By Scooba Wang
If there is one group of heroes that I feel like have fallen out of fame over the years, it has to be the classic teenage mutant ninja turtles. As Marvel has continued its explosion of endless content, groups like the Ninja Turtles start to fade away and become forgotten. I am hoping that I can change this issue because I believe that these adolescent turtles still have more stories to tell.
I should first start with explaining that there is so much we don’t know about these guys (turtles) and I am wanting answers. First, what belt are the ninja turtles? Throughout the comics and shows we see them with different colored headbands because, let’s be honest, without them we would have no idea if they were regular turtles or genetically enhanced ones that can do roundhouse kicks. These colors mostly have just the job to distinguish them from the rest of their group. We know their names strictly by the weapon they carry and the color headband they have. While this is a clever idea, I can say that these colors have no effect on their mastery of martial arts. What I want to know is if they are black belts. I feel this is a major gap that is never answered.
Are these turtles at the highest mastery of karate? If that’s the case I feel more respect should be given because that would make them some of the youngest black belts to ever exist. Not to mention the only species to obtain a black belt with green skin and no opposable thumbs. Never in the history of Ninja Turtles have we seen them get the recognition they deserve. It would be one thing to celebrate them for being talking turtles (that alone is an accomplishment), but to be able to celebrate them for having black belts too?!? That’s crazy!!
I could go on for hours about the mastery of karate and mutant turtles that are ninjas, but what is even more important than all of that, and what gets constantly forgotten, is the fact that these turtles are apparently TEENAGERS. I am often forgetting this. I have taken these turtles for granted. Here they are fighting crime (I think) and some random guy who has beef with an old mouse and they are doing this while going through the hardest thing in the world…..puberty. Why has this never been explained before?
Why haven’t we seen episodes of Leonardo refusing to go on a mission because his face is breaking out and he doesn’t want to get made fun of for the way he looks? Why haven’t we seen a moment where Michelangelo starts to become self conscious about why his voice is so much higher than his brothers? There are so many questions within this one issue and I need to see them tackled. What about hygiene? Are we ever going to see the turtles start smelling so bad around April that they have to start purchasing deodorant?
Just to shorten this article I will drop just a few common effects of puberty in males so that you, the reader, can imagine how these issues would flesh out in the life of the TMNT. There are many more that I am not at liberty to discuss but once again just use your imagination:
● Developing the ability to think abstractly
● Concerned with philosophy, politics, and social issues ( will the turtles ever get to choose a life outside of being a ninja? Did they ever get a choice?)
● Thinking long-term
● Setting goals
● Comparing himself to his peers ( weapon sizes? Headband colors?)
● Body size will increase. Sometimes the feet, arms, legs, and hands may grow faster than the rest of the body. This may cause a teen to feel clumsy ( they are already friggan turtles so what would this do to them?)
● Hair will start to grow in many areas; boys will also have hair growth on their face, under their arms, and on their legs (I honestly have no idea what this would do, do turtles have hair?)
● He wants independence from parents (Their dad is an old rat that never gives them a straight answer, I’d hate him to)
● Peer influence and acceptance is very important
● Peer relationships become very important (Their only friends are a rat and some random chick who clearly struggles to have friends herself)
● He may be in love ( How can you tell the difference between a male and female turtles and is cross breeding in this universe frowned upon?)
● He may have long-term commitments in relationships
Puberty stinks and I want to see others that are more fortunate than me go through it so I can feel better about myself. I was fat, now I’m kinda fat. It was hard, I was sad.
Photo Credit: looper.com
Authors: Isaac Bayer, Thad Buchanan, Quinn Eaton, Garrett Howell, Cole Manion, Dawson Martin, DJ Pigg, Adam Redfern
Anything could be in here...it is like the junk drawer in your kitchen!