I wanted to take some time to discuss one of the more unique contributions to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic book world. Let’s dive into the background behind TMNT: Odyssey.
Writer’s Note: This article is mostly spoiler free. The plot elements discussed are similar to what you would read on a book’s back cover description.
There have been several fan-made TMNT comics over time. Most notable, Tales of the TMNT #71, Volume 3 TMNT #24 and #25, and TMNT: Odyssey. These contributions are more than just fan fictions, however, as they play a pivotal role in tying loose ends to these popular stories. Mirage and Image Comics decided to turn down the opportunity to publish these books (for their respective series), resulting in the comics being published independently by the creators. These stories received contributions from many of the original TMNT creators, so although the stories may not be canon, they fit in well with the story continuity and are well-received by fans. Two of the most notable people behind these books are writer, Andrew Modeen, and Russian artist, Arseniy Dubakov. The only place to purchase these issues is through Dubakov’s eBay store.
Then we have TMNT: Odyssey, something a little more peculiar than the issues discussed earlier. Odyssey started as an IndieGoGo project created by Modeen in 2012. The 110-page, black & white graphic novel was successfully funded, but the book did not see print until late 2015. We reached out to Modeen on the Technodrome Forums, who said the entire Odyssey print run consists of only 260 softcover copies. Dubakov has begun printing the copies in a hardcover form, but it is unknown how many were or still are being) printed, which are also available to purchase via eBay.
For those that funded the project, you received a TMNT gem at a great price. Odyssey has become fairly difficult to find, and as of now, eBay is the only viable method of purchasing a physical copy of the book.
In regards to the story, without a doubt, I found TMNT: Odyssey to be positively brilliant. It takes place at the end of the Mirage continuity, but makes references to most, if not every, iteration of TMNT. The IndieGoGo start date of 2011 is essentially “when” you should read the book, meaning Odyssey should be read after reading everything published prior to 2011. Odyssey acts as somewhat of a grande finale to the entire Mirage continuity, and does so masterfully. There are many references to various past TMNT comics, but even casual TMNT fans will still be able to enjoy and appreciate this story.
Odyssey takes place in the future, where the Turtles are are older and living solo-lifestyles. Renet warns Donatello of a great cosmic problem and bestows upon him her powers of time travel and teleportation. He recruits his brothers to aid in what is perhaps their biggest battle of all time.
TMNT: Odyssey’s story was written by Andrew Modeen and had art contributions from a number of long-time favorite TMNT artists. Most notably, Jim Lawson does the vast majority of the artwork, but other contributors include Dan Berger, Rick Arthur, Arseniy Dubakov, Sophie Campbell, Mark Feltham, Courtland Brugger, Dennis Kennedy, Angie Sternitzke, Dmitry Bobrovnik, TokKa, Rick McCollum, Bill Anderson, and A.C. Farley. Although many there are contributions by many, Odyssey still feels very fluid and not segregated by varying artistic styles. We would like to commend Jim Lawson’s artwork in this book. Lawson is credited with more contributions to TMNT comics than any other creator, and his artwork shines in Odyssey.
Although a limited physical print run, Modeen has made the comic publicly available as a free downloadable PDF here. Enjoy!