From humble beginnings, in a small apartment building, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a global phenomenon that has spanned several generations and multiple iterations. From black and white comic, to animated series, and big screen blockbuster, the adventures of the turtles has existed in one form or another for more than thirty years. That's a lot of content to mine.
The current animated series on Nickelodeon is arguably the strongest version, garnering almost unanimous positive ratings and reviews. In addition, the current comic book published by IDW has been consistently strong, even the last live action film won over some of the detractors from their first at bat.
While the eighties and nineties are thought of as the Turtilian peak, it's arguable that the franchise has never been stronger than it is now. That being said, as the current series embarks on its fifth season, it seems it may be the last. Don't mourn for too long though. In a press release today, Nickelodeon has announced plans for a new series, this time returning to the two-dimensional format that won us over when we were kids.
Tentatively titled Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the series will start us back at the beginning as the turtles learn hone their skills and work as a team. From Nickelodeon's press release:
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will follow Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo on all-new adventures as they seek to unlock the mystical secrets of New York City. From the tallest skyscraper to the dankest sewer drain, the Turtles will encounter absurd new mutants and battle bizarre creatures all while enjoying their favorite slice of pizza. Tapping into mystic, ninja powers they never knew existed, the four brothers must learn to work together and navigate the perils of the modern age and hidden realms in order to fulfill their destiny to become a team of heroes.
This release seems to imply that this series will explore more heavily the mystical sides of the turtle-verse, offering a version of the TMNT we haven't yet seen on screen. It's promising to hear that they won't be retreading the same ground again, while this may not be the gritty, dark Turtles I dream of seeing on screen, it does promise to offer some new experiences and that's worth celebrating.
The end of a series that's been so consistently solid is sad news, indeed. But the news of a new series is something to celebrate. I wouldn't want to live in a world without my four favorite mutated brothers. Luckily, we won't have to wait for long.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set to air on Nickelodeon fall of 2018.