Whether you are new to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mythology, or you are a life-long fan, chances are you know the names of all four Turtles.
There’s Leonardo, who is traditionally seen as the leader of the group. Donatello, is the technical genius of the team. Raphael is known for being the hot head. And finally, Michelangelo who is the fun-lovin’ party animal.
But who is this fifth Ninja Turtle you have heard talk of? Is this an actual fifth Turtle, or is this just some strange fever dream, brought on by an overly cheesy pizza and an underdone slice of pepperoni?
Well, I can confirm there are five Turtles. As to the question ‘who is the fifth Ninja Turtle‘? Well, that might need a little bit of explanation – as there have been multiple fifth Turtles over the years.
Who is the ‘fifth’ Turtle?
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made their debut in 1984, via the pages of the very first TMNT comic by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Back then, the Turtles existed as a foursome; but over the years, thanks to a cartoon, a television show, and some comics, that foursome has (on occasion) expanded to five.
So, when you ask the question ‘who is the fifth Ninja Turtle?’, the counter question has to be: ‘Which fifth Ninja Turtle are you referring to?’
If you Googled the question ‘who is the fifth Ninja Turtle?’, and it brought you to this post looking for information on the most recent fifth Turtle, I will save you some time and tell you the answer is Jennika (as pictured above).
Jennika is a comic book creation who was first introduced in the pages of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue #51. She sports a yellow bandana and was once a member of the Foot Clan.
But if you would like to know about all of the ‘fifth’ Turtles, including Jennika, then continue reading.
The fifth Turtles in order
To date, there have been five ‘fifth’ Turtles. The fifth Turtles are as follows:
- April O’Neil
- Venus de Milo
And here are the details about each…
The first of the ‘fifth’ Turtles is not a Turtle at all – instead, he is a 14-year-old boy called Zach. The character made his debut in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television show, appearing in the appropriately titled episode, The Fifth Turtle (1989).
In the episode, Zach wore a Ninja Turtle costume to take on a similar appearance to his heroes. He became an ally to the group and later returned in the episodes: The Great Boldini, The Missing Map, Shredderville, Bebop & Rocksteady Conquer the Universe, Zach and the Alien Invaders, and Night of the Rogues.
Onto ‘fifth’ Turtle No.2 and this one IS an actual Turtle. The character is called Slash and he made his first appearance back in 1990, via the pages of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures.
Slash has been depicted as both a hero and a villain, and has cropped up in the TMNT mythology multiple times. His appearances range from the 1987 cartoon and the 2012 animated show, to multiple computer games, as well as comic books and toys.
Nope, you did not read that incorrectly – the Turtles’ reporter friend, April O’Neil was briefly a ‘fifth’ Turtle. This happened in the pages of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Special issue #11, making her ‘fifth’ Turtle No. 3.
The book was published in 1994, and featured a story in which April was transformed into a Turtle, after being exposed to Mutagen. This was a one-issue deal, and April returned to human form by issue’s end.
Venus de Milo / Mei Pieh Chi
Onto Turtle no.4 and this one is pretty notorious.
In 1997, Saban Entertainment produced a live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television show called Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. If you didn’t catch the show, trust me when I say you didn’t miss a thing – it is pretty bad.
Outside of the poor storytelling, the even poorer costumes, and a crossover with the Power Rangers, the most notable aspect of the series was the introduction of a new Turtle called Mei Pieh Chi. The character – later renamed Venus de Milo (Venus for short) – became part of the team, and was…
…hated by fans. Turtles co-creator, Peter Laird also hated Venus and since the cancellation of The Next Mutation she has largely disappeared from the TMNT mythology.
And finally, the fifth ‘fifth’ Turtle is Jennika.
As previously noted, Jennika made her first appearance in IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue #51. Initially appearing in human form as a Foot Assassin, Jennika was later transformed into a mutant in issue #95, by way of a blood transfusion from Leonardo.
Unlike Venus, Jennika was embraced by fans and has become a popular character. In addition to appearing in the TMNT comic, Jenny has also fronted a spin-off title.
So, there you have it – all the ‘fifth’ Turtles you could ever wish for. And hopefully, this provides you with information, should anyone ever ask you ‘who is the fifth Ninja Turtle?’
Thanks for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For more TMNT posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
- Seven episodes of Ninja Turtles ’87 everyone remembers
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sewer Playset
- The incredible detail of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys