When I was a kid, there were no Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There were plenty of mutant other things though. Every Saturday, there were black and white sci-fi thrillers about giant ants, shrinking men, and terrible accidents that made terrifying hybrids, like a man with a fly's head.
It was a crazy time way back then. But nothing really changes at all, does it?
Everyone thought that science had gone mad and that the after effects of nuclear explosions and wild and dangerous experiments would be the end of us all. So is it a real surprise that, out of the unrest and fear of the arms race in the 1980s, Turtles of the Mutant variety with highly sought after Ninja skills would be born? I think not.
Suddenly, in 1984, to the gentle strains of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," two guys somewhere put pen to paper and, with tongue firmly in cheek, invented the Hello Kitties of the amphibian world: super-charged Turtles (of all things) who were mentored by an equally mutated, but infinitely wise rat called "Splinter.” The turtles had many friends and foes, both mutant and not, animal and human, and possibly mineral. The Turtles were like that, the friends of all the downtrodden souls. And who is more downtrodden than a stone?
Bless their round and masked heads, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been the stars of five feature films, over 20 seasons of TV episodes, and 26 years in comic books. They are wise-cracking smart-alecks, and every bit as much of a cultural touchstone as The Force or that guy in a bat suit.
I wish that I could invent something someday that it is as enduring as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You know, like the afore mentioned Hello Kitty…or automobile insurance. No one would remember who I was, but my creation would live on forever. Like taxes.
Oh, and don't forget: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is in theaters now! Don't wait. Go now. I mean it.
Also, you can buy tons of Turtle stuff here. You know you want to.