The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a new member. Issue #95 of the IDW Publishing ongoing revealed the transformation of Jennika into a Turtle. IDW later revealed that Jennika will join the Turtles on a permanent basis. Every Turtle needs a color-coded mask, and Jennika’s will be yellow. Speaking to ComicBook.com at San Deigo Comic-Con 2019, Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman revealed how he and his co-plotters decided on Jennika’s color.
“That was again, Tom [Waltz], its like I can't say enough about the vision that he has for the stuff, I feel like,” Eastman says. “Now I say like, you know if we're riding in the car Tom's in the driver's seat. [Editor and co-plotter Bobby Curnow]'s riding shotgun and I'm in cheerleading in the back and we all sort of come up with this directional stuff, but it's really Tom's lead and because of Jennika's original design and her blonde hair he wanted that yellow bandana.”
That’s a simple enough explanation. It’s also been speculated that the yellow mask may be an homage to Sophie Campbell, the artist who designed Jennika for the series. Campbell wrote a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan comic called Secrets of the Ooze that features a female mutant turtle named Artemisia who wears yellow face paint.
Campbell will take over lead writer duties from Waltz with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #101. She’ll continue to collaborate with Waltz, Curnow, and Eastman in charting the direction of the Turtles series.
Eastman also told ComicBook.com about where the idea to create Jennika came from. “And so Jennika came in as a character to sort of a plot point,” Eastman says. “We love the idea of strong women. We love the idea of strong female characters in our series, as well as all the comic series and movies. So we introduce her as this character in issue 51. Every issue we brought her back and we loved her more and more. And then around issue, between 60, 65 we had this idea. Because we wanted a girl turtle. We go to comic conventions, you know fans, we have these lovely young ladies that come up and you know, we got Captain Marvel and you got these things where they go, ‘When is there gonna be a girl turtle?’ And Tom and I are like, ‘We've been planning it for three years now.’ And so, just as it worked out storyline-wise, issue 95 was the moment to bring that to be.”
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