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Teenage Something Ninja Turtles—The Day the Internet Lost Perspective, and Its Damn Mind

If you’ve been noticing that the Nerd Rage Meter has been Spinal Tapping to eleven in recent days, then there’s reason to believe you’re aware of the fact that Michael Bay is doing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot due out next year.

Well…sort of.

According to Bay, the Turtles now hail from another planet.

Cue Nerd Rage explosion in 3…2…1…

Whatever it ultimately winds up meaning, it’s caused some people to go absolutely and irrationally insane.

Comments ranging from Michael Bay being a moron to the tried and true chestnut of Michael Bay is “raping” our childhoods flooded social media websites, prompting people associated with the cartoons, the films, and even those who created the actual characters in the comics to take sides.

But let’s stop there before going any further and agree to retire the phrase “raping my/our childhood(s).”


Because it’s inane. And far be it for me to play the role of the sensitive guy (I’m about as PC as a MAC), it’s demeaning to actual victims to use a term referring to the most egregious violation of a person, usually a woman, in order to express displeasure over something so trivial as a new version of frikkin’ fictional character.

Pictured: Not real life

Was I happy with the changes made to G.I. Joe? Or some of the changes made in the DCnU?


But you know what?

My childhood wasn’t ruined, emotionally or physically, because of those changes.

That childhood, quite virginal, still existed. G.I. Joe losing the tag of “Real American Hero” and Superman losing his red trunks and not being with Lois Lane didn’t somehow alter time and have a wild Japanese fetish video with my six year old memories.

Even Robbie Rist, who voiced Michaelangelo in the movies, said, “The rape of our childhood memories continues,” which is odd, considering he was twenty when the characters first debuted, hardly in his “childhood.”

G.I. Joe: Defending America…and committing war crimes on your youth. Yo Joe!

Here’s the thing.

In the grand scheme, what does it really matter?

The origins of the Ninja Turtles have changed several times.

In the original comic—and I can almost guarantee a good portion of the people complaining had their first exposures to the characters from the subsequent cartoon before even knowing it was a comic first; count me in that group—the characters were conceived as something of a spoof of Marvel Comics’ Daredevil.

Splinter was the pet rat of Hamato Yoshi in Japan who retreated to the sewers after Yoshi’s death. The turtles came from a pet store and were accidentally dropped into the sewer due to an accident involving a truck containing the “ooze,” some of which also entered the sewers and mutated them all.

The ooze was eventually found to have been—wait for it—alien in origin.

The cartoon changed things up by having Splinter actually be Yoshi himself, while the movies went back to the original version. The ooze itself was from “normal” human experimentation in the cartoons and movies and in a later comic reboot, the turtles were never pets, but part of a military lab experiment.

In some versions, the ooze was just a horrible smelling, clothes and carpet staining nightmare for moms across America.

So why can’t they be aliens and mutants?

After all, there are Skrulls in Marvel Comics that were mutants and trained by Professor Xavier. To us on Earth, they’d be aliens and mutants.

Who’s to say that, when all is said and done, these new alien turtles weren’t mutated, considering the original ooze came from another world anyway?

Where they came from isn’t what’s important.

It’s what they become, and why they do what they do, whether for vengeance in the comics, or adventure in the cartoons.

It’s not like Batman, who, without the killing of his parents, isn’t Batman.

Likewise, Spider-Man needs to be bitten by a radioactive spider and Uncle Ben has to die. The spider, the key to that whole origin, differs in where it came from across different versions, just like who killed Batman’s parents did.

But the spider always bites Peter and Uncle Ben always dies, even though his killer and circumstances changes across different media, too; the Waynes are always gunned down in Crime Alley.

Sorry, kid, those are the rules.

Whether they’re pets or aliens who got mutated doesn’t really change anything except their birthplace.

Being a former pet isn’t what drives them to be superheroes. Being from a lab isn’t what drives them to be superheroes. If they’re still teenaged, mutant in some capacity, ninjas, and turtles, that’s what should matter most, and Bay is allegedly working closely with one of the original creators to flesh this out more.

So why don’t we all wait, follow Bay’s advice, and chill?

This may be good, it may suck and honestly if the ooze is removed completely I won’t be happy with it, but let’s get the whole story before breaking out the pitchforks and torches.

And, seriously, if something like this is destroying your childhood, you likely have bigger issues to worry about.

Trust me.

Your childhoods are still chaste.

Well, except Jem. But she was always truly, truly outrageous anyway.




    March 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Well said, and surprisingly rational. I loved GI Joe and Transformers Growing up, and I still watch them on the Hub.

    Saw the first two Bay movies, and have no real intention of seeing the third or the GI Joe Movie. But none of them have erased the 1986 Transformers Cartoon from my DVR or stop me from enjoying them when I want to.

    If the new movie is good, great! That'll be another medium to enjoy. If not, that's fine too. I can go back to reading Eastman and Laird.

  2. Drew Larson

    March 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    It is not that they turned the turtles into aliens it is that Michael Bay turned them into aliens. The truth of it may actually be that the writers or marketing turned them into aliens but Bay was the one who said it. The internet shot the messenger and it they shot him because they felt they already had grounds to do so.

    Saying Bay raped our childhood isn’t saying he has ruined everything that has come before but that he has ruined everything will come next. It is still an exaggeration but it is a voice of disproval of Bay. People think he will ruin TMNT and they are justified in think it. Just because he was allowed to adapt Transformers doesn’t mean we lost our right to object to him adapting anything else.

    I will agree it is sad that this is what it takes to get people upset and vocal but you know what? It has to start somewhere. So I say lets lose our shit and flip some damn tables and maybe get something to happen. Today it may only be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but tomorrow it might be first step actual social change.

    I’ll proudly fly the green flag of social change.

  3. Charles J. Baserap

    March 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Well, I understand being upset, but it's the hyperbole and threats and anger that I personally object to simply on the grounds of its inanity, you know what I mean?

    I'd never say to not be upset, but rather to not carry on like a bunch of children.

    One thing a lot of people are forgetting is that, yes, people were upset with Transformers, but it made over a BILLION dollars as a franchise.

    The comic/cartoon group of people is a niche and the general public–who don't really care if an adaptation is faithful because they weren't familiar enough with the source material to begin with–more than outnumber the few.

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