Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.
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Leatherhead starts as a pet animal mutated by mutagen in most versions but in the Archie TMNT Adventures comics, he starts as a poor human named Jess Harley who lived in the swamps, and became transformed into a humanoid alligator when the "witch" Mary Bones used the Turnstone on him. At first the Shredder lures Leatherhead to work with him until Leatherhead discovers that the Shredder is a villain, and became friends with the Turtles. Leatherhead later becomes a wrestling hero at the Stump Asteroid after he was abducted by Cudley the Cowlick on behalf of the Intergalactic Wrestling Federation and later a member of the Mighty Mutanimals. He and the other members of that group were killed by the Gang of Four, before the end of the Archie Comics run with the Turtles characters.
Sometime before he was killed, Leatherhead appeared paired with Donatello in a three-part mini-series called Donatello and Leatherhead. In this mini-series, the brainy turtle and himself came equipped with extendable battle staffs and worked together to help save a young child in a savage land. In the mini-series, he was very much the same character as portrayed in The Mighty Mutanimals comics.
This version of Leatherhead (like most of the other Mutanimals) made a cameo in All Tomorrow's Yesterdays, as the Mirage Turtles witness alternate universes play out before them. During a fight between the Turtles and Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa against the cosmic super-beings Galactose, various cracks form across space, time and reality and the Turtles catch a glimpse of their doppelgangers from other dimensions.
- Ryan Brown, at different convention appearances, has stated that his character Jess Harley is an homage to his favorite actor, Lance Henriksen, and is named after two characters from his favorite films, Jesse Hucker in Near Dark and Ed Harley from Pumpkinhead.