Similarities Between TMNT & Daredevil

TMNT & DaredevilDid you know that there are subliminal references between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Marvel’s Daredevil comics? Keep reading to learn more!TMNT & Daredevil

Some describe the relationship between these two franchises as “tie-ins” or “spinoffs”, but in reality, the two entities are not publicly related directly. The first issue of Daredevil was published in 1964, 20 years prior to 1984’s TMNT #1. It is no secret that Eastman and Laird liked referencing comics they enjoyed, with the most obvious with a character being named after legendary comic artist Jack Kirby. There are 3 main allusions that Eastman and Laird made to the Daredevil franchise and we will break them down here:

1. Master Splinter vs. Master Stick

What is a good ninja without a wise Master? Originally the pet rat of ninjutsu Master, Himato Yoshi, Splinter trains the young Turtles into the ninja warriors we love. But, how did Splinter receive his name? Maybe it has something to do with Daredevil’s Stick, who is a Master martial artist and trainer of Matt Murdock, Daredevil’s alter ego.

2. The Foot vs. The Hand

The enemies in both franchises share a special relationship. In the Ninja Turtle world, The Foot Clan is a household name, lead by the infamous Shredder. This is a pretty clear parallel with Daredevil’s The Hand, which originally debuted in Daredevil #174. In both series, both groups of villains are pretty similar as a group of costumed ninja “bad guys”.

3. A Similar Origin

The best for last. The origin of Daredevil is pretty well known, where a young Matt Murdock is the victim of a chemical truck accident. A mysterious chemical splashes Murdock in the face during the accident, blinding him, but also hyper-attuning his remaining senses. The Ninja Turtles were created in a similar accident, where a truck loses a canister of ooze, which hits a young boy exiting a pet store. Although this boy is not hit directly by the liquid, the Turtles fall into the sewer, where they encounter Splinter and come in contact with the mutating ooze. As seen below, there is a pretty clear reference to the Daredevil origin, where a young man is hit in the face by a can of ooze, specifically “near his eyes”.

There are rumors online as to why Marvel never sued Mirage Studios for referencing the Daredevil story so much. Although I am unable to provide any factual documentation as to why the lawsuit never arose (or if it was even considered), the rumors online indicate Marvel was not interested in pursuing any legal action.

Photo Credit: Mirage Studio's TMNT #1
Photo Credit: Mirage Studio’s TMNT #1
TMNT & Daredevil

The Author

Ian Gaudreau

Ian Gaudreau

Goongala! My name is Ian Gaudreau and for the past few years, TMNT has become a serious hobby of mine. I have been a fan of the Turtles since I was a kid, but I became attached to their fascinating comic book history. I am a huge comic book fan, and the Turtles are my all-time favorite story. My primary focus is the current IDW publishing run, but I am familiar with most TMNT iterations. My job here is to share all that I have learned and give you my insight and opinion to the monthly comic books! If you would like me to review something, I would love to know what it is!

You can read me @iangaudreau

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