agoodshinkickin [at] gmailGame Cast:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol 1 (Mirage)Canon Point:
The very end of issue #4 (http://tmntentity.blogspot.com/2010/08/tmnt-vol-1-4.html
The New York City of the TMNT Mirage Volume One universe is a stereotype, wrapped in a cliche, tied up with the bright pink bow of parody. It's the kind of place you get when you allow two underemployed artists from New England access to a stack duo-tone paper, a late night television line-up chock full of bad 1980s police procedurals and kung-fu movies, topped off with juuuust the slightest bit too much weed.
The world the Turtles inhabit bears a striking resemblance to that of the Marvel Universe circa the early 1980s. There are superheroes, aliens, ninjas, crime bosses, and at one point Lovecraftian abominations all living alongside a majority of normal people.
(Normal people who seem to black belts in Somebody Else's Problem Field Generation. Or at very least that’s my theory for how the world continues to go about its mundane business, seemingly ignorant of the ongoing strangeness happening all around them. Why else do people seem to not notice five foot tall bipedal turtles wearing only trenchcoats and fedoras as disguises?)
The comparison to the Marvel Universe isn’t by accident, but by creator design. The first issue of “TMNT” had intended to be a stand-alone spoof of Frank Miller’s early 1980s run on the Marvel comic “Daredevil.”
-Matt Murdock, the man behind the Daredevil mask, has a martial arts mentor named Stick.
-The Turtles have a martial arts mentor named Splinter.
-Daredevil fights the evil ninja organization called The Hand.
-The Turtles fight the evil ninja organization called The Foot.
-Matt Murdock is blinded while diving into the street to save an old man from being hit by a truck. The truck swerves at the last second which causes a canister of radioactive waste to fall out the back, break, and spill its contents all over Murdock. This gives him superpowers, even as it takes away his vision.
-The Turtles' story has the young man diving into traffic to save the old man. It has the canister falling out of the back of the truck and striking the young man in the face. What differs is that instead of the canister breaking as it hits the young man, it bounces down the street and strikes a bowl of newly purchased turtles in the hands of an even younger man who'd just left a pet shop.
The creators even go so far as to give Miller a thank you on the inside front cover of the issue.
However the Mirage Turtle Universe is neither an extension to Marvel, nor a complete mirror. Along with the absence of the Marvel cast of characters and the existence of the pantheon of DC as fictional characters, the Mirage and Marvel universes differ in their definition and understanding of the word "Mutant."
-In the Marvel Universe a mutant is someone genetically predisposed towards some...non-typical trait or power. It's something they're born with, and that usually manifests when the person hits puberty.
-In the TMNT universe mutant is the word used to describe something augmented by some sort of mutating agent. And that finite amount of mutating agent continually flows through the blood of the creatures changed by it.
There's an issue far later on in canon, long after Mike's entrance point, where his brother Raphael is fed on by a leech. The leech then becomes intelligent, grows six feet tall, and goes on a killing spree. At one point it even assumes the identity of a local law enforcement agent. Raph, on the other hand, "devolves" back into being a normal turtle for the duration of the story.
That particular plot is a great example of the rather ridiculous nature of the stories themselves. While the characters are well-rounded and developed, the situations they find themselves in are not. They're whatever the creators happened to find funny or awesome at the time.
-Bipedal dinosaurs from outer space? Sure! Let's do that! (Triceratons)
-How about an alien race that's a tentacled brain with a face, but we'll have them moving around in robot exoskeletons so they can blend in. Great! (Utroms)
-You know what these stories need? More robots. Can we have killer robots created by a criminal genius? They don't have to be big. Sure, but can they have been partially designed by a leggy dame in a jumpsuit who happens to be a grad student in engineering? You bet! (Mousers, Baxter Stockman, April O'Neil.)
-We need more butt-kicking. How about we add in a vigilante? Oooh! I've got it! He can be just as addicted to bad tv as we are, and so it's made him a bit of a sociopath. How about instead of guns he uses sporting equipment that he carries around in a golf bag? Great! (Casey Jones.)
Which isn't to say that there’s not a cohesive storyline to the series, because there is...sort of.
The main story revolves around the themes of revenge and redemption.
At the point in canon I'm pulling Mike from there are really only three main factions at play. Well, four if one counts April.The Utroms
These are the brains with faces written about earlier. They are a peaceful race of extraterrestrial aliens that accidentally crash landed on Earth hundreds of years ago and have spent the interim time trying desperately to find a way home. Repairing or rebuilding their ship was not an option so instead they've spent th bulk of their time working on a teleportation array.
Their importance to the Turtles is two fold: Not only are they the creators of the goo that mutates the turtles, and the owners of the truck off of which the cannister containing the goo falls from, but they are also the ones responsible for the teleportation array whose malfunction will hopefully serve as Michaelangelo’s pull point into the game.The Foot Clan
A secret ninja organization very powerful in Japan, that has begun to branch out into America. The American arm of the organization is lead by Oroku Saki/The Shredder
-Oroku Saki: By day a Security Consultant, and by night is known as The Shredder. He has come to America to lead this new branch the criminal organization, as well as to search for the man who murdered his brother, a man by the name of Hamato Yoshi.
- Oroku Nagi: Older brother to Saki. A rival for the affections of a woman named Tang Shen. Nagi is murdered when Hamato Yoshi walks in of Saki not taking Shen’s “no” for an answer.
- Hamato Yoshi: Member of The Foot Clan and a contemporary of Oroku Nagi, Saki's older brother. Rather than commit ritual suicide after he killed a fellow clan member, Yoshi fled to America with his love Tan Shen and his pet rat.
The Shredder followed, eventually discovered the lovers and killed them in retribution for the death of his brother. The Mutants
- Splinter: Initially Yoshi's pet rat, and one of the few belongings the man fled Japan with after the death Oroku Nagi. Splinter's pre-mutation life was spent in a cage in Yoshi's dojo, where he learned martial arts by watching his owner practice. After Yoshi's murder at the hands of The Shredder, Splinter dedicated his post-mutation life to raising his sons to avenge his master Yoshi's death.
(How a common rat is capable of mastering a martial art by merely watching is never explained, but Splinter does just that. Of course Splinter is well over ten years old before he's mutated, so maybe he's not such a common rat after all.)
- The Turtles: Pre-mutation they were pets. Post-mutation they are trained by Splinter and tasked with the mission of seeking out The Shredder and killing him, thus restoring the honor of Hamato Yoshi by proxi.
Which they do.
The fact that they do is, to me, the defining point by which the Mirage Universe differs from the various incarnations that have followed since. The Turtles in the original comics are violent, they curse, and on occasion drink alcohol. Hardly the "turtles fight with honor" role models Saturday morning cartoons have redesigned them to be. Perpetually Caught in the Crossfire:
-April: Is a graduate student in computer engineering with a high profile internship at a well known robotics firm. One day she accidentally discovers her boss’ secret plan to re-purpose the robots they've developed to deal with the city's rodent problem to rob banks. In an effort to silence her he drops her into the sewers and unleashes a wave of robots to destroy her. The Turtles intervene, and together put an end to the robot threat. When Splinter goes missing the Turtles turn to April for help and she takes them in.
She's important for two reasons. She's the first friendly human contact the turtles have ever had, and she's the one who takes them in when the find themselves homeless. She's their mother and sister all wrapped up in one person, and they would do pretty much anything to protect her because of it. Personality:
Mike is perceived to be the youngest of the four brothers, which means that his own self perception doesn't so much revolve around the attributes he has
in comparison to his siblings, but rather the ones he doesn't
. He's not book smart like his older brother Donatello. He's not disciplined like his other older brother Leonardo. And he's not as headstrong as his other other older brother Raphael. He's...just Mike. The slacker. The prankster. The baby. The one who gets coddled.
He is the family optimist, forever defaulting to thinking the best of people and their intentions until repeatedly being proven otherwise. For Mike, hope perpetually springs anew, and everything looks better after a good night of sleep.
It should also be noted that Mike has something of a hedonist streak. He likes to sleep. He likes to eat. He likes to use his body to the fullest of its potential, so long as that potential is sought in the most fun pleasurable way possible. Sparring with his brothers is fun, running drills with them is not. The best way to engage Mike is to make something into a game. He’ll groan and kvetch about having to run laps, but will happily play ninja tag or Apple for hours. At times he can appear as if he belongs on the ADD spectrum, but it’s more that physical action comes so easily to him that his mind gets bored quickly, and where his mind drifts the rest of him is sure to follow.
Mike is an avid storyteller who gets most of his inspiration from comic books, science fiction novels, and the popular culture of the day. He dreams of someday fleshing out one of his many unfinished short stories into a novel suitable for publication.
His creativity isn't limited to words, Mike's also takes great pleasure in expressing himself in the kitchen. Most, if not all, of the cooking for the family is done by Mike, who considers himself to be quite the connoisseur. Every day is Iron Chef day when you're raised in a house with a cash flow of zero.
He's a kind and gentle soul who has a soft spot for small children and animals. On more than one occasion he's attempted to introduce wayward creatures into the family’s home to keep as pets, but to date all such requests have all been denied. The repeated denial has yet to even so much as put a dent in his endless supply of hope that one day the answer will be, Yes.
Mike is often comic relief. He is more than willing to take the fall, or be the butt of a joke, it it brings a smile to the faces of those he loves. He sees it as his personal mission in life to keep his family happy and it's because of this that he tends to be overly introspective with his own wants and desires, opting instead to put the happiness of those around him first. Any unhappiness he may be feeling is kept quiet and dealt with on his own. Usually by wearing himself out physically until the sour mood passes. In Tu Shanshu
Mike is going to be arriving very early in his canon, at a point where he’s just leaped onto a Transmat Platform that's in the process of digitizing and teleporting his brothers to parts unknown. He’s a bit panicked, very combative, and probably bleeding due to having some popped some stitches on his forearm during earlier combat. Learning that he landed somewhere that isn’t where his brothers are is going to be hard for him. Actually meeting the brothers he does
have there will be equally so, but once the initial shock wears off I’m sure he’ll be fine.
At least, that’s the hope anyway.Appearance:
Mike is a nearly five foot tall green, 145 pound, anthropomorphic turtle. He has three fingers, two true toes, a small stubby tail, and a large bony shell. Unlike a regular turtle he also has human-looking brown eyes, the ability to speak, lips, cheeks, and teeth.
Aside from the mask being the incorrect color, in Mirage Continuity the turtles all wear red bandanas, this would be the best “real world” approximation for how he would appear to someone from a world not comic or cartoon in origin:http://www.joblo.com/newsimages1/TMNTBros.jpg
There’s also this cover from the second collected trade:http://www.comics.org/issue/258666/cover/4/
Though, I’ll mostly be using icons stripped from the comics themselves:http://michaeljangelo.dreamwidth.org/iconsAbilities:
Mutant Turtle: There are certain benefits to being a nearly five foot tall mutant turtle:
- natural body armor/bullet resistance
- the ability to retract his head mostly into his shell
- polythermic metabolism. Mostly cold blooded, but has the ability to generate heat through activity.
- ability to jump 15 feet straight up
- can hold his breath for a longer duration under water, depending on activity.
- adept at swimming
- can easily lift and carry 160 pounds, and deadlift close to 300 pounds
Martial Arts; life-long practitioner:
- expert in hand to hand ninjitsu
- skilled at gymnastics and climbing,
- Proficient with many different martial arts weapons, but prefers close combat weapons that highlight his speed and dexterity.
- Can pick both locks and pockets, and he excels at sleight of hand
Mike is a formidable opponent to fight against, not because of his discipline and/or form, but because of his seemingly endless energy. He's a natural athlete who tends to skate by on his gifts, rather than expend a whole lot of effort with practice.
Think Ferris Bueller...but with a shell.Inventory:
[Scan of comic page]
Mike will be arriving with precious little when he crash lands into the world of Tu_Shanshu.
-One leather belt, brown
- Two leather elbow pads, brown
- Two leather knee pads, brown
- One bandana style mask, red
- One pair nunchaku, hardwood with cord
- One pair ninja climbing claws
- One set (3) throwing knives, black steel
- One set (3) shuriken, black steelSuite:
On his own Mike would be perfectly happy to set up shop in the Wood district, and not just because of the endless opportunities to make “wood” related jokes. Though, let’s face it...that would also be a factor. However, the moment he learns there are other turtles like him to be found elsewhere in this brave new world he’s found himself in, no power in the ‘Verse will keep him from Water.
The number of floors to his suite would be inconsequential to him. At this point in canon he’s only just started living above street level for the first time, so anything with a window will be amazing to him.In-Character Samples:Third Person:
"It'll be there," he said to himself as he ran at a breakneck pace across the rooftops of the West Side. His silent footfalls landing in time to the rhythm of his heart. Every step closer to 11th and Bleeker served to raise his spirits just that much more.
He'd been stupid to go to The Lair. Of course that wouldn't be there. He shouldn't have been surprised that he was unable to find even the slightest trace of his family in those forgotten subterranean rooms buried deep beneath 49th Street. Not after the Mouser Attack. And certainly not after whatever those things were that kidnapped Splinter. In the back of Mike's mind there's a brief flash of the memory of his Master, his Father, floating motionless in a tank that causes a chill to run down his spine.
Mike shakes his head to free himself from the mental image. "It's got to be there." He continues to run.
No it was a stupid waste of time, going to their now long since abandoned home. Mike imagines Donatello rolling his eyes when he hears the story. Leonardo will get that look he always gets right before he unleashes yet another of his, "You should have known better," lectures. Raphael? He'll just laugh. Maybe level a punch at Mike's shoulder right before he sarcastically calls the youngest brother a "Rocket Scientist."
"It's totally going to be there," he says with his wide beaming smile returning.
Splinter will be there too, of course. Expression impassive save for the tell of his nervously twitching tail. Waiting for the baby of the family to return. Mike already knows what he'll do when he sees his father. He'll bow low and respectful, just like he was taught. Then after an approving nod Splinter's and smile appears, Mike will rush in for a hug. Splinter hugs are the best hugs. They are warm, smell of incense and tea, and remind him of when the old rat would comfort him until night terrors that used to plagued him as a kid would subside.
He looks up and can just see the beginning of the treetops of the playground on Bleeker Street and laughs. There's a renewed spring to his step and he runs faster than he ever has before. Just one more rooftop and he'll be home. Just one more building and he'll see his family. He cranes his neck to see the sign. The comforting sign that reads: The Magnolia Bakery.
He stops quick, his momentum nearly throwing him off the edge of the roof.
No. No, that sign is supposed to read "Second Time Around." There's no bakery there. There's an antique store. The one April inherited after her father had suffered a stroke.
"No. NO this isn't right. That's not supposed to be there!" he can't stop himself from shouting just before his legs buckle and he falls to his knees on the tarpaper roof.
He is alone.
For the first time ever in his life, he is alone.
The weight of this realization is nearly too much to bear, and now the brother usually dubbed the most human of the bunch howls like the injured animal he really is.Network:
[Video][The feed springs to life, and in the center of the frame is what appears to be an empty folding table. A green face dips in upside down from the topmost margin of the screen. His bright brown eyes dart from the monitor to the table and then back again.]
That’s in shot, right? Groovy.[The skin around his eyes crinkles, and there's a rather sizable smile in his tone. Then, as abruptly as he appears, he's gone. Though, close observers may notice a quick green blur on the left disappear behind the table. ] [On top of the breakfast bar appears a hand written sign proclaiming this production to be an episode of
"Flat Broke Gourmet: Tu Vishan on $0 a Day"]
And here's your host! Michaelangelo![The sign is once again lowered, and our host rises from behind the table. He's a barely five foot tall turtle, and he's smiling at you.]
Hi! And welcome to the Flat Broke Gourmet. I'm your host, Michaelangelo. And today we're going to attempt to create one of my favorite no-money-down recipes: Tuna Casserole Surprise. Mmmm. Delicious.
Now were we on Earth, say the late 20th Century, the trick would be to find the right market-slash-bodega to shop at. [Insert finger quotes here.]
And when I say shop, what I really mean is dumpster dive. As any highly trained dumpster diver knows, you can't just apply your craft just anywhere willy-nilly. For the highest quality products you want to look for somewhere high end enough that they actually believe Sell By Dates are non-negotiable, but not so fancy that they won't carry the ingredients you'll need for whatever recipe you've decided to call dinner.
Of course here, things are just a touch different, and so we’re going to have to do more than a little bit of substitution in the ingredient arena in order to make our Tuna Surprise work. And what are those ingredients? Well, for Tuna Surprise... [He leans to one side and pulls cutting board into the frame, on it the ingredients have been carefully arranged. A green three-fingered hand points out each ingredient as they are named.]
First off we have ramen noodles. No subs needed here because a universe without ramen is no universe at all. The role of canned tuna fish will be played by this pickled cooked white fish of some sort that I found at the market. We’ll also be adding this, judging by its color and consistency, coconut-based sauce of questionable origin in place of the cream of mushroom soup. And last, but certainly not least, chow mein-style noodles. Very important, those noodles. They'll be providing the critical crumb topping, but wait! I'm getting ahead of myself. First we need to preheat the oven.[Mike leaves the frame presumably to preheat the oven in his suite. His voice can be heard off screen.]
You'll want to preheat your oven to something around 350 degrees. When you do this really depends on what type of oven you have, the model, the time of year, and …how long it takes for your stolen-from-the-surface-dwellers utilities to kick in.[That last one comes after Mike reappears in the frame with a mug specifically tailored for the network.]
With that done, we can turn our attention to the whole layering process. But first, we need a pan to contain the layers. I highly recommend these flat bottomed cast-iron looking pots. They’re not perfect, but...you try to find a casserole pan on the back of a giant turtle.[Here he reaches to the other side of the breakfast bar to retrieve just such a pan. Mike could give Vanna White a run for her money.]
First things first, we need to lay down our basement layer. The ramen layer.[He reaches and grabs the first brick of the dried noodles.]
Feel free to try and pull them apart if you like, I just like to lay them down like bricks. [There's another brick of noodles, then another, and another, until the entire bottom of the pan is covered.]
Now we can add the fish.[There's a brief pause where he reaches behind the counter to retrieve what appears to be a black steel Japanese-style throwing knife. If you've ever wanted to see a giant turtle open a sealed clay container of preserved pickled fish using only a throwing knife, now's your chance. Feel free to adjust your bucket lists accordingly.]
What you want to do is make sure that the fish is evenly distributed on top of the noodles. Heads will roll if some portions have more fish than others.[His face becomes a mask of pure unadulterated sincerity here. His eyes narrow.]
I'm not kidding. People could get hurt. [In an instant his smile returns.]
Feel free to dump whatever liquid came in the container with the fish. A little extra moisture never hurt this recipe. It is strong like bull. [Don't ask what accent he just employed. It probably doesn't exist anywhere other than his brain. He finishes the fish application, and then brings over the container of thick sauce, which he also opens using the same knife technique.]
Now we'll pour the sauce on the noodles like so. You may need more than one jar to accomplish this, but trust me, it'll be worth it when the noodles absorb all the juices. But what really locks in the flavor is the crisp, crunchy, chow mein crust. And to help me make that I'm going to call upon my lovely assistant Raphael. Raph! Go long![He picks up a couple of containers of of dried noodles and lobs them to someone off screen, presumably Raph. And judging by the speed at which the bags are returned to Mike...or shall we say Mike's head, it's clear that Raph wants nothing to do with the proceedings. Mike manages to duck his head into his shell ever so slightly so as to avoid the the first on coming projectile. It's just a shame he doesn’t block the second, which hits him just the right way to cause him to step back...and accidentally pull the tablecloth with him. The contents of his meal follow soon after. He then slips on the floor and disappears from the frame entirely.]
Uh...we'll be right back, after this brief commercial break.