Rise of the TMNT : Michelangelo's Design

The internet exploded shortly after the designs for the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series was released in February.  As fans of all ages found themselves split down the middle upon the new look and feel for the Ninja Turtles, as there’s no question that this is a road they’ve never been on before.  I tried to write one story that would include my thoughts on the Facebook Live, designs, show overall and even the toys.  But it got long and hard to write, let alone read.  Which brings me here, where I’m going to give a short write up about each of the things revealed about “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.  Let’s talk about Michelangelo and his new design. 

I’ll like to start off saying my comments on these designs are my personal thoughts for each character.  Like, dislikes and fun facts.  These thoughts are not final judgement as I have not seen the series yet.  I have always found first reactions as the most hard and harsh for any new form of the Ninja Turtles.  As each of us fans are searching for what we would want to see, making it so not one creative team could ever please the entire fandom.  Let’s go into this with open minds to the ride that Ant Ward and Andy Suriano are bringing us on.

Michelangelo shouts Mikey as soon as I see this design.  He’s got his big eyes, grin, and energy just flowing through this pose they have him in.  His weapon looks  like a Yo Yo with a stick on the end of it.  But other than that, this looks like a Ninja Turtle to me.  Out of all the designs, this one is my favorite as it feels very close to the 2003 series which is one of my favorite versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  So personally it stands out to me.

The news we have about Michelangelo is that he’s a box Turtle, so he’ll be the only one of the Turtles to be able to go all the way into his shell.  While the other Ninja Turtle series never made a big deal about their type of Turtles, there’s been more than once that fans have seen the Turtles go into their shells before.  I find it a different twist, that we learn that Mikey is the only one who can do that now.  I also find it interesting that he has the normal wrist wraps, but no elbow pads. 

One of my favorite changes to Michelangelo’s design is that he’s an artist so he’ll tag his shells and has drawn on his knee pads.  As an artist type, who grew up in a family of artist and a ton of friends who are artist I know that artist like to do art in different places.  How many people out there are into tattoos, which is some amazing body art in itself.  So cool to see Mikey taking this side of himself and expressing it.

I for one always use my clothes to express myself.  I hate wearing plain shirts, and what ever design I do have on my shirt is usually matching up to how I feel.  So if I’m having a bad day, or going to a meeting I’m not thrilled with I’ll have the Foot on my shirts.  If I’m going out to meet up with a friend for a meal I’ll try and pick a shirt where the characters have some sort of food.  If I’m just in a bit of a funk, I might find myself a Raph shirt to wear for that day.  I also have a habit of putting stickers all over my convention badges, drawing on my folders, and even drawing using the dust on my cars while on road trips.  So to see Mikey, putting the art upon himself makes me feel great inside.   I am very thankful that the designers decided to bring this side of Mikey out for us all.

I like how his knee pads are two different types of faces, happy on his left and not doing so well on his right knee.  For me, that touch of detail hits me very close to the heart.  As I’m usually happy with the left side of my body, as the right side of my body is in pain all the time.  What an interesting twist to the side that hits home with me.  For those who don’t know why I’m in pain, please learn about RSD and Me.

I know I’ve heard a lot of fans going “These are not my Turtles”, which is why I’ll like to remind everyone that Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird always encourage artist to share their own take on the Turtles.  If anyone sits down and reads through volume 1 of Mirage TMNT they would see that each guest artist brought forth a new design for how the Turtles look.  The art styles of Mark Martin, Mark Bode, Jim Lawson, Rick Veitch, A.C. Farley, and Michael Zulli is some of the amazing skills that brought heart and joy to the world of TMNT.  As a kid, the art style hurt the series for me, as I did not like all the change and stuck a lot to the Archie comics because for the most part it stayed to one story and a main design look for the Turtles.  But as an adult I’ve enjoyed going back through and reading all of the Mirage comics and taking in all the different take on the Turtles.  Then we have Turtles Forever, reminding us that these are all just different universes of the characters we love.

I will not judge these Turtles till I see at least a season of the series.  And even if it’s not my favorite I am already seeing things that have me excited to go for the entire ride.  Every version of Ninja Turtles has its strong points and weak points for me.  If put in a debate I can either build them up or tear them down.  I have a feeling this series will be no different, there will be things to enjoy and things to look pass for another day.

This character design totally screams Cowabunga I am Michelangelo when I look at it!  I have no problems with any of their choices on his design.  Which means two of the four Turtles designs, scream TMNT to me.  Not to bad.  I still wonder about the T on the belt.  I understood each turtle having their name letters on them, but a T?  Wonder if it will ever come up in the show.  Only time will tell.

What do you think of Michelangelo’s new design?  Like?  Dislike? Do you like the idea of Mikey using art on himself?   Everyone has the right to like or dislike what comes around, because that’s what makes our world awesome!  So peace to everyone and let’s see where this journey takes us!

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