My second part on my analysis of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series as compared to the rest of the franchise. Last time I talked about the opening sequence.No we're going to see some characters that also contain references within themselves. The turtles themselves are not included, oddly enough.
Let's start with the radical rat...
In this show, Splinter is a mutated Hamato Yoshi. Originally, Hamato Yoshi and Splinter were 2 different people. But the idea of combining these characters has been used before in the 1987 series, the Archie comics, and in a sense, the recent IDW comics. While I think this idea makes perfect sense, for some reason I always preferred Hamato Yoshi and Splinter to be separate.
But that's not all on his backstory that I have. When he explains his history with the Shredder, he mentions the woman they fought over was Tang Sheng. In the original Mirage comics, the theatrical movies, the 2003 series, and the IDW comics, Tang Sheng is always the character whom Hamato Yoshi fights for and eventually ends up with.
Now for someone who I think is one of the most important supporting characters in TMNT.
April, who for the first time isn't an adult, is designed with both a yellow shirt(a reference to her yellow jumpsuit from the 1987 series and Archie comics) and red hair(like the 2003 series and IDW comics). As of Episode 7, "Monkey Brains" she has decided to train with Splinter to become a ninja herself, something that happened in both the Archie Comics and the 2003 series. That's pretty much it from her but there is one detail related to her that I find interesting.
This guy who looks suspiciously like Joss Whedon is April's dad whom in this show is called...Kirby. For those that don't know, Eastman and Laird, the creators of TMNT, are big fans of comic book legend Jack Kirby. In fact, an unplanned 4th live action movie would have almost had a 5th turtle named Kirby. What makes this more interesting is that a one-shot story from the original comics starring Donatello(which is one big love letter to Jack Kirby), involved a guy named Kirby who owned a magical gem that gave him the power to draw things to life. This magical gem was never brought up again...until later on in the comics where we learn that April's dad used that gem to bring her to life. Makes me wonder if they're going somewhere with this.
Well enough about good guys. Let's talk about some bad guys.
There's not much to say about the villains individually, so we're going to lump them together. The Kraang are a combination of the Utroms, the alien species that left behind the ooze that made the Ninja Turtles, and Krang, the secondary antagonist of the 1987 series and Archie Comics. Here, they pretty much serve both of those roles. The Foot clan in this show have a nice design. I have to point out that their look is based on the Foot ninjas from the first 2 live-action movies. Shredder is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson who was probably cast because of his resemblance to James Avery, the voice of the Shredder from the 1987 series(this is probably a stretch since appearances don't really matter in voice acting). I have none for Baxter Stockman, whose only major change so far is that he's no longer is the owner of his own tech company. One villain appearance that I wasn't expecting are the Purple Dragons.
For those that don't know, the Purple Dragons were the street gang that the turtles fought at the very beginning of the first issue. They were given a much bigger role in the 2003 series and IDW comics. Here's hoping that they do something interesting with them.