Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.
Splinter is a mutant rat, adoptive father, and sensei of the Ninja Turtles. He raises them into adolescent fighters to combat the Foot Clan and protect New York. Shredder is his nemesis and rival, though in this incarnation the two have no explicit history.
Splinter first appears when the Turtles try to secretly return after a battle with some Foot Clan thugs in the subway without alerting Splinter. However, he manages to catch them and punishes them by making them spend hours in the hashi, where they maintain balance on certain items until they tell him why they were out on the streets.
Splinter breaks Mikey by tempting him with a slice of the 99-cheese pizza, and Mikey admits they were out fighting the Foot Clan. When he mentions April's name, Splinter is alarmed and orders the Turtles to go find her.
Later, when the Turtles bring her into the Lair, April meets Splinter, who remembered April before he mutated, when he and the Turtles were ordinary test animals in a lab manned by Dr. O'Neil and Eric Sacks. April used to videotape herself in her fathers lab when she was little, and loved Splinter and the Turtles, personally naming them and feeding them pizza, which they all loved.
However, Dr. O'Neil learned that Sachs was up to something evil, and burned the lab down, at the cost of his own life. April saved Splinter and the Turtles, and released them into the sewers to be safe, with Splinter alone possessing enough intellectual ability at this time to remember April and her kindness. The mutagen soon took effect, granting Splinter and the Turtles enhanced intellect and anthropomorphic bodies.
Remembering the example of Doctor O'Neil's love for April, Splinter decided to raise the Turtles as his sons. The boys were always curious about life above the surface, and Splinter tried to keep them away, but soon realized they would need to protect themselves from the hatred they would face from humans. One day, he stumbled upon a book about the art of Ninjutsu, which he used to teach himself the art, before passing it down to the Turtles. When they were old enough and had learned enough, he armed them with their trademark weapons. Having told this story to April, Splinter expresses his thanks to her for protecting them.
However, soon after, The Foot infiltrate the lair - unintentionally alerted to the Turtles' continued existence by April talking to Sachs before she learned that he was a threat - triggering an alarm that alerts the Turtles. The Foot Soldiers break in with a bomb and blow the place open. The Turtles fight the Soldiers, and Splinter gets in on the action himself. Shredder enters the lair, decked out in a new technologically-advanced suit of armor. He faces off with Splinter, who dodges Shredder's knives and gets a few good hits in.
Splinter blocks the Turtles from joining in, in order to protect his sons, but they managed to break into the room in time to see Shredder grab Splinter and hold him before the Turtles, threatening to kill him if they don't lay down their weapons. They did so, but Shredder still hit Splinter hard enough to take him out, while the Soldiers cattle-prod Leo, Donnie, and Mikey, capturing them and then blowing the lair up. Raph emerges from the rubble and goes with April to take the critically-injured Splinter to rest. He pleads with Raph to save his brothers and stop Shredder.
Later, after escaping, and stopping Sacks and Shredder, The Turtles use some mutagen to revive Splinter, who tells them he is proud of them.
Two years later, Splinter has become notably older, with his hair now greyer than the previous film. He is initially shown attempting to complete a twenty-four meditation session to achieve enlightenment, but the Turtles interrupt him with a second to go when they learn that there is a plan to break Shredder out during a prison transit. He takes this in stride, asking why they are wasting time talking to a grumpy old rat.
When the team became divided after discovering a mutagen variant that could conceivably make them human, Splinter urged Leonardo to remember that the team is strongest because of their different points of view, rather than because they all think the same way. He also comforted Michelangelo when the latter was upset and shaken by how humans responded with "actual hate" to the Turtles' appearances.
When his sons were given keys to the city, Splinter emerged from the sewers to watch them proudly from a distance, glad that they had received some measure of acceptance without losing who they were.
Splinter wears a yellow robe and a black belt with a medallion on the front. His hair is graying and in a Japanese topknot.
- When Splinter is telling April about how he raised the Turtles there's a scene in his flashback where Leonardo appears slicing pizza in the air for his family and one of the pieces hits Splinter in the head is a reference to the 1990 film, where the same thing happens.
- Splinter and the Turtles were laboratory experiments, much like in the IDW comics origin story.
- This incarnation appears to have a strong prehensile tail. This is evidenced by being able to use it to pin one of the Turtles to the wall and spin the objects they were balancing on.
- Unlike other versions of the character, this Splinter has no connection to Hamato Yoshi.
- The book Splinter found on ninjutsu is written by Eastman and Laird.
- Splinter's face is based on Toshiro Mifune.