Character Conception Corner: Shadow Jones

I’ve mentioned before that Shadow Jones is one of those characters from the original Ninja Turtles books that I really wish had made it into 4Kids’ adaptation, and that hasn’t changed much–I still really wish she’d made it to the cartoon. Introduced in 1992 during the “City at War” arc, she since became a fixture of the Mirage ‘verse, which focused various stages of her life–infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood–as various stories hopscotched through the timeline.  She’s also one of those characters who were really useful in showing how time had passed and changed the various characters; TMNT isn’t about just having endless iterations of a single status quo–or at least, not usually about that–but about change.  The characters as seen in volume 4 are not the same characters we first met in volume one; almost twenty years have passed since then, and they have made their presence felt, and Shadow is one of the clearest signs of that, as she turns characters into parents and uncles and teachers.

Since 4Kids did not see it fit to feature Shadow in their universe, I decided to take on the job myself. Because I’m me, this meant changing almost everything I thought I could get away with, while still retaining what I felt was the core of the character.  I then paid an artist, as I’ve done before, to translate my ideas into paper (or whatever its online equivalent is), and this is what came from it.

 

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White’splaining: “Heritage”

“[…] Natsilane.” Elisa Maza, addressing Nick
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Written by: Adam Gilad

Original Air Date: November 27, 1995

Introduces: Nick, a.k.a. Natsilane; Grandmother; Raven

Timeline placement: January 3, 1996

TMNT episode I could make a forced comparison to: N/A

Content Note: Anti-indigenous Racism

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The Sequel: “Modern Love: The Return of Nano”

“Whoa.  Dick and Jane go insane.”–Michelangelo

That bird on the lower right is either the weirdest rubber ducky ever, so someone who got very lost.

Written by: Eric Luke
Original Air Date: February 21, 2004
Teaser Narrator: Raphael
Characters and Concepts Introduced: Turtle Sub
Gargoyles episode I could make a very forced comparison to: N / A

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Home Again: “Shadows of the Past”

“This place is full of bad memories.” –  Elisa Maza vlcsnap-2014-09-09-08h13m51s96 Written by: Michael Reaves and Brynne Chandler Reaves

Original Air Date: November 23, 1995

Introduces: N/A

Timeline placement: January 1 – 2, 1996 (Earth Time)

TMNT episode I could make a forced comparison to: “The Darkness Within”

Content Note: Police Brutality, Rape, Racism, Ferguson

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Plug: Hall of Lost Legends

So a friend of mine, Kihaela, told me some time ago that she and a friend would be starting up a new TMNT message board, one focusing on the Mirage Era (a.k.a. anything in production before rights were sold to Nick, and borderline stuff like the latter Tales issues).  As someone who wholeheartedly believes that the fandom needs and deserves a place that isn’t The Technodrome, this made me very, very happy.

Well, the board is up, it’s called The Hall of Lost Legends–a reference to a Volume 1 story of the same name, about a place that collected myths–and while it’s rather empty at the moment, that is both perfectly natural and perfectly solvable.  Time permitting, I plan to post there as much as I can, and hope y’all will too.

Making a Name: “The Ultimate Ninja”

“Soon, all will know my name!  I am…”

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Written by:Mike Ryan
Original Air Date: February 7, 2004
Teaser Narrator: Leonardo
Characters and Concepts Introduced: The Ultimate Ninja; The Gyouji (Unnamed); The Daimyo (Unnamed)
Gargoyles episode I could make a very unforced comparison to: “Ill Met by Moonlight”

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Why I Don’t Like David Xanatos

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When it was first suggested that I write a “Why I Like…” post about David Xanatos, I decided to punt, for two reasons. First, I was not certain that I had anything interesting or new to say about the character. Second, I was, and currently am, undergoing a process of reevaluating whether or not I actually like him. So I’m doing something a bit different here and allowing some criticism to spill into my thoughts.

David Xanatos is in many ways the breakout star of Gargoyles, and possibly the one single element that caused the most impact on subsequent works. He shouldn’t be—that distinction, in a righteous world, would have gone to Elisa Maza—but there’s no denying that he’s become far bigger than the show that spawned him. And its not hard to see why: although not, technically speaking, the first of his kind—the Lex Luthor seen in season 1 of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman has a crapload of similarities, and had his heyday a year before Gargoyles debuted—he nevertheless opened up the world of western animation, by showing a new type of villain the medium hadn’t really seen before.  While he hasn’t been replicated, big bads in general have become more like him, and the character itself has become synonymous with cultured, manipulative, clever villainy.

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