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Some TMNT stuff was always meant for grownups.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles published by Image Comics is the third volume of Mirage Studios' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It is not considered canon by Mirage Studios due, in part, to a lack of desire by co-creator Peter Laird to follow-up material with which he was not directly involved nor fully approved. Every issue is written by Gary Carlson and penciled by Frank Fosco.
There are a total of 23 printed issues, with two more independently printed in 2011. Issues 24 and 25 are a fan project started Andrew Modeen, at one point catching the eye of certain people at Image comics, they decided to ask Viacom for publishing rights to officially finish the series but they were turned down. A.C. Farley has been contracted to do a special two-page spread for the finale. Frank Fosco has already finished the two covers, with the cover of issue 25 being inked by Kevin Eastman.
Interior art of the two issues are by Arseniy Dubakov.
This volume is notable for having a faster pace and more intense action while inflicting major physical changes on the Turtles themselves; Leonardo losing a hand, Raphael's face being scarred, Splinter becoming a bat, and Donatello becoming a cyborg. In a startling plot twist, Raphael even took on the identity of The Shredder and assumed leadership of the Foot. With Volume 3, the Turtles were incorporated into the Image universe, which provided opportunities for a few crossovers and guest appearances by characters from the The Savage Dragon series. The series ceased publication in 1999. Raphael's depiction as the Shredder however, is referenced in an episode of the third season of the 2003 animated series, The Darkness Within, where Raphael is exposed to his fear of giving into anger and becoming the very thing he hates.