Five concepts I would have loved to see in TMNT 2k3

Why I’m generally very satisfied with all the characters and stuff that TMNT managed to adapt from the Mirage comic book, there are a few concepts which I really wish had made the leap from their original continuities into the cartoon.  These are the five that top the list:

Note: So as not to fill the list with the usual suspects, all of the old toon characters appearing in Turtles Forever are discualified from consideration.

5. Professor Obligado

Even though this is probably the one concept in the list most likely to have made it into the cartoon, as it’s an original Mirage concept, he’s also the hardest to incorporate, as he originally starred in a series of solo back-up strips that never even involved the turtles.

Basically, Professor Obligado was an Utrom professor who’d have high-concept adventures in the name of SCIENCE!  He was first introduced in a story called “The Grape”, which involved his death from a drug overdose, and it snowballed from there.  Unfortunately, his story never really got a proper conclusion (aside from well, dying).

4. Roadkill Rodneys

A.K.A. “those guys who would take half your health in Turtles in Time if you weren’t careful”.  I absolutely love these guys, partly because they have a rather awesome design, but mostly because of their name.  Roadkill Rodneys.  Roadkill.  Rodney.  It’s brilliant.  Whatever chemical processes led someone to name these that, I want in.  Plus, they could have been made to fit rather easy.

3. Cudley the Cowlick

One of the more awesome concepts from the Archie TMNT series (based on the first cartoon, at least in theory), Cudley is a giant floating cows head, that also functions as a spaceship.   He can also traverse through the dimensions, and was prior to Turtles Forever, the one character in the franchise aware of the different turtle-verses.

2. Oyuki Mashimi

One of the things I deal with in my April Forever fic is the idea that aside from the two family members we meet—the missing uncle August O’Neil and her sister Robyn, who gets about two minutes of screen-time—she has no relationships outside the turtles or people she meets through them.  While they wouldn’t need to take too much screen-time, it would have been nice to know that they were there.

Created for the Archie comic books, Oyuki was a Japanese homeless girl who had been kidnapped by baddie Chien Khan as part of a ritual sacrifice.  Eventually rescued by the turtles, she decided to stick around, and eventually became April’s roommate and assistant.  In the story “The Angel of Times Square”, set in the “future” of 1999 (the series took place in 1994 by then), it’s revealed that she has become a reporter in her own right.

Note: an updated version of Irma would work just as well, but given that we got a cameo of her in Turtles Forever, she’s not eligible.

1. Shadow Jones

While the animated series was generally quite good when it came to translating the various Mirage characters to the screen, there are some notable omissions; this is the biggest.

Shadow Jones was, in the original comic books, Casey Jones’ step-daughter, and the daughter of his first wife, Gabrielle.  While we first see her as a baby in 1992’s “City at War” arc, we eventually see her as a teen when the comic book series returned for its fourth incarnation in 2001, and at several stages of her development during the non-linear “Tales of the TMNT” book.

Given the logistics involved, the chances that we were ever going to see Shadow were always slim.  A teenage Shadow wasn’t happening without time travel, and we’d already seen one of Casey and April’s descendants in Cody Jones.  Having her as a baby, on the other hand, would have required either shoehorning in Gabrielle into a situation in which she didn’t really fit (the events that brought about her appearance in the books couldn’t really be duplicated in the ‘toon) or having her be Casey and April’s birth daughter.  However, that in itself isn’t without its complications, as it would have required either writing in a pregnancy (which, while not unheard of, is still a subject most children’s cartoons don’t really deal with), and depending on the timing, having them have a child out of wedlock, which wasn’t going to happen*.   The best bet for having her appear would have been to write her in as something that occurred during the one-year gap between the events of seasons 5 and 7, but given that the writers were intent in having Casey and April marry, there was no way to write it in without establishing, again, that they’d had her out of wedlock.

In the end, even if they’d been able to write baby Shadow in, what would she add?  She obviously can’t be a character in herself, and while there are stories that can be told about how she changes Casey and April, such stories are usually beyond the scope of Saturday morning cartoons.  Not only that, her presence would have likely ended up limiting Casey and April—after all, they can’t risking their lives when they have a baby to raise.

So why I want her included at all?  First, because like I said before, she’s the biggest of the Mirage characters that wasn’t adapted to the cartoon, and I would have liked to see her included just for that.  Not only that, it would have been the natural next step for Casey and April, and given how much I enjoyed the progression of their relationship and their adult lives, it’s one I would have liked to see taken—even if we never got to see kick-ass adult Shadow.


* Note that while the episode “The Return of the Justice Force” did have an out-of-wedlock pregnancy as a major plot point, the pregnancy itself was kept offscreen, and involved characters exponentially less prominent than April and Casey.


2 Responses to Five concepts I would have loved to see in TMNT 2k3

  1. Agent66 says:

    While only getting into the comics after I was well into the cartoon verse (both series), I think I can only say that Shadow would have been a nice edition, but it’s as you said.

    I think if TMNT was a live action show or one that was more geared to adults (like the Simpsons, Family Guy), she may have been included. While the 2k3 series WAS darker than the 80s toon, it was still a cartoon, as obviously from the 6th and 7th season and as such, there’s no way the big $ bosses are going to get away from the kiddies.

    It sucks cause it means we lose out. I would have loved to see Shadow.

  2. Pingback: Character Conception Corner: Shadow Jones | Monsters of New York

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