Some TMNT stuff was always meant for grownups.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a team of four anthropomorphic beings, who debuted in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue 1 (Mirage). Unlike other versions of the Turtles who appear in the 1987, 2003, 2012 and 2018 TV Series, they are much more brutal, dark, angry, quarrelsome, and hard as nails.
As the story goes, the four Turtles were exposed to the Mutagen when after a traffic accident with their young owner as a bystander. The mutagen mutated them into a more human form and more developed intellect. Splinter, a rat once owned by Ninjutsu master Hamato Yoshi, was also exposed. Splinter was fantastically smart and learned Ninjutsu by mimicking his master. Hamato Yoshi moved from Japan to New York in order to escape death after killing Oroku Nagi, another member of the Foot Clan, over the bitter love triangle between him and Tang Shen. However, Yoshi and Shen were found and killed by Nagi's younger brother Oroku Saki. Saki was the leader of the New York branch of the Foot Clan and had taken the identity of The Shredder. Yoshi's death had left Splinter homeless.
Splinter happens to see the Turtles after the accident and adopts them. Within days, both Splinter and the Turtles grow to human size and develop speech. Splinter trained them in Ninjutsu, so they could avenge the murder of Hamato Yoshi and his wife. Splinter choose their names from a book about Renaissance artists: Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael. The Turtles challenge Shredder and the Foot Clan on a roof top and defeat them. Shredder falls off the roof, with a grenade that blows up.
Appearances in other media
In the 2009 crossover movie, Turtles Forever, the Mirage Turtles appear as the original Turtles of the original Turtle world. Ch'rell the evil alien Utroms known as the Shredder travels to the world of the Mirage Turtles so he can destroy them which would end all Ninja Turtle life in every alternative dimension. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series that debuted in 2003 ended with Turtles Forever, a crossover movie with two other Turtles properties: the 1987 cartoon and the universe of the original Mirage comics.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles of the 1987 and 2003 series travel to Turtle Prime to stop the Shredder. The Mirage Turtles encounter their counterparts and decide to destroy them. The Mirage Turtles attack them and almost kill them, Mirage Leonardo is just about to stab 2003 Leonardo with his katana blades, but before he can, 2003 Leonardo mentions the Shredder and Mirage Leonardo spares his life. 2003 Leonardo explains everything to the Mirage Turtles telling them that their Shredder has come in the stolen Technodrome of the 1988 Shredder to end all Turtle life.
The twelve Turtles, with the aid of 2003 Master Splinter, Karai, and even the 1988 Shredder and alien ally Krang, engage Ch'rell in battle, but he grows to massive height using molecular amplification technology from Dimension X. When Ch'rell is accidentally clipped by the energy beam from the Technodrome, however, his armor is damaged, and the Turtles all try to force him into the beam ... before it is abruptly cut off when Rocksteady, a mutant who worked for 1988 Shredder, trips over the power cable and unplugs it. Ch'rell takes this opportunity to grab the four Mirage Turtles and begins crushing them. At the last minute, the 1988 Turtles throw explosive throwing stars at him, causing him to trip and drop the Mirage Turtles. Ch'rell then resumes his attack - until Bebop, another mutant, plugs the beam power cable back in and thus inadvertently obliterates Ch'rell.
With their foe defeated, the Turtles watch as their respective realities restore themselves. The 1988 cast take the Technodrome and return to their homeworld, while the 2003 Turtles use the portal stick to return to theirs. The Mirage Turtles decide to go get some pizza to eat.
2012 TV Series
A similar plot idea was used for the 2012 cartoon's episode "Trans-Dimensional Turtles," with the 2012 cartoon iterations replacing their 2003 counterparts. Similar to Turtles Forever, the 1987 and 2012 Donatellos are ambushed by the Mirage Turtles. However, they have no time to explain the situation since they have to stop a bomb planted in this realm's Channel 6 building (also given how difficult it was for the 1987 and 2003 Turtles to reason with the Mirage Turtles). The Donatellos are seen quickly diffusing the explosive device before returning to the 1987 realm, much to the Mirage Turtles' confusion.
Note: In this version, the Mirage Turtles make a nonspeaking cameo, whereas in Turtles Forever, they spoke in a low, gravely tone.
In both Turtles Forever and Trans-Dimensional Turtles, an inter-dimensional plot-launched by the 2003 Utrom Shredder in Forever and 1987 Krang and the 2012 Kraang in Transdimensional-involved the Mirage Comics world. This reality is referred to as Turtle Prime or the Primary Turtle Dimension, the destruction of which would set off a chain reaction wiping out all other Turtles and potentially their realities.
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- Hamato Splinter (adoptive father)
- Casey Jones (adoptive brother-in-law)
- Shadow Jones (adoptive niece)
- Klunk (pet)
- April O'Neil (adoptive sister)
- Leonardo's Wife ("Blind Sight")
- Raven Shadowheart / Radical (Leonardo's mate)
- Yumi (Leonardo's daughter in "Blind Sight")
- Hamato Hana (Yoshi's niece)
- Hamato Yoshi (Splinter's master)
- Casey Jones' Mother
- Davy Jones (Casey's fictional brother)
- Gabrielle Jones (Shadow's father, Casey's first wife)
- Sid Jones (Casey's cousin)
- Metal Head (Shadow's adoptive uncle)
- Robyn O'Neil (April's adoptive sister)
- Mr. O'Neil (April's adoptive father)
- Mrs. O'Neil (April's adoptive mother)
- Stephen (Shadow's adoptive uncle)
- Tang Shen (Yoshi's wife)
- Louis Braunze
- Cowlorado Kid
- Cudley the Cowlick
- The Dakota Dude
- Gosei Hattori
- Professor Honeycutt / Fugitoid
- Officer Longer / Nobody
- Gordon Miller
- Miyamoto Usagi
- Marshal Moo Montana
- José Rey
- Lord Simultaneous
- Paul Whitmire