few random sketches that began a comic land empire. Eastman put a twist on a slow and steady turtle causing the pair to find extreme humor in the irony. A basic turtle form was dressed with a mask and nunchaku attached to its arm. This gave the illusion of fast steps and quick movements that a turtle normally wouldn’t have. They continues to sketch turtles with varying martial arts weapons. A team of four turtles were chosen and their future of crime fighting in the city commenced.

A Turtle Tale of Legends

Eastman and Laird were not famous or wealthy in the beginning of the turtle era. In fact, they had to use their own tax returns for the year and take out a loan from a supportive Uncle to begin their venture. With the imagery in hand, they started Mirage studios in effort to print their first issue of their turtle tales. Splinter became a part of the group as the turtles master. He was from Japan and known for his martial artist techniques. Wanting to keep with a Japanese weapon theme, efforts were made to find four fitting authentic names for the turtles.

Without success, they went trough history gaining inspiration from the Renaissance period. Famed artists they knew off hand were surprisingly the missing piece of the puzzle. With the names in place and a design in mind, they were able to print their premier issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Their first saleable comic was in black and white which opened the door for the classic colorless trends to come back. The masked turtle crusaders were wildly popular with each having their own color and personality distinction.


As the oldest of the turtle brothers, Leonardo has remained the core strength of the group. He is mature and fair with a penchant for always doing the right thing. His colors are blue and carries two katanas as his weapon of choice.


The next oldest turtle is the red wearing Raphael. He uses twin sai with sharpened points. Opposite of levelheaded Leonardo, Raphael is known for having a heated temper with a big heart to balance him. He is physically the strongest of the brotherly team and cares for others more than he likes to let on.


Dubbed as the brains of the operation, Donatello is both smart and skilled. Wielding a bo staff for battle, he is often found behind the scenes on the tech side of the line. A purple bandana is his signature as is his anxious demeanor and leadership qualities.

A Turtle Tale of Legends
A Turtle Tale of Legends


The fun loving youngest of the foursome is nicknamed “Mikey” in short for Michelangelo. A fast paced lifestyle brings Mikey to explore skateboarding, driving and a number of side adventures. He has an orange setup with nunchucks swinging by his side. 

The Ninja Turtles made their mark on the map as subsequent story lines and comic books were issued. Spinoffs emerged paying the highest compliment of imitation to the original. It was not long before the Ninja Turtles went to Hollywood with several movies and television shows. An entire line of toys and apparel have remained popular for generations. Fans of all ages continue to pass down the turtle tradition