Did you know that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles once appeared in an episode of the Power Rangers?
Hmm… OK, did you know that the Turtles have teamed-up with Batman on a couple of occasions?
Then this post is for you!
This post looks at significant meetings for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. From Sherlock Holmes to the Wild West C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa and beyond, the following info gives you a rundown of some of the Turtles’ biggest crossovers.
The Turtles meet… Sherlock Holmes
First up, a genuine meeting of the minds – Sherlock Holmes and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
OK, so I’m using the term ‘meeting of the minds’ very loosely on this one, but even so, this is a pretty impressive pairing, even if it is completely implausible.
The chance encounter happened via the use of time travel in the animated adventure, Elementary, My Dear Turtle, an episode of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.
Broadcast in 1993, Elementary, My Dear Turtle cropped up during the seventh season of the original Turtles show and not only did it feature London’s most famous, fictional detective, but it also included appearances from Holmes’ assistant, Dr. Watson and his mortal enemy, Professor Moriarty.
The Turtles meet… Vanilla Ice
Go Ninja, go ninja, go!
Perhaps the most notable Turtle meeting (and surely, the best loved) took place in 1991, via the live-action movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. The film – the follow-up to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie – saw the Turtles uncover secrets about their mysterious past, whilst dealing with threats posed by Tokka, Rahzar and the Super Shredder.
As ‘90s films go, TMNT II is pretty bitchin’. It also features one of the greatest scenes in the history of any Turtles movie – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles busting out some serious shapes whilst ‘90s rapper Vanilla Ice sings a song called Ninja Rap.
Just think about that for one moment. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Vanilla Ice in the same movie, rapping and dancing.
My gosh it is beautiful.
The Turtles meet… the Power Rangers
This is not a dream. Repeat: This is not a dream. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have met the Power Rangers.
Although it seems like the stuff of pure fantasy, it is a genuine, 100% cold hard fact, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Power Rangers have shared screen time.
The monumental meeting happened back in 1998, via an episode of Power Rangers in Space – the sixth season of the popular Power Rangers franchise. The story largely took place in the episode, Shell Shocked and saw the Turtles fight alongside the Rangers, after they were initially pitted as enemies.
So, how was this all possible?
Well, it was actually pretty simple really. During the late 1990s, Saban Productions – the makers of Power Rangers – produced a (pretty awful) live-action Turtles TV show, called Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. If you don’t remember the show BE VERY THANKFUL. Anyway, Saban saw the geek potential in combining the two shows and the rest is history.
The Turtles meet… Usagi Yojimbo
Created by Stan Sakai in 1984, Usagi Yojimbo is a long-running comic book character who first appeared in the pages of Albedo Anthropomorphics #2. Since then, Usagi has cropped up in numerous books published by the likes of Fantagraphics, Mirage and Dark Horse and has attracted a strong following in the process.
Usagi Yojimbo largely appears in stories set within the Edo period of Japan, but he has also featured in tales which take place outside of this timeframe – especially when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are involved.
So far Usagi has worked alongside the Turtles in both comics and cartoons, including the original ‘80s animated series, as well as the ‘00s cartoon and the 2012 show.
The lucky bunny!
The Turtles meet… Star Trek… the Universal Monsters… and WWE
Breaking away from the realms of movies, TV shows and cartoons now in order to delve into the medium of plastic playthings. I’m talking Turtles; I’m talking toys; I’m talking titanic franchises!
During the ‘80s and ‘90s leading toy manufacturer, Playmates Toys, produced an incredibly vast amount of action figures and playsets based around Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In fact, the company still makes toys based around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So if your kids (or you) have a Turtles toy knocking around your house, chances are it will be made by Playmates.
Whilst the original line of toys included numerous heroes and villains, one constant theme that ran throughout the line was the Turtles themselves – or rather, alternate versions of the Turtles. From Bandito Bashin’ Mike and Crazy Cowboy Don to Lifeguard Leo and Cave Turtle Raph (and his Tubular Pterodactyl) the list of bizarre and whacky Turtles was exhaustive. It was also kind of cool.
However, two lines in particular saw the Turtles combined with two of the world’s most iconic franchises: Star Trek and Universal Studios’ Monsters.
Star Trek figures included the likes of Chief Engineer Michelangelo, First Officer Donatello, Captain Leonardo and Chief Medical Officer Raphael. Each figure was decked out in a Star Trek shirt, complete with Star Trek insignia and Donnie even came with Spock ears!
The Universal Studios Monsters collection, meanwhile, included the likes of Raph as the Mummy, Mikey as Frankenstein’s Monster, Donnie as Dracula and Leo as the Wolfman. Additional figures followed, with April O’Neil becoming the Bride of Frankenstein and Leo being re-imagined as the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
More recently, these crossover figures have continued, with the Monsters line getting a revival and the introduction of WWE-inspired Turtles toys! During the line of toys based on the 2012 cartoon, the Turtles were transformed into iconic wrestlers such as the Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man Randy Savage!
The Turtles meet… Batman
Another meeting of the minds here and this time it is in comic book form as the Heroes in a Half-shell team up with the Dark Knight Detective, for a six-issue mini-series. Co-published by DC and IDW, the first issue of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hit shelves in December 2015 where it promptly sold out.
Not surprising really, as it’s BATMAN and the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES!!!!
Anyway, here’s the official synopsis of the first issue, courtesy of DC Comics.com:
“DC Comics and IDW team up for the crossover you never saw coming as two of the greatest entertainment icons meet for the first time! In Gotham City, a series of deadly raids leads Batman to believe he’s up against a group of highly trained ninjas known as the Foot Clan! Somehow, they’ve crossed over to another dimension and are determined to take advantage of the situation while looking to get back home. But they haven’t come alone: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo are hot on their trail. Get ready for excitement as heroes and villains from both worlds clash and team up in an epic battle that threatens the very fabric of reality!”
The comic proved so popular that a sequel was published shortly after.
The Turtles meet… the Ghostbusters
Oh IDW, how we love you.
Not only did you bring us the Batman/Turtles crossover, but you were also responsible for a Turtles/Ghostbusters team-up!
Oh IDW, you truly spoil us.
Yep, everyone’s favourite shellbacks and everyone’s favourite spook hunters appeared together in comic book form courtesy of the appropriately named, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters.
Written by Erik Burham and Tom Waltz, the 4-issue story hit comic book shelves in late 2014/early 2015 and saw Mikey, Donnie, Leo and Raph cross paths with Egon, Winston, Ray and Peter in a blockbuster event. A sequel was published in 2017 and yep, you guessed it, a series of Turtles/Ghostbuster toys were also released.
The Turtles meet… the C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa
Another comic book meet-up for you, only this time the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossed paths with the Wild West C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa, in three issues of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Vol 2). And for those who don’t remember the Wild West C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa, they were basically a group of anthropomorphic cows, created by comic book artist Ryan Brown. Back during the early ‘90s, the C.O.W. Boys were stars of an animated TV show and they even featured in a computer game and a line of action figures.
The first of the two comic book meetings took place in issue #21 of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Vol 2), which was published in March 2006 and was written by Ryan Brown, Steve Murphy and Peter Laird. Whilst the second comic book meeting appeared in issue #32 of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Vol 2).
The final Turtles/C.O.W. Boys crossover took place in issue #58 of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Vol 2) and featured a story that involved TMNT faves, the Utroms and Cudley the Cowlick!
Outside of the comics, the Wild West C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa also made a brief cameo appearance in the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, in the episode Home Invasion. Their appearance was during the sixth season of the show, more commonly known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward.
The Turtles meet… The Turtles
And finally, perhaps the mother of all meetings: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meet…
…the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
Sounds bizarre doesn’t it? But it has happened – and on more than one occasion! The first time this happened was in the excellent 2009 animated movie, Turtles Forever.
You haven’t seen it? Oh, you must!
The premise of Turtles Forever is quite simple: The Turtles multiverse is in danger, so the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of the ‘00s cartoon have to team up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of the ‘80s cartoon in order to save the day. Along the way, both sets of Turtles also meet up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the original comic books (circa 1984), so technically the Turtles meet the Turtles and the Turtles!
If you ever want to see the ultimate Turtles story, then Turtles Forever is the film for you as it links up pretty much every version of the Turtles, ever!
A similar crossover also took place during the third Turtles cartoon – (aka the first Nickelodeon Turtles ‘toon). The episode, Trans-Dimensional Turtles, aired in 2016 and saw the 2012-era Turtles share screen time with their 1987 counterparts.
This Turtle-y awesome post was originally published on the Honcho-SFX blog.