Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics You Should Read

Script written by Justin Giglio There have been many incarnations of the TMNT, but it all started with the comics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics You Should Read. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Script written by Justin Giglio

Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics You Should Read

There have been many incarnations of the TMNT, but it all started with the comics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comics You Should Read.

#10: “Plastron Cafe #1 - Old Times” (1992)

In a short story appearing in the first issue of the anthology comic Plastron Cafe, an aged Donatello undergoes a training simulation – fighting an army of foot soldiers on the roofs of New York City. As he’s able to take down the foot soldiers without much effort, Don’s computer, Chet, conjures up a simulation of the Turtles’ nemesis, The Shredder. Once Don defeats the Shredder, Chet continues the training simulation by creating holograms of Don and his brothers in their prime. Faced with the memory of his brothers, Don breaks down in tears. Aside from proving that age is just a number for old-man-Don, Old Times is a unique story that will make every turtles fan shed a tear.

#9: “Raphael #1” (1985)

This issue introduced fans to Casey Jones, the hockey mask-wearing badass who would go on to become a staple of the TMNT mythology in nearly every incarnation of the Turtles. When Casey witnesses Raph scaring off some muggers, he heads over to finish them off, beating them senselessly with a bat. Raph tries to stop Casey from killing the muggers, showing that crime-fighting can have two, very different outcomes. With different views on justice, the heroes square off both physically and philosophically. This confrontation between Raph and Casey has been adapted many times, but this is the story that started it all.

#8: “Attack on Technodrome” (2015)

This 4 part story has theTurtles trying to stop General Krang’s Technodome from terraforming the Earth. This series is memorable for the finale, in which Shredder orders Bebop and Rocksteady to kill Donatello. Rocksteady manages to hit Donnie with his sledgehammer, the first in an onslaught of blows that would eventually crack open Don’s shell. After the rest of the Turtle’s defeat Krang and stop the Technodrome, they teleport back to the lab and find Donatello beaten to comic-book death. Splinter holds Donnie in his arms as the Turtle’s grieve for their fallen brother. While Donnie would soon return, the moment the Turtles discover his body is one of the most heartbreaking panels in any TMNT comic.

#7: “A (Bull) Wrinkle In Time” (2006)

Crossing over the C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa with the TMNT, the story begins with Sheriff Terrorbull stealing the Crystal Shard from the Sacred Cave, creating a magical doorway to Manhattan. The C.O.W. Boys team up with the heroes in a half shell to stop the evil Sheriff and return them all to Moo Mesa. The crossover features a few meta-moments and jokes that point out the absurdity of anthropomorphic crime fighters, with the Turtles making a number of references to drinking milk and eating burgers, and The C.O.W. Boys feeling guilty about eating turtle soup after they return to Moo Mesa.

#6: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 1 #6” (1986)

A group of Triceratons, giant alien’s who look like muscular Triceratops, capture the Turtles and send them to the dungeon on the Triceraton homeworld. There our heroes are forced into an arena to compete against a Triceraton gladiator in a fight for their lives and their freedom. When a ship that’s filming the fight gets too close to the action, the Turtle hitch a ride, creating an opportunity for a daring escape. The Triceratons present the Turtles with a physical obstacle unlike any they had seen before. The existence of the Triceraton homeworld also makes the TMNT universe feel much larger in scope.

#5: “Usagi Yojimbo #10” (1988)

This crossover begins with a young Usagi mistaking Leonardo for a fat priest, ordering him to carry the brash swordsman across the river, insulting the disguised Leo along the way. When Leo reveals himself to Usagi, the two trade blows in an epic sword-fight that lasts for hours. Thinking he had found an opening, Usagi strikes what he believes to be the final blow, only to slip in some mud and fall on his back. Leo could have finished the fight with Usagi down and unable to defend himself, but instead, he helps him up and commends him for his swordsmanship, proving Leo is more than just a great warrior, but a hero with honour and heart.

#4: “To Serve and Protect” (2007)

The story follows Lt. Gordon Miller, an NYPD officer who was badly scarred during the City at War crisis, as he investigates and interrogates an injured foot soldier. Unfortunately, the injured soldier is assassinated by a fellow foot clan member before he can give the police any important information about their organization. Disguised in hoodies, the Turtles swoop in to help the NYPD during the attack, and Lt. Miller is confronted by the very same foot soldier who scarred him. Stories like these help ground the Turtles by making their Manhattan feel like a real place with real consequences. With all the super-heroics, mutant threats, and ninja warriors running around the city, there are still good cops just trying to make a difference.

#3: “A City At War” (1993)

Raph is ambushed by a member of the Foot Elite guard, the most fearsome warriors in the Foot Clan and the personal guards to Shredder. The Foot Elite is defeated, and ends his own life by impaling himself with Raph’s Sai. Meanwhile, Splinter regains consciousness after falling down a hole and encounters a mysterious figure in the shadows. The figure is revealed to be none other than the Rat King, a villain who first appeared in Tales of the TMNT #4. Splinter’s interactions with the Rat King are a central part of the City At War arc that capped off the first volume of the TMNT comics, and bring added depth to the fantastic arc.

#2: “Silent Partner” (1987)

Shredder returns! After his apparent death in the first issue of TMNT, Shredder reveals himself to Leo before beating him close to death and sending him crashing through the window of April’s apartment in Leonardo #1. The story picks up in TMNT #10, where the rest of the Turtles, with the help of Casey Jones, take on the Shredder and his army of foot soldiers. Let’s face it – the Shredder is way too menacing to be a one-off villain for the first issue. His return was inevitable, and was handled in a way that demonstrated why he makes such an excellent nemesis for the Turtles.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Bodycount Issue #1” (1996)

“TMNT Vol. 4 #5” (2002)

“The Burning Man” (2009)

“TMNT Vol. 1 #3” (1985)

#1:“TMNT Vol. 1 #1” (1984)

The comic that started it all. Originally written as am omage to superhero comics, specifically Daredevil, The New Mutants, and other popular characters at the time, this issue introduced a number of key elements to the TMNT mythology, including their origin story and their arch-nemesis, The Shredder. In fact, the Shredder is actually killed at the end of the issue, when after being defeated in combat, he pulls out a grenade in a last-ditch effort to take the Turtles out with him, only to be knocked off the roof by Donatello’s staff as he explodes. Of course, Shredder would return, but the first issue set in motion what would become a cultural phenomenon that continues to capture the imaginations of fans everywhere.


Did you agree with our list? What do you think are the best TMNT comics? For more exciting Top 10s posted daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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