Cowabunga Christmas Comics!
To many the holidays could bring a lot of stress due to the hectic hussle-bussle of Christmas shopping, family get togethers, or just the general onset “scrooge-ness” attitude. But there can be a relaxing side to the season such as curling up in front of a warm fire, listening to some gentle holiday music, and watching the silent snowfall outside your window. This all sounds well and good but, if you’re like me, you’re wondering how can the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles be inserted into this?
Well, my brothers and sisters, if you rely on your Turtle Power anything can be accomplished. And in the realm of TMNT comic books, I managed to dig and find some retro stories that involve our favorite Heroes in a Halfshell and the Christmas holiday. So sip some eggnog and hang up your stockings with care within your precious sewer lair as I present you with four Ninja Turtle Christmas tales that’s guaranteed to get you in the truly tubular holiday mood.
Ladies Home Journal “Twas the Fight Before Christmas” December 1990.
This is a short n’sweet four page comic found in Ladies Home Journal of all things. I couldn’t tell you if having comic *ahem* much more a Ninja Turtles comic in this magazine was something normal. But coming across it felt downright bizarre. A couple of thugs steal a little girls Christmas gifts so the Ninja Turtles decide to go beat the ever loving hell out of them. They find out these crooks have a stockpile of stolen toys, so the Turtles end the adventure by dressing up as Santa and handing out the toys to all the children.
The standout of this comic is Michaelangelo explaining his “Special Christmas Pizza” which consists of sausage, mushroom, turkey, ham, yams, sugarplums, and plenty of cheese. Even in the simplest of forms, the TMNT always make sure to bestow you with at least some killer pizza ingredients. If anybody wants to make that pizza this Christmas season, I’d seriously crown you TMNT-King/Queen. I’d like to thank GoGreenMachine.org for sharing this awesome tidbit of TMNT comic culture with the world.
TMNT Magazine “Twas the Night Before Christmas” Winter 1993.
This short tale stems from the Welsh TMNT Magazine and involves BeBop and Rocksteady pulling a “Home Alone 2” by robbing street Santas of their charity cash. How low! Making their escape on a rooftop they come across the real Santa Claus as the TMNT arrive and proceed to pummel the heck out of their gross mutant faces.
Santa thanks the Turtles by giving them gifts as well as gifting Bebop and Rocksteady. This makes the Turtles a bit miffed but Santa explains that the holiday season isn’t just about being naughty and nice, but about forgiveness and compassion. Bebop and Rocksteady apologize to the Toitles as Santa flies into the night.
This simple 6 page comic is pretty to look at (TMNT Adventure’s Brian Thomas helms it) as it packs a lot of personality, color, and pizazz but I find the lesson to be a little muddled. Bebop and Rocksteady steal from charities on friggen Christmas. I understand forgiveness and compassion, but maybe they shouldn’t really be given gifts and instead some community service and jail time.
But, then again, perhaps New York’s legal system doesn’t have anything in place regarding large mutated warthogs and rhinos. That would explain a lot about the TMNT universe actually.
Thanks to the always amazing TMNTEntity.Blogspot.com for being an amazing resource.
Tales of the TMNT Vol. 2 Issue 40 November 2007
Out of the previously mentioned comics, I’d probably recommend this one first and foremost. With story by Murphy, Diego Jourdan, and Martin Casanova (Bossanova? Chevy Nova?) as well as art by Diego Jourdan this issue of Tales of the TMNT shows you how powerful and minimalist the comic medium can truly be. With very little dialogue the story is told almost solely by its visuals, and Jourdan’s art echoes the original black and white grittiness of the Mirage run, yet with a more Manga style.
The story takes place on Christmas day in Tokyo 2060. Raphael finds an abandoned baby and comes across ladies of the night, mutants, and robotic foot soldiers who all seem to be after the child. The payoff is interesting as the story doesn’t need much buildup or insight. It’s sort of a one shot “elseworlds” tale and does enough to make it an interesting one.I love the look of Raph in this issue: Leather jacket, eye patch, and using the katanas of Leonardo (which makes you wonder if his brother met his demise previously).
It’s a bleak and interesting issue that any Turtle fan should pick up (especially if you love Raphael). It’s nowhere as “fluffy” or “Christmas-y” as the comics I previously mentioned but it gets the point across just fine and is probably the one that will stick with you the most.
That is if you’re still not wondering why the Ninja Turtles are featured in Ladies Home Journal.
IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #65 November 2016
We now go from bleak and gritty to bright and cheery with this fantastic IDW issue. Written by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz accompanied by Mateus Santolouco’s always beautiful artwork, this is TMNT silliness and fun at its best. Michelangelo decides to throw a Christmas par-tay and everyone is invited (whether the brothers like it or not). Not only is it a sharp and beautiful issue with a lot of visual gags (I love that Mikey has “The Great Pumpkin” on at his Christmas party) but the writing of inane party chatter between characters makes this issue gold. Whether it’s Mondo Gecko just zoning out at the star on top of the tree or Pigeon Pete rocking to the “12 Days of Christmas”, the writing really nails the vibe of a mutant Christmas party. We don’t always see our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles simply being teenagers, and what I really love about this issue there’s no high stakes or heated battles…it’s just a couple of mutant teens putting together a party for their buds.
You can also read this issue on it’s own without any need to know the current story arc either. So if you want some light turtle-reading to get your head in the holidays you have that option with issue 65. It also has Pepperoni eating pepperoni and this Donatello face:
With the Ninja Turtles being such icons in popular culture for decades now, it’s no surprise that even the Christmas season plays a role in their comic book adventures. And, of course, Christmas expands beyond just their comics…the 2003 animated series adapted the Mirage story “The Christmas Aliens”. And, if you’re simply a glutton for punishment, you can always check out 1994’s direct-to-video We Wish You a Turtle Christmas online. It ain’t pretty, but as a TMNT diehard it’s just something you have to endure. The 2012 Nickelodeon show also released some Christmas themed storybooks called The Santa Snatcher and Merry Mutants! for the younger Turtle fans.
So I hope you enjoyed reading about some of our Ninja Turtles’ Christmas adventures. Perhaps you’ll dig these out and give them another read on a brisk winter’s night. Or maybe even add these titles to your letter to Santa. Either way, there’s always time for Turtles this holiday season! Merry Christmas dudes and dudettes! And have a radical New Year!