Cowabunga Comic Cameos!
Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are no stranger to crossovers in the comic world. Even back in their Mirage days they were crossing over with the likes of Cerebus the Aardvark, Usagi Yojimbo, and even the Flaming Carrot. Recently they’ve shared adventures with the Ghostbusters, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and a whole multi-dimensional trilogy with Batman and company.
But there are appearances so brief that they may just fall between the cracks. That could be because they simply aren’t very notable but, as Turtlefans, I feel we need to know as much as mutantly possible when it comes to our favorite teenaged turtle teens, right? So I gathered three brief cameos from the Teenage Mutant NInja Turtles that I personally remember from my childhood days. And, hey, maybe you’ve read these too!
Garfield Meets The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
When: Winter 1992
Where: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Magazine
Batman and the Joker. Han Solo and Boba Fett. Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior. Garfield and The Ninja Turtles. Sometimes when mega powers collide, real magic happens. Turtlemania and Garfieldmania are running wild…before this wave eventually crashes…they need to meet. Why? Pizza of course. It’s kinda like lasagna, right?
A brief one page comic written by Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, and inked by none other than Peter Laird gave us a brief glimpse into a world without rules. A world where lasagna eating orange cats and ninja turtled teens lock horns.
Garfield approaches the sewer dressed as a Turtle, and introduces himself to the Ninja Turtles as “Garfello“, brandishing a pizza cutter as his signature weapon. He suggests the Turtles go out on patrol while he guards their pizza, in an obvious ploy to sneak the food for himself. The Turtles kick Garfield out of their lair, realizing he’s not a real Turtle at all. Garfield is defeated as Odie is seen wearing a turtle shell on his head. The Turtles question how Garfield talked without moving his mouth. Brilliance.
On April Fool’s Day of this year we ran a joke article about Garfield and our TMNT meeting once more on the big screen. Yet there may be some truth to this. On August 6, 2019, Viacom acquired the rights to the Garfield franchise (the comics, merchandise and animated cartoons) from creator Jim Davis and that the franchise will be controlled under the Nickelodeon brand, thus making Garfield part of the same family of characters as our Ninja Turtles.
In fact, if you head to Garfield on social media…already you’ll see the classic fat cat acknowledging the Ninja Turtles. You might think this was a brief one page comic created nearly 30 years ago…I call it long-term-storytelling. Garfield is looking for revenge.
Sonic The Hedgehog
When: February 1994
Where: Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 10
Sonic the Hedgehog is a popular character originating from the Sega video game series. If you were a child in the 1990’s there’s no doubt you had some sort of crossover yourself with the blue blur. I didn’t even own a Sega Genesis, yet I devoured anything Sonic I could get my hands on. Which included this very comic. This iteration was a long-running Archie Comic series that had been published for 24 years. Sonic’s comics were then subsequently picked up by IDW Publishing (sounds a bit familiar, right?).
While the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comics were still in print, the Turtles made a cameo appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog #10, where all four turtles were seen in the background during Sonic’s trek through the sewers, the brothers comment that they’re in the wrong comic book. As a youngin’ I remember reading this issue a few times over simply because the Turtles made an appearance. I didn’t understand publisher rights or anything like that…so seeing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appear (briefly) in my Sonic The Hedgehog adventure sort of rocked my little world.
Unknown to me at the time…but Michaelangelo made a brief appearance previously in Sonic the Hedgehog #2! The only way these comics could get more ‘90s is if they were coated in Dunkaroo frosting while playing Technotronic.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Meet Archie
When: Spring 1991
Where: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Meet Archie Special
Since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comics were published under the Archie comics banner, it’s no surprise that they had a crossover with Archie and the gang themselves. I mean Archie is practically known to have absolutely bizarre crossovers with the likes of The Predator and The Punisher…so what’s a few mutant ninja turtles anyway? The 64-page special hit in Spring 1991 yet despite the cover and advertising the Turtles and Archie only crossed over in one of the four short stories.
The story in question “Green Legs and Gams” happens when Cuddly Cowlick pukes up the Turtles in the R I V E R D A L E dimension. Archie and Betty witness this because they were swappin’ spit in private…and now fear they’ve seen an alien invasion. They warn Riverdale who rightfully laughs in their faces…as our “disguised” Ninja Turtles pop into town. Betty gets kidnapped by dudes claiming to be the IRS, which leads to the Turtles teaming up to rescue her with Archie and the gang.
They track the kidnappers down to a roach motel, the Turtles do their ninja thing, and they save Betty. Betty thanks Archie for some reason( who did NOTHING) but not the humanoid turtle fighters that saved her. They all go to Pop’s and celebrate with a pizza party…as the kids of Riverdale look on and assume it’s some sort of weird costume fetish party they didn’t know about.
These bizarre times call for bizarre crossovers. But what’s interesting to me is how these characters are not only still around but they’re thriving! Our Ninja Turtles are still pop culture icons. Garfield lives in comics, meme-status, a television show, as well as Nickelodeon now acquiring him. Sonic the Hedgehog had a hit live action film and still has relevant games hitting consoles. And Archie’s Riverdale reigns on the CW as well as Sabrina on Netflix. The more things change…the more they stay the same perhaps? And although these are more cameos than anything else, it’s always interesting to see the interactions the Turtles have with what may be some of our other favorite characters. I’m still holding out for a Ninja Turtle/Flintstones crossover…but I’m not holding my breath.
Have a personal favorite Ninja Turtles cameo/crossover you care to share with us? Comment below and let us know dudes and dudettes!