Casey Jones (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
||This comics-related article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (October 2009)|
|First appearance||Raphael #1 Micro Series (1985)|
|Created by||Kevin Eastman|
|Full name||Arnold Bernid "Casey" Jones|
|Team affiliations||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|
|Notable aliases||Space Case, Hockey Man, Hockey Masked Vigilante, Mr. Jones|
|Abilities||Skilled at armed and unarmed combat
Master of stealth
Arnold Bernid "Casey" Jones is a fictional character from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and all related media. Like the turtles, Casey Jones is a vigilante, and was created as a parody of vigilante characters that were in comics. Casey wears a hockey mask and sometimes cut-off biking gloves and carries his weapons in a golf bag over his shoulder.
His weapons include baseball bats, golf clubs, cricket bats, and hockey sticks. He is a master of stealth, as he has never been caught by the NYPD despite his bizarre appearance. In most installments, he becomes a love interest of April O'Neil.
When Jones was young, his father, Herb, owned a shop. A group of Purple Dragon members (lead by a young Hun) burned the shop down, killed him and took his wife and daughter hostage. The badly beaten Casey refuses to lie down and takes Hun’s blows. He attacks Hun with a knife, stabbing him in the neck. Enraged, Hun beats him to within an inch of his life. It seems that the beating he took from Hun as a teenager resulted in several mental and emotional disorders, explaining his often violent and erratic behavior.
It is later revealed by one of the initial creators (Kevin Eastman) that they had intended for Casey to have become a vigilante because he watched too many bad cop shows (like Peter Laird used to), as opposed to the more overused storyline where the hero does so after seeing their family killed in front of them. However, this is semi-retconned when writer Tristan Huw Jones imported his 2003 TV series back-story, in Tales issue #56.
New York City, where Jones is from, was overrun by criminals. Enticed by examples from TV, Casey decided to do something about the crime in the streets. After equipping himself with a hockey mask and various sports clubs, he began his vigilante campaign.
He started his career with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when he ran into Raphael beating up a pair of muggers. When Raphael let them go, he proceeded to "finish them off" but was stopped by Raphael. The two clashed but eventually helped each other take down additional muggers that appeared during their fight.
Casey first appeared in the Raphael solo issue "Me, Myself and I". Raphael runs into Casey beating some muggers and proceeds to stop him before the crooks are murdered. Jones and Raphael fight several times before making peace with each other. Later, he comes to the aid of the Turtles, Splinter and April O'Neil when they are attacked by the resurrected Shredder at April's home. The seven escape, and retreat to a farmhouse in Northampton, Massachusetts that once belonged to Casey's grandmother. Casey "officially" becomes a part of the Turtles' family around this point, and the farmhouse acts as a second home to the group for some time.
In the Mirage series, Casey is extremely violent, even more so than Raphael, but he mellows throughout the course of the series. In Shades of Gray, Casey accidentally kills a teenager who tried to mug him. The incident sent him into a drunken spiral, damaging his relationship with April O'Neil. His initial homicidal tendencies are especially present in his first appearance, although he never actually murders anyone in that instance.
During City at War, Casey leaves the farmhouse and begins to drive to Los Angeles, planning to find April, but instead meets a pregnant woman named Gabrielle with whom he falls in love and marries. Gabrielle dies during childbirth and Casey is left to take care of her daughter, whom he names Shadow. After spreading Gabrielle's ashes, Casey returns to New York with Shadow to stay with his mother. In a chance encounter, Casey is reunited with April when she comes to buy the apartment building owned by Casey's mother. During this meeting it's revealed that Casey's real name is Arnold.
Casey repairs his relationship with April and they begin dating. By volume four, he and April are married, raising Shadow as their daughter and trying to have a child of their own. April eventually leaves Casey and Shadow when she learns that she is not human and is a product of the Kirby warp pen. As April comes to terms within herself in Alaska, Casey takes to the nightclubs to drown his sorrows. He meets up with The Foot Clan leader Karai at one of these clubs and, after a few drinks, awakens at Karai's retreat with no memory of the night before, although Karai knows something of what had happened. This plotline was left unresolved as the fourth volume came to an abrupt end.
The fourth issue of the Dreamwave Productions series (based on the 2003 animated series) focused entirely on Casey Jones. When Casey was a little kid, he was worried that his dad should give into the Purple Dragons and their protection racket, lest something bad happen. Mr. Jones becomes violent and tells Casey that he’s playing on HIS team and that a Jones never gives in (nearly punching Casey in a violent rage). Mr. Jones hears something and figures it’s the Purple Dragons breaking into his store. Casey watches as his father’s store burns to the ground. The Purple Dragon leader, Hun, then smacks Casey aside with the encouragement that his father pay up. Casey breaks a bottle and stabs Hun in the leg with it. Furious, Hun has his thugs beat Casey to a pulp. Before being thrown out of the hospital because he lacked insurance, Casey is diagnosed with brain damage from the beating. Shortly after that, Mr. Jones goes searching for Hun to get revenge and vanishes. Casey’s mom then goes searching for her husband and vanishes, too. Casey drifts off into a delusional state, reassuring himself that his father and mother are still alive, just waiting for Casey to clean the streets of all the Purple Dragons before they can return.
In the TMNT series released by IDW Publishing, Casey is a young college scholarship holder and a half-orphan. Upon his mother's death by cancer, his father became an alcoholic thug who would vent his daily frustration on his son. On one such occasion, Casey was saved from another violent beating by Raphael, who had at that time lived a solitary life as a street vagrant following his mutation (unaware that he had a family searching for him), and the two quickly became fast friends and fellow vigilantes until Raphael was reunited with his family, at which point Casey was introduced to and befriended the other three turtles as well.
1987 TMNT animated series
In the 1987 animated series, Casey Jones is a crazed vigilante who goes after all sorts of criminals, from robbers to litterers; apparently adopting a "Dirty Harry" like persona. He never takes off his mask in the series, even when once going undercover in a business suit. This version of Casey does not play as central a role as his comic book counterpart, nor does he have a friendship with Raphael or a relationship with April, though she does have his phone number, nor does he encounter her until season 5's episode Leonardo Cuts Loose. They team up with each other in episodes Night of the Rogues and Cyber-Turtles. The character appeared in only five episodes of the series. Casey was voiced by Pat Fraley. In the Japanese version, he was voiced by Issei Futamata and Akio Ōtsuka (NHK-BS2 Version).
2003 TMNT animated series
In the 2003 animated series, Jones has a much more important role. He speaks in a Brooklyn accent, voiced by Marc Thompson in English and Tokuyoshi Kawashima in Japanese. This incarnation's personality is on par with Raphael's. Raphael first meets Casey while the vigilante tries to stop a mugging. Seeing a lot of himself in Casey, Raphael tries to reason with him and prevent him from letting his anger get the best of him. Though initially uninterested in what he has to say, Casey eventually bonds with Raphael and becomes a valuable ally of the Turtles.
Casey's backstory is fleshed out over the course of the series. When he was a child, his father's shop was burned down by Hun and the Purple Dragons for being denied protection money. Despite being threatened not to, his father (Arnold Casey Jones Sr.) later went to the police over it. It is implied that he was killed for doing so. This gave Casey his hatred for crime and an essential lifelong war against the Purple Dragons. This backstory was later expanded upon in the Dreamwave comics and adopted into the Mirage series.
It is revealed in episode "The Lesson" that he and the Turtles had met when they were kids (though neither the Turtles nor Casey are aware of the truth). During a trip to the surface, the young Turtles witness bullies picking on young "Arnie". Disguising themselves as a human child, they attempt to teach him self-defense. However, their unique perspectives and attitudes resulted in more trouble than help. In the end, however, young Casey angrily jumps to the defense of a friend against the bullies, proclaiming they were no match for "Arnold Casey Jones!" (In a bit of foreshadowing, he uses a bully's hockey stick against them.)
Despite his lack of intelligence and apparent incompetence, he was early on in the series referred to by Hun as "Our (the Purple Dragon's) greatest enemy", and a fighting tournament was held to see which Dragon would have the honor of killing him, indicating how serious a threat the criminal underworld views him as.
In the series, Casey has a good heart, but is easily enraged and occasionally bumbling. He loves motorcycles. In a symbolic way, he sees the Turtles as the little brothers he never had. As such, he often comes to their aid against the Shredder, the Foot Clan, or other enemies. His main catchphrase is the battle cry "Goongala!" "The Lesson" reveals this came from young Casey being unable to pronounce a battle cry young Michelangelo kept trying to teach him. "Goongala" was the best he could come up with.
Early on, Casey meets April and there is an initial attraction. However, their conflicting personalities lead to frequent arguments at first. Over time, a serious relationship develops. In the Back to the Sewers season, Casey proposes. In the finale "Wedding Bells and Bytes", they are married, with Raphael serving as the best man, many recurring characters being in attendance and the ceremony performed by the Fugitoid. In the Fast Forward season, the Turtles and Splinter are transported to 2105, where they meet April and Casey's great grandson, Cody Jones.
2012 TMNT animated series
Casey Jones has been confirmed to appear in the second season of the 2012 animated series. In the tie-in prequel comic on the official website, Raphael spots some graffiti on a sewer wall that says, "Jones is everywhere!", which is also has his iconic hockey mask painted beside it. In a new trailer from IGN, it shows that Casey thinks he's the "Last Hope" for New York City. He seems to know about mutants, which is seen when he rescues April from Mutagen Man and is shown to be able to defeat him on his own. An interview with show creator Ciro Nieli on IGN elaborates:
- I asked about Casey Jones on the series, and Nieli replied, "Casey Jones will show up in the second season," noting he didn't want to give too much away, but that, “We'll take our time introducing him." Casey will also be a high school student, but "Maybe a couple years older – he got held back."
He later becomes a vigilante who hunts criminals, mutants and anything that he thinks threatens "his" city in the episode "The Good, The Bad and Casey Jones" and becomes an ally to the turtles, specifically Raphael who becomes his best friend. He also has rivalry with Donatello.
Casey Jones has lead roles in three of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films. In the first film, he is portrayed by Elias Koteas. He is a former professional ice hockey player who had turned vigilante. He encounters Raphael while attacking some purse-snatchers. Raphael stops Casey from harming the thieves, whereupon Casey turns his aggression on Raphael.
Casey later sees Raphael alone on a rooftop surrounded by Foot soldiers and comes to the Turtles' aid in the subsequent attack. He is referred to by Michelangelo as "Wayne Gretzky on steroids." Casey Jones joins the Turtles to assist them against the Shredder and the Foot, mentions to April that he was a professional ice hockey player until he got injured, and ultimately rescues Splinter from the Foot's headquarters and crushes the Shredder in a garbage truck. He also falls in love with April in the process.
In the third film Casey (once again portrayed by Elias Koteas) returns at the Turtles' request to assist Splinter in watching over the four honor guards that were transported to the present when the Turtles would take their place in feudal Japan. Koteas also appears as an ancestor of Jones named Whit who, like his descendant, ends up helping the Turtles despite anti-heroic tendencies. He also shows a romantic interest in April, as Casey does. It is implied that Casey had gone away for a while, explaining his absence in the second film.
Casey appears in the 2007 TMNT film, and is voiced by Chris Evans. By the time the film takes place, Casey is now in a relationship with April and he works for her shipping company as a delivery man, spending his nights continuing his vigilante activities. Through this, he meets Raphael as the Nightwatcher, becoming his sidekick - though he claims Raphael is the sidekick. At the beginning of the film, he is the only character to know that Raphael is the Nightwatcher. When he meets Raphael in costume, the latter is at first confused; Casey states, "Wasn't that hard, man. Y'know, you look like a big metal turtle," and Raphael says, rather despondently, "It's that obvious, huh?"
In 2011, an independent movie called Casey Jones was released. The film is a take on the origin story of Casey Jones as a vigilante and includes other popular characters including April, Michelangelo, and more. The film was helmed by filmmaker Polaris Banks and reportedly made on the modest independent budget of $20,000.
Casey Jones is a playable character in the NES and Sega Genesis versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters, and he appears in the background in Donatello's stage in the SNES version.
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Missions he rescues the Turtles if they lose all their health.
He is an unlockable alternate for Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus.
He also appears in the game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare.
He is not featured in the TMNT video game based on the 2007 movie, but he is briefly mentioned.
- KEVIN EASTMAN TALKS NINJA TURTLES. Screen Junkies (May 14, 2009). Retrieved November 29, 2011.
- "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" issues #48 and #49 (1992), "Shades of Gray"
- "Raphael" One-shot magazine (1985), "Blind Faith"
- Fallen Angel
- "Dragons Rising" features a flashback of Casey's father telling him the importance of doing "the right thing." In the present, Casey relates this to Hun, who replies that he "was dead wrong!"
- "Fame Mutates for Human 'Turtle' Star". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- "‘TMNT’ Filmmakers Want Bebop, Rocksteady, & Casey Jones for Sequels". Screen Rant. July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- Unofficial Character profile
- Read the comic that introduced Casey Jones at the Official Mirage Group site