What is the future of The Last Ronin?
The comic series became a smash hit with the release of issue #1 in late 2020. The first issue had at least 5 reprints and (after a few delays between issues) the series concluded in a satisfying way for fans, and the creative team. It was the first collaboration of TMNT co-creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman in many years and returned several fans to franchise who were looking for a more “mature” story. So, what is the future of The Last Ronin?
With the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being a multi-media franchise, the comic series has opened the door to a whole world of stories, collectibles, and other media. Let’s take a look at what we know is happening and how likely each might be.
Spoilers from here out!!!
The end of the first 5 issue run saw the death of the final brother, and the rebirth of a new group of mutant turtles. Casey and April’s daughter, Casey Marie Jones has her own batch future ninjas. Created by Ben Bishop, Moja, Odyn, Yi, and Uno, the new turtles have launched their own spinoff series. While half of The Lost Years takes place in the past, the other half shows the “present” as we see the new turtles going through their own training.
What does this mean? It means the Last Ronin franchise has already split itself 2 ways- classic black hood Ronin with the original brothers, and the new batch. We’ll explore the possibilities of each version in each category, as well as other possibilities in the Ronin-verse.
The original series was so successful, a sequel was inevitable. The Last Ronin: The Lost Years is on issue #3 at time of writing, and shows no signs of slowing down. After the 4 new turtles gain more of their origin story, I can see a new breed of familiar faces. Sons of Bebop and Rocksteady? Daughter of Slash? Tadpole of Punk Frogs?
There’s too much of an open world to explore and too many new character designs to leave on the table. I could see the comics becoming a regular staple on the shelves. Similar to Batman and Detective comics, I see these running for a long time, side by side.
This one isn’t much of a prediction- because it’s already been announced!
It’s still incredibly early and we don’t have any details, including a developer, screenshots, literally anything. But it was announced. It’s being worked on. But the Video Game industry is notoriously fickle. For all we know it could have already been cancelled.
While I doubt we’d ever get a full game with Moja, Uno, Yi, and Odyn. The Black Bandana is definitely the more iconic figure from the series.
Toys & Collectibles
We’ve just begun seeing the merchandising potential for the Last Ronin. Playmates has released a special edition version, as well as a black and white chase.
NECA has an entire line in the works featuring the original brothers, based on artwork from Ben Bishop. 3 Figures have already been released, and so many more on the way. Even more news came out recently that April would be getting her own figure- and we did see a shot of Odyn behind Grammy April.
In addition to an entire line of Last Ronin figures based on the comics, they included an Easter Egg of sorts at last years SDCC. There was a Last Ronin figure in the style of their Cartoon series.
The other major player in in the TMNT toy universe is Super 7. No word yet on any plans for a Last Ronin Ultimates figure, but hopefully we get one down the line.
As far as statues go, PCS Collectibles has already released a huge statue featuring the ghosts of the downed brothers. Another limited statue is on the way, this one even more limited than the last.
There are tons of other companies who release their own TMNT collectibles, and its yet to be seen what their plans might be. Loyal Subjects, Goodsmile, Iron Studios, and Funko all have yet to announce their own future Last Ronin plans.
This could be a bit more of a shot in the dark. Nothing has been announced. All we know for sure is that HBO Max and Paramount+ need content. Paramount+ is the more logical choice given the rights lie with Viacom. But if Warner Bros Animation Studios helps with facilitating the movie like they did with the direct to home video adaptation of “Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, it could find find it’s home on HBO Max.
Whatever we get, it’s likely to stay with black bandana as well. Although, we’d see the next generation in the finale. It would make a great limited series!
Finally, the movies. There is obviously a desire for a more adult oriented TMNT movie. However, this Summer, we can already expect the next iteration of the original 4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem hits theaters in August and we already know plenty about it. We got a trailer and cast list! While this is obviously at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, there’s still a live action movie announced as well.
Back in 2018, Casey and Colin Jost (of SNL) were announced as writers of an upcoming live action reboot of the TMNT. Given how close in proximity the announcement was to Mutant Mayhem, I wonder if this could be the live action adaptation in the works. We probably won’t find out about the live action movie until the publicity cycle for Mutant Mayhem ends. But this makes the most sense to me.