Usagi Yojimbo, the rabbit bodyguard, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the pizza-loving sworn enemies of the Foot clan, will reunite this July for a special one-shot comic that will see the group of anthropomorphic heroes defending Japan from the forces of evil. While the pairing may seem surprising at first, Usagi Yojimbo and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a long history of joining forces to thwart mighty foes. Their latest pairing will reestablish decades-old bonds.
“I had wanted to reunite Usagi and the TMNT for a while, but these are not the Turtles that he knew,” “Usagi Yojimbo” creator Stan Sakai said in a press release. “Relationships have to be reestablished, suspicions overcome, and trust earned. The survival of all Japan literally rests on them working as a team.”
Crated by Sakai in 1984, Usagi Yojimbo is an anthropomorphic rabbit ronin from feudal Japan who frequently sells his services as a wandering swordsman in the self-titled series “Usagi Yojimbo.” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is the creation of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird that was originally intended as a one-shot comic about turtles fighting crime in New York City, but exploded in popularity in the ‘80s and ‘90s, going on to become a worldwide phenomenon that spawned movies, television adaptations and video games. Ever since their respective debuts, the two franchises have occasionally featured crossovers in the form of comics, television episodes and toys.
“Stan and I both started out the same year, 1984, and here we are still living the dream telling stories with characters we created over three decades ago,” Eastman said. “I love the fact that our two creations were intertwined from the beginning and could not be more thrilled that Stan is coming back to tell a new story in the IDW TMNT comics universe.”
The one-shot crossover will be written and illustrated by Sakai. The event will start with Usagi Yojimbo setting out on a quest to save Japan, only to come across the four turtles who are eager to aid their friend. The one-shot’s main antagonist will be Jei, a recurring villain in “Usagi Yojimbo.” Jei is an immortal black wolf who considers himself to be an emissary of the gods who was created to strike down sinners and those who would do evil. Unfortunately, Jei’s perspective is warped, which causes him to lump most people he encounters into those categories.
The “Usagi Yojimbo” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” crossover one-shot will be available this July in both a standard comic book format and hardcover collector’s edition. Both versions of the comic will include extras in the form of layouts, pinups and character studies.