The creators of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are reuniting for a new TMNT story for the first time in decades. Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird will join forces once again to work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin. They’re joined by writer Tom Waltz and artist Andy Kuhn. Published by IDW Publishing, The Last Ronin will debut in the summer of 2020. A house ad for the project appears in today’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100 but provides no further details. Eastman and Waltz have worked together on all 100 issues of IDW’s ongoing TMNT series, which is now the longest-running TMNT comic ever. Issue #100 is Waltz’s final issue writing scripts for the series.
Eastman and Laird created Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1984. It achieved more popularity than either creator would have expected and that newfound success took a toll on their relationship. By 1993, the two had a falling out and stopped working together. In 2000, Eastman sold most of his stake in the franchise to Laird and the mirage group. In 2008, Eastman sold his remaining stake. The last time the two collaborated creatively was on the cover to IDW Publishing’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 30th Anniversary Special in 2014.
In 2009, Laird sold the rights to the franchise to Viacom. Laird maintained the rights to publish black and white TMNT comics through his Mirage Studios company, which had begun publishing Turtles comics again in 2001. Only two new issues of the Mirage series have been released since then, both online and four years apart, with the latest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #32, debuting in 2014.
In 2011, Eastman began working with the franchise again. Viacom licensed its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics to IDW, and Eastman joined the series as a co-writer and occasional artist. He’s also worked on some of Nickelodeon’s more recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons and consulted on Paramount Pictures’ reboot of the film series.
The Netflix documentary series The Toys That Made Us spotlighted the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise in an episode of its most recent season. The episode got the two creators back together for the first time in years and ended with Eastman and Laird drawing the Turtles together again as they did in the early days of the franchise.
Are you excited to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creators back together again? Let us know what you think in the comments. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100 is on sale now.