Mighty Mutanimals

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Mighty Mutanimals was a comic book spin-off from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures distributed by Archie Comics. The Mutanimals were a team of mutant animals who were allies of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Premise[edit]

Mighty Mutanimals was first published as a three-issue mini-series released between May and July 1991, which was later released in a collection in Winter 1991. A follow-up regular series totalling nine issues was released from April 1992 until June 1993.

After cancellation, the Mutanimals received their own 7-part backup-series in the pages of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures beginning in issue 48 and ending in issue 54. This series saw the assassination of the Mutanimals at the hands of the high-tech Gang of Four. Issues 55-57 continued the aftermath of their death and its effect on the Turtles' storyline.

The Mighty Mutanimals made a small cameo appearance in Tales of the TMNT #58. Dean Clarrain, Ken Mitchroney, Mike Kazaleh, and Garrett Ho all worked on the comic book mini-series.

A new version of the Mutanimals also appears in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IDW Comic series, in which Mondo Gecko and Slash reprise their roles as part of its membership.

Principal members[edit]

Dreadmon[edit]

Dreadmon is a character from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comic book[1] and the Archie Comics' Mutanimals.[1][2] The character is a native of South Africa. During the uprisings his father sent him and his mother to Jamaica where they suffered from poverty turning Dreadmon into a thief. One day he stole a talisman that transformed him into a part-man, part-red wolf creature with super speed. The creature was friends with the Ninja Turtles and he eventually joined the Mutanimals with his close friend, Jagwar.[1]

Jagwar[edit]

Jagwar was the child of a union between the magical Jaguar Spirit and a tribal woman named Juntarra. After his mother left to continue her personal quest (completing "The Path of the Four Winds"), the twelve-year-old magical being lived in the rainforests of Brazil until his discovery by the TMNT in issue #14, when they were dropped off in his homeland by Cudley. His membership among the Mutanimals came soon after.

Leatherhead[edit]

Mondo Gecko[edit]

Mondo Gecko was created by Mirage Studios artist Ryan Brown.

In the comics, Mondo Gecko had started out as a human skateboarder playing in a local heavy metal band, whose girlfriend, Candy Fine (see below) stuck by him even after some of Krang's discarded Mutagen, as the band practices in Shredder's former hideout, merged his DNA with that of his pet gecko. It was this version of the character whose story was incorporated into both the Mutanimals series and the action figure line.

Mondo Gecko will appear in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles voiced by Robbie Rist.

Ray Fillet[edit]

Ray Fillet (originally known as Man Ray) was once a marine biologist named Jack Finney who worked at the Burroughs Aquarium in New Jersey. He originated in the Archie Comics version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Jack met the TMNT at the aquarium where he explained his origin. Jack was exposed to Mutagen after he climbed into a pipe on Bayview Beach that was polluting the water. Jack needed proof of the illegal dumping and after finding the mutagen coming out of the pipe he climbed into it to try to find an emissions leak. Bebop and Rocksteady had accidentally spilled a barrel of mutagen down the sewer which washed Jack into the river and he became a mutant manta ray. Ray first met the TMNT after first saving them from a torpedo that Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady shot at them from a submarine and defeating Shredder under water. When Ray brought Shredder to the shore Shredder kicked sand in his face and escaped. That is when the turtles showed up. Later on, he joined up with the Mutanimals, and the group received a spin-off series from Archie comics entitled "The Mighty Mutanimals."

Ray Fillet was also made into an action figure, and appeared in one video game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters for the Sega Genesis. Ray also saved the turtles from the Shredder in issue number three of the 1989 Ralston Purina Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cereal mini comic book series. He was created by Mirage Studios' artist Ryan Brown.

Wingnut and Screwloose[edit]

Wingnut is a heroic humanoid alien bat who was created by Mirage Studios artist Ryan Brown and appeared in the 1987 cartoon series. He comes from the Archie comics version, TMNT Adventures and The Mighty Mutanimals. His partner is an alien mosquito named Screwloose. Screwloose seems to be the brighter of the two.

The pair are not mutants, but the only surviving members of an alien race after Krang invaded their planet Dexion V in the Huanu system and wiped out everyone but those two. Screwloose's sting would calm the sometimes insane Wingnut. According to Screwloose, their two species shared a symbiotic relationship. Wingnut's species would provide Screwloose's with blood, while Screwloose's species' bite was the only means of the other species' sleep.

Wingnut and Screwloose appear in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Zach and the Alien Invaders" voiced by Rob Paulsen and Townsend Coleman. The two of them plotted to mind-control the children in a plot to take over the city. Wingnut and Screwloose's planse were thwarted by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Wingnut originally made his debut as a bad guy and an ally of Shredder in issue number two of the 1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cereal mini-comic book by Ralston Purina.

Reserve members[edit]

Merdude[edit]

Merdude is a merman-like creature.

In the Archie Comics, Alim was a boy who was born 5,000 years ago. When Alim fell into the sea, he ended up in a part where mutagen was and became a mutant merman. Many years later, Merdude befriended the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and later became a reserve member of the Mighty Mutanimals.

Merdude appears the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Atlantis Awakes" voiced by Kevin Schon. In this show, Merdude's real name is Alim Coelacanth who is a deformed merman who is the true ruler of Atlantis.

Slash[edit]

Allies[edit]

Candy Fine[edit]

Candy Fine is Mondo Gecko's girlfriend in the Archie TMNT Universe. Devoted to Mondo and loving him until the end, she remained at his side after he was mutated, and accompanied him when he joined the Mighty Mutanimals. Aside from Slash, she was the only survivor of Null's Mutanimal massacre in the TMNT Adventure's Terracide storyline. She listens to nothing except 1980s heavy metal music which she loved most of all, and attended every one of her lover's practices and gigs.

Ninjara[edit]

Her real name is Umeko, but for reasons that were never fully revealed she goes by the name "Ninjara." She is generally accepted as Raphael's girlfriend in the TMNT Archie comic series. While Splinter first thought she was an "atomic child", she actually was once a part of an ancient race of humanoid foxes living on a hidden island off the coast of Japan. She ended up becoming a thief and assassin for the villainous dog-man Chien Kahn, but then had a change of heart when she met the Turtles and fell in love with Raphael. She helped out on many missions, from the Far and the Middle East to Dimension X. Her family life was explored more in detail when her younger brother managed to track her down and convince her to come back home. The Turtles discovered the island was hidden by fog banks, but despite this, it had been discovered by an opportunistic, greedy hunter. She was a powerful member of the team from issue #29 until issue #70, when the relationship between her and Raphael came to an end due to personal differences.

Splinter[edit]

The Ninja Turtles[edit]

Other Allies[edit]

Glub Lubs[edit]

Kid Terra[edit]

Cancellation[edit]

The Mighty Mutanimals own title was cancelled due to faltering sales in 1993. However the team continued to appear in their own backup stories in the on-going Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures. However, during the "Megadeath" arc of the Mighty Mutanimals, and the "Future Shark" trilogy arc of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, all of the characters were killed off.

The creator of the Mutanimals, Ryan Brown, has stated that the reason for this decision was that the Mutanimals were supposed to be something completely different from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Since the series, and proposed cartoon show, were cancelled, he no longer wanted his creation to become a second-fiddle act. Instead, he thought The Mutanimals could have a much more lasting impact if they were killed off.[citation needed]

Rereleases[edit]

  • The original 3-issue Mighty Mutanimals miniseries has been collected in IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Volume 6
  • Issue #6 will be released in IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Volume 9 on January 27, 2015.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Dreadmon at the Comic Book DB. Retrieved 2008-1-22.
  2. ^ Mighty Mutanimals at ninjaturtles.com. Retrieved 2008-1-22.