Some TMNT stuff was always meant for grownups.
- Renet (Debut)
- Savanti Romero (Debut)
- Lord Simultaneous (Debut)
The story begins as Renet, the apprentice to time master Lord Simultaneous, "borrows" her boss's Time Sceptre that contains the "sacred sands of time." The wand allows its wielder to be taken anywhere in time and space by merely wishing to go. Just as Renet grasps the scepter, she is discovered by Simultaneous, who is not happy with her. In fear and desperation, Renet wishes to be sent to New York City, circa 1986.
As the Fates would have it, Renet is transported to a rooftop where the turtles are goofing around. Renet quickly makes friends with the boys when they're suddenly interrupted by an enraged Lord Simultaneous. Renet wishes to be taken "anyplace on Earth before humans recorded time!"
Back in the past, we find Cerebus being awakened by his henchmen. It seems that the men are uncomfortable with the aardvark's plan to invade a foreboding castle and so they announce their plan to desert him. Cerebus threatens them and tries to get back to sleep, when Renet and turtles emerge through a portal in a flash of magical light. As the turtles struggle to their feet, we see that within the castle a satyr-like being awakes, alerted to the presence of the Time Scepter.
Leo apologizes to Cerebus for crash landing in his camp, but the aardvark is in no mood for discussions. As the two prepare for battle, Renet tells them to chill out and offers to explain everything. While Renet tells the tale of why she's bouncing through time (she was bored), Savanti Romero (the satyr-like man) and his army rush out of the castle to fetch the Scepter.
Our heroes hear the approaching warriors too late, and while they make efforts to escape, Savanti easily overcomes them with magic and takes the Time Sceptre. The wizard and his men retreat back to the fortress and leave our heroes unconscious on the ground.
A few hours later, the turtles, Renet and Cerebus find a town and go into a tavern. Cerebus arranges for a mercenary force to attack the castle at dawn by lying to them. The next morning the hired army attacks the fortress as the Turtles, Cerebus and Renet scale the castle walls. Savanti conjures an army of undead to fight the human attackers as the heroes battle their way into the castle. Eventually the TMNT and crew make it to Romero's inner chamber, but they're quickly subdued by his magic. As Savanti ponders how to kill them, Lord Simultaneous shows up. Romero casts numerous spells in effort to defeat Simultaneous, but all his efforts are in vain. The time lord explains that the Scepter is old technology and then displays the new trans-temporal talisman - the Digital Cosmic Quartz (a wrist watch). Simultaneous zaps Romero and he disappears. He then sends the turtles back home and gives Cerebus the scrolls he came to the castle to get. Finally, Simultaneous returns home, where he punishes Renet by making her dust his vast library.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Book III, in color.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Collected Book 1
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection Volume 2
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Works Volume 2 (in color)
- Cerebus the Aardvark is a character created by Dave Sim.
- This story follows Michelangelo (microseries) #1. Though they’ll have many smaller adventures in-between, the story continues in Donatello (microseries) #1.
- The turtles will meet Cerebus again, non-canonically, in Miami Mice #4. They’ll appear alongside him again, canonically, in The Savage Dragon #41, but that story is later declared non-canon.
- Savanti Romero and Renet will return in Tales of the TMNT (Vol. 1) #7.
- Leonardo will begin feeling time-space after-effects from his exposure to Renet's Time Scepter beginning in Turtle Soup and Rabbit Stew.
- Savanti Romero’s name is a play on horror film creators “George A. Romero” and “Tom Savini”. In fact, “Savanti” is even misspelled “Savini” on page 19.
- An alternate, Cerebus-free first encounter with Renet, titled "The Paradox of Chudnovsky", was written by Stephen Murphy and drawn by Jim Lawson in 2007 at the behest of Peter Laird, as he believed Dave Sim would not permit Mirage to reprint the issue. Dave Sim ended up giving Mirage permission and TMNT #8 was included in the 2009 publication, TMNT Collected Book Volume 1, thus making the need for Murphy's/Lawson’s version obsolete.
- This issue also contains a bonus sketch of Cerebus and Donatello by Kevin Eastman and a “Killer Kiwis” pin-up by “Chet Peace”.
- CHET ALERT: The tavern Cerebus takes the Turtles and Renet to is called “Chet’s Tavern”. Additionally, “Chet” is scrawled onto the dumpster the Turtles land in. The name “Chet” was an in-joke thrown into numerous comics by the Mirage crew because… they just liked the name!
- This issue was originally supposed to contain a back-up story by Ryan Brown, Rion 2990, but complications delayed it until TMNT (Vol. 1) #9. It wound up not being published there, either.
- The 2003 TV series episode Time Travails is loosely based on this issue, but Cerebus does not appear at all.
- Since this issue contains characters outside the TMNT universe, IDW Publishing needed Dave Sim's permission to republish it in their Black & White and Color Classics reprint series.
- The 2012 TV series episode Turtles in Time is also loosely based on this issue.