IDW Explores Lost Storyline ‘TMNT: The Last Ronin’ In New Mini-Series

by James Ferguson

IDW Publishing has been digging deep into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles history. There’s already a solid ongoing series that has run for over 100 issues, but that’s not enough for the publisher. We also have a number of tie-ins to that book, the soon-to-be complete Urban Legends series, reprints of the original comics and old Animated books, and now, a comic 30 years in the making from the creators of the characters, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin.

Kevin Eastman says:

About ten years ago, I re-discovered a twenty page outline for a TMNT story that Peter and I wrote together back in 1987. The story was set thirty years in the future, which (as written then) was set in 2017. Reading through it again, I drifted back to a very different time in TMNT history — back when it was all about the comics, mostly just Peter and I writing and drawing the issues, pre-everything the world would soon come to know about these characters that we’d created and called the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

This five-issue mini-series comes from a lost storyline from 1987. It’s set in a future New York City where a lone surviving Turtles sets out on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. I’m a sucker for these kind of alternate realities / possible future stories, so I’m pumped about this book.

Eastman continued:

It has been an INCREDIBLE thirty-six year journey, thanks to the brilliant talents of so many that brought new visions and TMNT stories to life, and especially the fans who supported all of them. Nine years ago, I was invited back into the TMNT comic universe, via my friends at IDW Publishing. Aside from the original run with my friend and co-creator Peter Laird, working on the IDW TMNT universe has been the best time I have had with the Turtles for a very, VERY long time.

Eastman provides layouts for TMNT: The Last Ronin with inks by Andy Kuhn and a script from Tom Waltz.

Eastman added:

A little over a year ago, as the ongoing series headed towards issue one hundred, I showed a rough revised and updated version of the story outline (now set in the year 2040) to Tom Waltz, who equally fell in love with the possibilities of it. The Last Ronin is a heartfelt love poem to all the TMNT universes of the past, and offers up an intense look at one possible future — firmly based on and adapted from an original thirty-three year-old idea, from the original creators

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 will feature a main cover by Eastman and two retailer incentive covers by Eastman and Mateus Santolouco, respectively. Each issue clocks in at 48 pages and measures 7.5×11.

Writer Tom Waltz says:

When Kevin first showed me the outline that he and Peter had created back in the ’80s, I was gobsmacked. Beyond Peter Laird’s eerily prescient technological and sociological predictions, the story idea itself was exciting and versatile, designed in a way that it could be easily modified to fit into the many different TMNT iterations that have existed over the years, without losing any of the core elements injected into it by both Kevin and Peter. I have the absolute honor to join these legendary creators to craft a TMNT story set in a chaotic future, rife with revenge, honor, tragedy, hope, and over-the-top ninja-action sequences that’ll blow any Turtles fan’s mind, no matter what version of the beloved franchise is their favorite.

IDW did not mention a release date for TMNT: The Last Ronin, probably because it’s uncertain due to the current suspension of shipments from Diamond. Hopefully we’ll see this sooner rather than later.

Editor Bobby Curnow says:

After hitting TMNT #100 last year, we were interested in doing something even larger in scope and also something that really plays to everyone’s strengths. The Last Ronin is that project: the future New York we’re building is a perfect place for Tom’s immersive world-building and characterization, and Andy’s art is more innovative and engaging than we’ve ever seen. This is Kevin and Peter’s vision, but the entire team is making it their own and that’s really exciting to see.

%d bloggers like this: