PREVIEWS: "Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

Official Press Release

Northampton, MA - The past few years have been pretty big for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the future is looking bigger. This year saw their long awaited return to the big screen, thanks to Imagi Studios, next year the animated series will be heading into its eighth season and Mirage will be launching a new retro-licensing program with all new merchandise planned for the adult collector's market based on the original cartoon show. But as the original Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book nears its 25th Anniversary, Steve Murphy (Creative Director at Mirage Studios and up until recently Managing Editor for Mirage Publishing) will be spearheading special events and merchandise programs to commemorate this milestone.

So in the lead up to what is undoubtedly a bright future for those shellback heroes, and with the DVD release of this year's feature film and the original cartoon's fifth season right around the corner, Mirage Publishing have released previews for their next three publications.

Beginning with Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, July 18 sees the release of #36 of the monthly series. Not to be missed by old-school fans and the perfect jumping on point for new readers, Tales of the TMNT #36: "To Serve and Protect" presents the world of the TMNT like never before.

In a return to the gritty, darker style of Eastman and Laird's original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books, and inspired by books like "Batman: Year One", "Gotham Central" and John Carpenter's classic film "Assault on Precinct 13", "To Serve and Protect" presents readers with a Tale of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the point of view of Lt. Gordon Miller, a New York City cop caught in the midst of the violent turf wars taking place between rival gangs in the aftermath the epic "City At War" story arc that concluded Volume 1 of Eastman and Laird's original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Set roughly a year after City at War, Miller is called out to an alley where the bodies of a band of Foot ninjas (who were believed to have gone underground since City at War) have been discovered. When one is found to be alive, he is taken down to the nearest precinct by Miller and his partner and pressed for information. But what they uncover is more than they bargained for, discovering that there is much more going on than they could have possibly imagined - even within their own ranks! Before long the building is mercilessly attacked by the Foot Clan, and Miller must entrust his life to three mysterious "Kappa" warriors.

With art by Paul Harmon (Image's Sea of Red and Mora) and written by up and coming writer Tristan Jones (Titan UK's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward), "To Serve and Protect" is not to be missed by any Turtle fan, and a great place to jump on for those looking to get into the comics that started it all. "If you're an old-schooler and have been following the Turtles since the early days, you're in for a treat, but I think fans of books like Gotham Central, or Alias will get a real kick out of it too. I love Brubaker's work almost as much as I love the Turtles, and I think fans of his work will be able to see the influences." Says Jones.

Following the sold-out mini-series "Tales of Leonardo: Blindsight" mini-series of last year (which was recently collected in TPB form), July will also see the release of the second in a series of four-part mini-series spotlighting each of the Turtles in their own adventures. "Tales of Raphael: Bad Moon Rising" picks up immediately after the werewolf filled pages Tales of the TMNT #7, where Raphael and Shadow Jones (daughter of Casey Jones) inadvertently incurred the wrath of werewolf matriarch Lilith and her savage clan. Now, Raph takes Shadow to her father's old farmhouse in an effort to lie low for a while, but a late night knock at the door ushers in a whole new world of supernatural intrigue… and weirdness!

As the series unfolds, readers can expect to see more lycanthropic action, along with vampires and other paranormal creatures of the night and, of course, that recognisable brand of ass kicking only Raphael knows how to dish out and trademark sense of Turtles humour.

"Tales of Raphael: Bad Moon Rising" is the work of Mirage heavyweight Jim Lawson, who has been part of the Turtles creative team since the original volume of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and freelancer Bill Moulage, who has penned several recent issues of Tales.

Finally, shipping in August is Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37: "Casey in Point". Written by Jake Black (Smallville; Marvel/Dabel Brothers' Wyrms , Tales of the TMNT, Dead @ 17) and featuring masterful art by "Tales" regular Diego Jourdan, "Tales of the TMNT" #37 finally brings readers the long awaited origins of popular character Casey Jones's origin for the very first time. The issue promises to answer many longstanding questions: Why does he wear the hockey mask? What was his first adventure? And what caused an easy going guy to become a violent vigilante? Drawing on the vast history of the TMNT universe, "Casey in Point" is one Turtles' fans won't want to miss – particularly the surprise ending, a twist made in direct consultation with TMNT co-creator Peter Laird!

Subsequent issues will feature the creative talents of Tales regular Dario Brizuela, bringing us a Tale set in the Turtles' early childhood, Masters of the Universe artist Andie Tong will team with Mirage writer Dan Berger for #39 and #40 will see Diego Jourdan reteam with Steve Murphy as they take a look into the future of Raphael. This November will also see the long awaited return of the original Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, featuring the original appearances of characters such as the Rat King, Leatherhead, Nobody and Savanti Romero, collected for the first time since 1989 with an all new story by the original Tales team Jim Lawson and Ryan Brown.

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #36 will be available in stores this coming week (July 18), but for more information on upcoming stories and all other things TMNT, visit the official website at www.ninjaturtles.com!

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