10 TMNT Gems That Will Make You Want to Yell, “Turtle Power!”

Posted on May 2, 2024

by Eric S

Today, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a pop culture institution. They’ve been the subject of countless cartoons, live-action films, toys, games, and basically any other material item on which you can slap an image of a turtle. They’ve teamed up or crossed over with Batman, He-Man, the Power Rangers, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Garfield, Archie, Savage Dragon, Street Fighter, Stranger Things, the X-Files, and of course Usagi Yojimbo (and that’s not even counting the fan fiction—not that you want to go down that rabbit hole). Yes, there’s been an overwhelming amount of Turtle media for decades, but the Turtles themselves had a rather humble beginning. Young artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created the Turtles from a small kitchen table in New Hampshire, self-released the first Turtle books, and in the process revolutionized independent comic book publishing. Taking inspiration from Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, Kazuo Koike, and countless other creators of mainstream and underground comics, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic is above all else a love letter to, well…comic books. Four decades later, the original Eastman and Laird books are still a visual treat for both hardcore students of comic art and new fans alike. From the initial comics spawned a hugely popular cartoon series, toys, and the media empire we know today.  

The great thing about the Turtles is that they mean different things to different people, so we’ve selected various Ninja Turtle media spanning their entire history, from bona fide classics to fan favorites. As we celebrate an unlikely self-published comic that debuted at a local comic convention 40 years ago in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, just keep these two words in mind: Turtle Power!  

For more great TMNT content, check out our favorite Ninja Turtle comics. 

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