So something of a bombshell has rocked the Turtle fan community with the reveal in issue 95 of the ongoing comic book from IDW that Jennika, everyone’s favorite assassin turned caretaker has been mutated into a turtle. Surprisingly, this reveal has been accepted much more openly than I was expecting. While there is the occasional comparison/complaint to and about Venus de Milo, Jennika’s recent mutation has been something that has everyone talking and anxiously waiting to find out what’s next. This got me thinking, who are some of the other Turtles that our favorite Heroes in a Half-Shell have had run in and out of their life?
I’m not even going to pretend that I know who this character is. I know, I’ supposed to turn in my fan card, right? So Kerma is a being known as a Turtleoid from the planet Shell-Ri-La (hahahaha) who enlists the aid of the Turtles to protect his far away planet from a massive two-headed dragon named Herman the Horrible, a monster intent on destroying Kerma’s homeworld. I love the old 80’s TMNT cartoon, but whoever wrote this episode wasn’t exactly sober, were they?
Who doesn’t love a mutated alligator snapping turtle of low intelligence and unusual size? Making his debut in TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze, Tokka is a one of Shredder’s mutant lackeys that I’m gonna guess is a stand in for Rocksteady…? I only say that because of the two new mutants introduced in that first sequel (the other being his wolf-buddy Rahzar), he’s the one that talks the most and seems the best at problem solving/getting stuck in sewer openings. Plus, you can’t beat a voice by Frank Welker.
After the third live-action Turtles film, there were plans for a fourth film called The Next Mutation. This fourth film would see the Turtles and Splinter continue to mutate. On top of all of that, they would also be introduced to a fifth Turtle named Kirby who heralded from an another dimension. Rumor has it that Kirby would have seen himself become a member of the team by the end of the film. After the fourth films was scrapped, Kirby was massively redesigned and reappeared as Venus de Milo in the Next Mutation television show on Fox Kids.
Kind of odd that Kirby has four fingers and three toes, huh?
So this might be something of a stretch, but I think Zach is awesome. The story of a boy who loved his heroes so much that he dressed and acted like them is something I think more of us can relate to than we would like to admit. Zach was a kid that wanted to be one of the Ninja Turtles, he idolized them. They were his heroes, and much like Incredi-Boy in the decades since, he put on a mask and went out to help his hero(s). Sure, this kid might be a little annoying, but I think we find him to be that way, because we all were this kid at one point.
There’s no way to have a list of the best fifth turtles in the TMNT and not include Metalhead. Originally designed as a weapon for Krang, Metalhead had the vast combat experience and knowledge of all four Ninja Turtles, and Shredder, making this tin titan quite possibly the most physical threat the Turtles have ever faced. Thankfully, Metalhead made his debut in a cartoon, and everything worked itself out in about twenty minutes, and Metalhead spent the rest of his days as the Turtles maid…wait, what?
Venus de Milo
I won’t spend much more time on this one than I already have, as I have spoken about Venus at length over the past couple of years. I heard it put that Venus was forced upon the fans and not a well-established character. But in reality, while her origin story is a bit shaky, people got pissed off because she was a girl turtle. I’m not here to tell people what to like, but honestly, while she might be in a bit of a ridiculous (albeit funny) show, her character didn’t deserve the backlash it got.