The Foot were inspired by The Hand from Marvel Comic's heroine, Elektra. In addition to the obvious similarity in their names, both are ninja clans that originate from feudal Japan that now run international organized crime rings.
Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
In Eastman and Laird's original comic books, the Foot was started by two Japanese men named Sato and Oshi. In Volume 1 Issue 47, the Turtles travel back in time before the Foot exist. Raphael met the two men and, not knowing who they were, taught them Ninjutsu. After the Turtles returned to the present, the two decided to follow the way of the ninja. Oshi said, "We must never again mention the strange shelled creatures. In time, others will join us and we will become a force to be reckoned with. So just as every journey begins with a single step... we shall call ourselves The Foot."
The Foot Clan became the most feared ninja in Japan. Both Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Nagi were members, until one day, they fought for the love of Tang Shen and Yoshi killed Nagi. Dishonored, Yoshi was exiled to New York City, while Nagi's younger brother Oroku Saki was adopted by the clan and was trained to become a fierce ninja. Oroku Nagi's brother, when he was ready, Saki went to New York to start the American branch of the Foot Clan. Under his leadership, it took only a year for it to become a powerful and fearsome group.
Saki also sought vengeance for his brother and, using the persona of The Shredder, he assassinated Yoshi and Shen. Over a decade later, the Ninja Turtles challenged The Shredder to a rooftop duel to avenge Yoshi's and Shen's death. The Shredder sent his Foot Ninja to fight the Turtles, but they were no match for the Turtles and were eventually defeated. Shredder then fought the Turtles himself, and although he was a more skilled ninja than them, he was killed when he fell off the building carrying a bomb.
After the Shredder's death, the American Foot fell apart and the Foot Soldiers began fighting Shredder's elite guard. Karai, a clan leader from Japan, came to New York to stop the clan war. She enlisted the Turtles' help in this, in exchange for promising that no Foot shall ever try to avenge the Shredder again. This truce is still in effect in Volume 4 of the comic.
In Volume 4, the Foot were given a security contract with the Utroms for their base because the Utroms have a no weapons policy and the foot are skilled in hand-to-hand combat. At one point, mysterious Aztec warriors started attack the Foot Clan around the world. Karai informed Leonardo that the New York Branch of the Foot is all that's left.
The Foot Clan's logo is a drawing of a left foot. Issues 3 and 4 of the new Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature a Foot Mystic with magical abilities, including the power to resurrect the dead.
Currently, there is much conflict in both the Japan and New York Foot, and Karai is missing and feared dead (TMNT Vol. 3, #7). The entire ruling council of the NY Foot Clan was gunned down in their headquarters by a group of Antoine Puzorelli’s hitmen in retaliation for the loss of Puzorelli’s granddaughter, Shadow, whom Michaelangelo earlier rescued. In the midst of the massacre, Raphael assumed the mantle of the Shredder, donning the armor of Oroku Saki. He then swore to help rebuild the Foot. (TMNT Vol. 3, #12 - 14). When Raphael returned to his Foot Clan lair in an Oriental theater later, after being confronted by Japan Foot and another claimant to the mantle of the Shredder, Pimiko, accompanied by her father's Shredder Elite who swore allegiance to her now, was told by two nameless members of the Council of Five who quickly fought him into submission that Karai "no longer even sits on, much less leads, the Council of Five. She made a great mistake and lost much face." It is unknown what her true fate is, but at this point the leadership of the Council of Five, and subsequently leadership of the Japan Foot Clan, apparently rested solely within the Council of Five itself. It is not known why or when the Council of Eight was reduced to the Council of Five, but it was assumedly considered the Council of Six when Karai led the Japan Foot. Raphael quickly defeats Pimiko but refuses to kill her against the Council's wishes, instead cutting off her ponytail and proclaiming victory. Under the two present members of the Council of Five, the Foot turn against both Pimiko and Raphael, turning the two former enemies into friends as they took on not only the Foot and Elite Foot present and Cheng, but "Lady Shredder," a third mysterious claimant that appears to know the Turtles. When the Turtles render aid, the battle is won, though the two members of the Council of Five, Cheng, and Lady Shredder all escape (TMNT Vol. 3, #21 - 23).
The 1987 cartoon
The Foot is an ancient Ninjutsu clan, founded in Japan in 1583. The Shredder, followed by the Turtles and Splinter, went back in time to try to influence the creation of the Foot Clan. In 1583, Shredder's ancestor Oroku Sancho led a small group of ninja, and Shredder offered to help him find a magical artifact that would give him the power to form a real Clan. Meanwhile, Splinter's ancestor Hamato Koji had been sent to find the same artifact, and did find it with the help of his descendant and the Turtles. The artifact released a dragon, which headed for a nearby city; Splinter and Koji went to stop it while the Turtles went to fight Shredder. Sancho's men captured the Turtles, and were about to execute them when Koji arrived, riding the dragon, which he had tamed. Seeing this, Sancho fled in fear, and Koji offered to lead Sancho's men and founded the Foot Clan, so named for the footprint of the dragon in which he stood as he made his speech. (However, according to "Blast from the Past", the Foot was founded by a noble warrior named Shibana-Sama.)
In 1960s Japan, both Oroku Saki and Hamato Yoshi were part of the Clan. Saki framed Yoshi for trying to kill a sensei of the clan and had him exiled to New York City, thus clearing the way to take over the Foot Clan. He then proceeded to turn the Foot Clan into an army of criminals. Over the years, Saki, who became known as The Shredder, moved to the USA, allied himself with the alien warlord Krang, and replaced the human Foot Ninja with robotic Foot Soldiers. However, these robots are no match for the Ninja Turtles, who destroy them at every encounter.
In the cartoon, The Shredder once considered making more intelligent Foot Soldiers, capable of learning and taking decisions by themselves. However, the idea was quickly abandoned when the first intelligent prototype, named Alpha 1, rebelled against The Shredder.
The Foot Clan's logo is a drawing of a right foot, and the Foot Soldiers wear purple and black uniforms featuring the logo on their foreheads. The Foot logo can also be seen on the Technodrome.
The Foot robot concept allowed the Turtles to destroy the Foot soldiers without any moral thoughts, allowing Leonardo and Raphael to use their weapons more offensively. Meanwhile the series could keep its younger audience and remain a "family show". This principle also benefited the video games.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures
The Archie Comics TMNT Adventures comics features more advanced Foot Soldiers in addition to the basic model. In the comics, The Shredder also built a giant Foot Soldier, who fought against the Warrior Dragon in New York City. The robot was destroyed when it crashed into the Statue of Liberty.
In the first and second movies, the Foot Clan is a group of ninja thieves and assassins founded by the Shredder in Japan, but later stationed in New York. The Shredder had taken what Foot Soldiers he had from Japan, and began taking kids from the streets upon moving to New York and training them in Ninjutsu himself. His second-in-command is another Ninjutsu master called Tatsu
The Foot Ninja were no match for the Turtles individually, however their first major confrontation with the Turtles resulted in Raphael beaten nearly to death and the remaining Turtles forced to retreat; all confrontations after showed the Turtles being able to defeat the Foot easily.
After the Shredder's apparent death and massive arrests by the NYPD, the clan was reduced to a fraction of its former size. Tatsu tried to take command, but relinquished his claim when the Shredder returned. The clan then kidnapped Professor Jordon Perry and forced him to make a mutagen so the Foot Clan could create two mutant warriors, Tokka and Rahzar, to fight the Turtles. Although these two mutants were a match for the Turtles in physical strength, the Turtles defeated them by de-mutating them back into harmless animals. The Shredder himself apparently died shortly after, while fighting the Turtles.
This version of the Foot are dressed in black outfits, have red bandanas on their heads and bug eyes. They usually fight with swords, axes, and other weapons but will fight the Turtles with their bare hands if they have too. They are lead into battle by Tatsu in the first and second movie while Shredder stayed behind. The Foot are were victorious in their first battle with the Turtles but in the second battle they were going down pretty easy. Foot Ninjas are good but most of the time their clumsy and the Turtles appear to be having fun with them in battle. Michaelangelo was taking them down while talking to Donatello and doing his Wheel of Fortune on them at April,s shop. When the Turtles first battle the Foot Michaelangelo says "I thought insurence sales men were pushy".
In the fourth film, the Foot is now under leadership of Karai, who has taken control after the Shredder's demise. They have grown in numbers and skill, and offer their services as mercenaries in the film. They are hired by Max Winters to track down and bring in the 13 monsters arriving in New York City. Eventually, they later learn of his intention to send the monsters back to their world with a portal, and that his Stone Generals have betrayed him by substituting Leonardo for the thirteenth monster in order to use the portal to bring in a new army of monsters to take over the Earth. It was then the Stone Generals demand that Karai and the Foot Clan serve them, but they refused, as they want to honor their deal with Winters. Without hesitation, Karai orders the Foot Clan to help April O'Neil and Casey Jones find the last monster and lure it into the portal while the Turtles fights the Generals as well as Winters and Splinter warding off new more coming from the portal. After the final monster is sent in to the portal along with Stone Generals, Karai and the Foot Clan peacefully part ways with the Turtles, reminding them of the Shredder's possible return.
Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation
In the 1997-1998 Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation series, the Foot Clan is a street gang, similar to the Foot Clan in the first two movies. After the Turtles defeat the Shredder, they tell the kids that the Foot is a lie, and the clan was disbanded.
The 2003 series
In the 2003 TV series, Foot Clan is more similar to its original comic version. The Foot Clan are a group of warriors and assassins that The Shredder created 700 years ago in Japan. The Shredder, who in this series is a long-lived Utrom, has led the Clan since its creation and has turned it into a fearsome and secret group present across the world. The Foot emblem is a red, trident-like footprint (hence the name of the clan), an inverted version of the "Three-Toed Sign of the Dragon", the symbol of the five warriors who had defeated the original demon known as the Shredder in 300 AD. Thanks to the Shredder's knowledge of Utrom technology, the Clan has weapons and equipment centuries ahead of human technology. They once created Foot Mechs in Rogue in the House, which were based on Master Splinter, the President, the Prime Minister, and some others.
The Foot Clan is divided into several branches.
- The most commonly-encountered, and seemingly most numerous, branch are the Standard Foot Ninja, the basic warriors of the Foot. They're generally depicted as easily beaten except in very large groups. When Karai started working in New York, they received extra training from her and became much harder for the Turtles to defeat.
- The seemingly most-skilled of the clan warriors are the four Elite Foot Ninja. These Foot Clan members serve as the Shredder's elite guard, as well as field commanders on highly important missions. Each carries a different weapon: a trident, a spear, an axe, and a twin bladed sword (aside from their different weapons there's no way to tell them apart). They've all proven extremely deadly fighters, having easily defeated and nearly killed Leonardo when they first appeared.
- Next, the Foot Technicians have cybernetic enhancements but are rarely ever seen in fights.
- The Foot Tech Ninja are warriors with specialized stealth armor that allows them to become seemingly invisible. They also possess greatly enhanced physical speed and strength, but their invisibility is what always gives the Turtles and their allies trouble.
- The various video games introduced the Foot Gunners and the sumo-wrestling Mega Foots, although only the Foot Gunners then went on to appear in the TV series as Foot Mechs.
- The powerful but seldom seen Foot Mystics are five magic-users, each one with powers corresponding to a different natural element: wind, earth, fire, water and metal. In the episode Bad Day, it is revealed that the Foot Mystics have Black Magic powers, when they launch an attack against the Turtles on an astral plane. It is also revealed that they obey and serve whoever holds a medallion called the Heart of Tengu. It is also said the Shredder had more respect for their power than Karai, but she repeatedly tells them that as long as she had the medallion, they will obey her with no questions asked. This later leads them to trick Baxter Stockman to destroy the Heart, in the episode Good Genes, Part 2, allowing them to become free. They then set out to restore the true Shredder. When freed the Mystics were able to revert to their true forms and were shown to be far more powerful then previously shown. Despite their fanatical devotion to the demon Shredder, they were still abused by him for so much as saying anything he felt was out of line. They are eventually killed in Enter the Dragons, Part 1, although in the Fast Forward episode The Journal the Metal Mystic appeared beforeRaphael and Casey Jones and teleported them to a deserted island in one of the pages of Casey and April's journal that the Turtles were reading despite Splinter and Cody's warnings not to read it. However, this particular event was a complete fabrication by Master Splinter and Cody in order to teach the Turtles a lesson.
The Clan itself is under the ultimate command of The Utrom Shredder, and his second in commands is his adopted daughter Karai. Prior to Karai's appearance, Hun served as the Shredder's second and chief enforcer, but when Karai appeared she was quickly shown to be higher in Shredder's favor than Hun. After The Shredder was exiled to the ice asteroid belt of Mor Gal Tal in the episode Exodus, Part 2, Karai assumed command of the Clan, and the mantle of the Shredder, giving the Foot Ninja and Elite new designs while Hun evolved the Purple Dragons from a street gang to an organized criminal organization.
The Lost Episodes
During the The Lost Episodes, the Foot Clan was under attack by the Tengu Shredder, who wanted get rid the clan for insulting his power.
Back to the Sewer
Somehow after the events of the defeat of the Demon Shredder and the year the Turtles were stuck in the future in Fast Forward, Khan gained control of the Foot, who now dressed in Cyber Foot armor. Under Khan's rule they were in a gang war against Hun and the Purple Dragons. Once Cyber Shredder appeared, he took control and it was Khan's mission to bring him back into reality. Many believe Khan was once an Elite Foot since his theme is the same theme used whenever the Elite Foot appeared. The ninjas have newer dark blue garb with addiction with their silver masks. Their masks have three red eyes.
Khan must have lost control of some of the Foot after Cyber Shredder's defeat because Karai was in control of the Foot once more in the movie Turtles Forever. At this point the Utrom Shredder returned by means of his counterpart, the Shredder of the 1987 series. The Technodrome became the headquarters for the Foot Clan of the 2003 series and the robotic foot soldiers were added to the Foot's fighting force after an upgrade with Utrom technology. Using Krang's mutagen they also added mutated soldiers to the Foot's soldiers army. The Utrom Shredder kept the 1987 Shredder and Krang on, as well as Bebop and Rocksteady to help lead the Foot. However the Utrom Shredder turned on his counterpart and Krang later in the movie. The Utrom Shredder was eventually destroyed by the Technodrome's weapons. Karai took control of the Foot at this point.
TMNT 2012 TV series.
In the 2012 series, the Foot Clan are under the control of Shredder, who travels to New York upon learning that Master Splinter had survived the battle that killed Yoshi's wife, and left Shredder's face partially scarred. Believing Yoshi is training his own ninja clan, Shredder sends his Foot Soldiers, (which closely resemble those from the live action films), to find and kill the Turtles. They are commanded in the field by Dogpound (the mutated version of Chris Bradford), Fishface (the mutated version of Xever), and Karai. The Foot clan is a Ninja clan that also works as powerful crime syndicate.
- The Foot clan flip flop, back and forth from human characters to androids throughout fictions mostly for issues with violence verses staying true to the franchises roots.
- The Foot is loosely based on Marvel Comics The Hand.
- The Foot Clan are more deadly in the 2003 series but they are defeated pretty fast in the first and second live action movie. The 2007 version of the Foot Clan are not so good at fighting and needed help from Max Winters Stone Generals in the entire movie. The comic version of the Foot Clan are good at fighting with or without help but soon become easy to fight for the Turtles, a trend repeated in the 2012 animated series. All the versions of the Foot Clan are humans but the 1987s/Archie robot Foot Clan which are called Foot Soldiers in the entire show instead of Foot Ninjas. The 2012 series is unique as it has featured both human and robotic Foot Ninjas. These robotic Foot Clan are still ninjas and, in contrast to the 1987 series, are presented as extremely strong and durable.
- The origin of who founded the Foot Clan in the series has been different between the two cartoons: In the 1987 cartoon Hamato Yoshi's ancestor, Hamato Koji, founded the clan. In the 2003 cartoon the Foot Clan was founded by the Utrom Shredder AKA Oroku Saki AKA Ch'rell.