Venus (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
|Venus de Milo|
|Publisher||Saban Entertainment |
|First appearance||Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation episode #1|
|Created by||Kevin Eastman|
|Voiced by||Lalainia Lindbjerg|
|Alter ego||Mei Pieh Chi|
|Team affiliations||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|
|Abilities||Apprentice shinobi and shaman|
Venus de Milo (often shortened to simply Venus) is a fictional character within the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. She first appeared in the television series, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. There, she was portrayed by Nicole Parker and voiced by Lalainia Lindbjerg. She was the only female turtle prior to the introduction of Jennika in the IDW continuity in 2019, and the only turtle named after a work of art, rather than an artist.
Fictional character biography
Venus was one of five turtles exposed to mutagen in the sewers. When Splinter gathered up all the turtles, he mistakenly left Venus behind. Somehow making her way to Chinatown, she was discovered by a shinobi magician called Chung I. Chung I took the turtle with him to China where he raised her as a daughter and named her Mei Pieh Chi. He also trained the turtle in the art of Shinobi.
Apparently, Chung I would, on occasion, travel to the realm of dreams and encounter Splinter. Each swapped stories of their turtles, choosing to keep them a secret until the time was right. In his possession, Chung I also had a glass mirror, within which were trapped humanoid Dragons. It was Chung I's purpose to make sure the Dragons would never escape the mirror. The Dragons eventually crossed over into the realm of dreams, attacking Chung I and kidnapping Splinter's spirit. On his deathbed, Chung I revealed to the female turtle her true origin and told her her place was in New York.
The female turtle traveled to New York, where she encountered the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles watching over the spiritless body of their master. After helping the turtles put an end to Shredder and the Foot Clan, she led them on a dream walk to rescue their master's spirit. Unbeknownst to her, the Dragons used this opportunity to enter the physical world.
To celebrate their seeming victory, the five turtles and Splinter went for a picnic in the park but, were attacked by the Dragons. In the struggle, a statue of a woman was damaged when its arms broke off. Upon winning the battle, Mei Pieh Chi took the statue with her to the lair. This earned her the nickname of Venus de Milo after the famous statue, mimicking the other Turtles' artist namesakes.
Venus seemed to have lived a sheltered life in China. Over the course of the series, Venus was portrayed as blissfully ignorant of some parts of western life and culture and, at times, equally naïve towards life in general. While proficient in fighting techniques, Venus was not trained in Ninjutsu like her brothers and thus, she would often use mystical orbs in battle (to various degrees of success).
It was established early on in the series that, while the four turtles were raised as brothers, none of them (including Venus) were biologically related. This was done by the writers so as not to eliminate the possibility of a romantic relationship between Venus and one of the four male turtles, with hints leading primarily to Raphael and Leonardo.
After the cancellation of the show, an informal "second season" was formed on the official website, consisting of letters "written by" each of the turtles (the site has since been removed because of the sale to Viacom). An online dated October 1997 and called "Venus' Venerations" was added to the website, chronicling Venus' adventures alongside the turtles.
After co-creator, Kevin Eastman, sold his share of the property to Peter Laird, "Venus' Venerations" was discontinued and Venus' letters were removed from the site. The rest of the Turtles' letters, however, remained and no explanation was given for Venus' sudden disappearance.
In the Image Comics series, writer Gary Carlson received only a few rules on what not to do, one of which being: "No female turtles." Venus was, however, parodied in the twelfth issue of the third volume, when an alien named Lurch transformed into a female turtle looking very similar to Venus. Some issues were even advertised with the slogan: "No girl turtle guaranteed."
In other media
- In the 50th episode of Robot Chicken, titled, "Moesha Poppins" (2007), Venus makes a very short cameo in a "Where Are They Now" sketch, revealing that, after being kicked off the team, she tried to flush herself down the toilet and drowned.
- In an episode of 2012's TMNT animated TV series, Raphael paints a female turtle-human hybrid (done in the style of fifties pin-up girls), on the side of the Turtles' new Party Wagon, which Donatello admires it approvingly. The painting was named "Venus". In a later episode, Michelangelo gets captured in a trap that will give him a second mutation. He pictured mutating into a female turtle, which is positioned in the same posture as Venus in her promotional image, sitting and leaning back sensually.
- In the season 2 episode of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, "The Clothes Don't Make the Turtle", after chasing Hypnopotamus throughout a magician museum, Raphael gets startled by a moving statue bust of a female magician and punched it to the floor. Leonardo then catches it and scolds Raphael for nearly breaking "Venus de Magic, the Queen of quick-change!". A sly reference of how Venus "quickly-changed" the franchise.
Original Turtles creator Peter Laird has called the idea of a fifth turtle "creatively bankrupt" During an interview, Kevin Munroe, director of the TMNT animated film, elaborated on Peter Laird's instructions saying that, "There’s absolutely no mention of Venus de Milo, the female Turtle. You can’t even joke about that with Peter. It’s just one of those things that he hates with a passion."
Despite being trained in the art of "Shinobi," a Japanese word synonymous with ninja, Venus' master is Chinese, reinforcing controversial Pan-Asianism.
- "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles On TV". IGN. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- Kevin Eastman (w), Dave Wachter (p). "City at War, Part 3" Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #95 (July 3, 2019), IDW Publishing
- "Venus' Venerations". ninjaturtles.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2000. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- E-mail interview with Gary Carlson, Retrieved July 6, 2010.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 3 #12, Retrieved July 6, 2010.
- http://comixsecrethq.blogspot.ca/2013/11/the-fifth-turtles.html, Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- "A few musings on "Turtles as aliens"". Peter Laird's TMNT Blog. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
- "Director Kevin Munroe on TMNT". Animated-Views.com. April 9, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2007.
- "TMNT: The Rennaissance [sic] Reptiles Return". Kung Fu Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2010.