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IDW Writer Says 4Kids TMNT Series Was Inspiration

During a recent interview, writer Tom Waltz was asked about which iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was most influential to his work. As one of the lead writers behind the latest comic series (which also happens to be the longest running series yet), it’s definitely important to note which version of the turtles has influenced him over the years. Although it may surprise some, others will be in full agreement with his stance on this issue. Check out his response to this question below:

Tom Waltz, IDW staff writer for TMNT comics.
Tom Waltz, IDW staff writer for TMNT comics.

“As far as most influential and the one that I really enjoyed the most, I liked the 2003 4Kids version a lot. I felt like that was the version that really kind of keyed on the spirit of the original mirage stuff, but it had kind of its own feel to it, too. It was really the inspiration for what we did with this book. I wanted us to have that core spirit, make it feel like a turtles story, but kind of make it feel like ours – but feel like Mirage at the same time – feel like where it came from. That’s what I thought 4Kids did really well.”


This is high praise for the 2k3 TMNT series. If you read the new comics, you might even have a sense for where this inspiration fits into the IDW universe. It’s crazy to think that the people writing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stories today are the same ones who either grew up with them in the 80’s and 90’s or discovered them through a variety of different interpretations of the characters. Even the latest animated series from Nickelodeon has been inspired by a variety of TMNT stories, which has resulted in some of the coolest tales we’ve ever heard in the turtle universe.

Unfortunately for Waltz and other fans of the 4Kids series, we still have yet to see a proper release of this television show on physical or digital formats. Nickelodeon has a sordid history when it comes to releasing their content via any other means than cable television, so it’s hard to tell whether or not this will change anytime soon. That being said, if the 2k3 cartoon is so influential and notable, it should probably be given better treatment than it has currently received.

If you want to check out the rest of this interview, make sure to watch the full thing in the video above. Both Tom Waltz and artist Mateus Santolouco provide interesting and insightful responses to the interviewer. Just beware that there is a bit of cussing during this interview, so kids might not want to watch it without parental supervision.

What do you think? Is Tom Waltz right about the 4kids TMNT series? Can you see its influence on the latest IDW Ninja Turtles comics? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments below or on facebook/twitter.

The Author

Justin W

Justin W

My name is Justin Wren and I love to write about the TMNT! I've been a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan since the late 80's. Back then, I would watch the original animated series and play with the Playmates toys all the time. I have been following the boys ever since I was a kid, and I'm very happy to see them back in the limelight after all these years. Needless to say, I'm proud to be a member of the team on this awesome TMNT Fan Site!

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