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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Key Issues Part 4

Alright, I'm gonna wrap up this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles key issues series with Part 4, and basically, I'm compacting what would be Part 4 and 5 into one single post. Many of these are bargain bin buys at the moment, and many aren't noted by industry just yet.

This Part 3 link will bring you back if need be, but otherwise, let's wrap this up with the last few Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles key comics.

1st appearance of Ray Fillet
1st issue to begin original stories

As mentioned before, issue #5 to this on-going series is the one that started to introduce original stories. This comic also has the 1st appearance of Ray Fillet.

Ray Fillet was Jack Finney, a marine biologist who got exposed to the Mutagen and turned into a humanoid manta ray, which was the last thing he had come in contact with. He is also known as Man-Ray.

Man-Ray would appear often in the comics, and the character is a member of the Mutanimals. IDW would produce a four issue mini-series featuring the Mutanimals and titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals.

Whether these guys show up in a future TMNT movie is pretty much up in the air. No clue to that, but it does seem far fetched. Then again, Bebop and Rocksteady will be in the sequel so who really knows. This comic was published October, 1989.

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1st appearance of Wingnut & Screwloose

If we're talking about the Mutanimals, two other members of the team are Wingnut and his sidekick Screwloose. No mutation here for Wingnut.

Aside from being quite wacko, Wingnut is an alien bat from Dimension X, and Krang had killed off his entire species. Wingnut is an ally of the turtles.

His partner is Screwloose who is an alien mosquito also from Dimension X. Screwloose is the brains of the duo, and his entire species was destroyed by Krang as well. No surprise to why these two have a blood vendetta against Krang.

Both of these characters are members of the Mutanimals. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #8 was published February, 1990.

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1st appearance of Jagwar

The child of a magical Jaguar Spirit and a tribal woman named Juntarra, this character known as Jagwar is an ally of the turtles and a member of the Mutanimals. He is also close friends with Dreadmon.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #14 was published September, 1990 and is pretty much a bargain bin buy currently.

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1st appearance of Dreadmon

Another character who would become a member of the Mutanimals is Dreadmon. This character was a homeless Jamaican teenager and was turned into a man-wolf after stealing a mystical tailsman. He is close friends with Jagwar.

Dreadmon is super fast because of his transformation, and his first appearance is in this issue right here. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #15 was published October, 1990.

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1st appearance of Mondo Gecko

Time to bring some Heavy Metal into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In this comic series, Mondo Gecko is a skate boarder who played in a heavy metal band.

When exposed to the Mutagen, his DNA fused with that of his pet gecko. This character has been revamped since then in the cartoon and the IDW series.

Despite that fact, the character first debuted in the 18th issue of Teenage Age Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, and this is the original version of the character. Highly over-looked currently, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #18 was published March, 1991.

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1st appearance of Mutanimals

Most of the first appearances of the individual members of the Mutanimals are pretty much over-looked and not noted by Overstreet. However, Overstreet does note this issue as the first appearance of the Mutanimals.

For some reason, Overstreet has this issue as well as #20, #21, and #51 through #54 as being one of the more valuable key issues within this series, so I figure there must be some fan base backing this issue up. Issue #54 to this series has a back up story that features the death of the Mighty Mutanimals.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #19 from the 2nd series was published April, 1991, and may be one to consider for fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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1st appearance of Ninjara
1st appearance of Chien Khan
Fox what? Fox People! That's right. Ninjara hails from the Fox People who reside in the mountains of Japan. I don't think I have to state that she and her people are a species of humanoid Foxes.

In her first initial appearance in this issue, she is a henchman for Chien Khan until the turtles expose his evilness to her. She then joined the turtles and even moved into their lair within the sewers of good ole New York City.

In this Archie series, Ninjara is the girlfriend of Raphael, the hot-headed one. She is more an important supporting character in this series than she is for IDW or any later TMNT comic series.

As for Chien Khan, he is pretty much a minor character in this series or any other series. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #28 was published January, 1991.

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1st appearance of Karai

I'm listing both of these because I have no idea if #53 is just a cameo or an actual first appearance, or if #54 is the 1st full appearance. The character of Karai is an important one in the turtles mythos and it's the one I will include as one to get a long with the first appearances of Casey Jones, April O' Neil, Splinter, Shredder, and the turtles themselves.

Karai already appeared in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot by Michael Bay and will be in the sequel as well. In some versions of this character in the comics, she is either the adopted daughter or biological grand-daughter of Shredder. These comics are seeing slight heat in market now.

In each version, however, she is a high ranking member of the Foot Clan and has a love-hate relationship with turtle's leader, Leonardo. She is a recurring character in most of the TMNT comics released by different publishers such as Image Comics and IDW.

In the new IDW comic series, she is the descendant of Shredder. Karai was also in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #53 and #54 from the 1st series was published November, 1992 & December, 1992.

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1st appearance of Shadow

Shadow is the adopted teenage daughter of Casey Jones. This issue and her debut was within the "City at War" 13 part story line that also saw the 1st appearance of Karai.

This City at War story line ran issues #50 to #59. Shadow would appear in other volumes of TMNT comics such as volume 3 of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

Not a sought out TMNT key issue for sure now. This comic was published April, 1993.

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1st appearance of Fugitoid (#1)

Since I won't be going into the Image or IDW series and since Max Rebo requested me to talk a bit about these two comics, here they are. Once again, Gobbledygook #1 & 2 are not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles key issues.

Gobbedlygook #1 features the first appearance of Fugitoid. These were not printed comics. They were actually copied and manually folded and stapled by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, and the back cover has an ad for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1.

Because of this, they are easy to counterfeit, and there are counterfeit copies floating around. Mirage licensing states that Gobbedlygook #1 & 2 had print runs of 150.

These two comics are not easy finds in the market. CGC only has a total of 39 registered copies so far for issue #1 and zilch for issue #2. High grades or even mid grades will be quite expensive. Last year's Overstreet lists a 9.2 low NM worth $5,700, and issue #2 at the same grade worth $2,150.

There's also supposedly a prototype as well for Gobbledygook. I have no idea about those and you can find them at ComicLink. They come with a COA that states it's from the personal collection of Kevin Eastman.

I have no idea if these are legit or what, so buy with caution. Mirage Studios also put out a 2nd volume of Gobbedlygook in December of 1986. That issue does have an 8 page story featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and is somewhat sought after.

Guide has Gobbledygook #1 volume 2 at $20 for NM minus or low NM. Just thought I'd bring it up for the heck of it. CGC high grade 9.8s are listed for much more than that.

However, I dunno if they're actually being bought since GoCollect says the last Gobbledygook #1 volume 2 sold on eBay for $35 bucks last year in September. Strange that they don't have a listing for the original Gobbledygook #1 published in 1984.

So, if you're up for the challenge of hunting the original Gobbledygook #1 and #2, the least of your worries are actually finding a copy. Beware of counterfeits for those issues.

I found no copies on eBay at the time of this writing, but directed the link to the search for these comics just in case they pop up in the future. Well, there are copies of the volume 2 comics that are easier to locate.

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One-shot color reprint of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
Error Edition

Like the Gobbledygook listing, consider this one a bonus, and I figured I'd get two birds with one stone here since most searches are gonna list both of these comics if an online market has it anyways. So, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, this one-shot color special was released in the market back in 2009.

Once again, the first print run had problems, and according to Recalled Comics, a notice was immediately called for the destruction of these copies on the day of release. Supposedly, a 2nd print run was ordered immediately as well.

The first noticeable problem with this error edition is the bold font on the inner cover. The bold font made the letters extremely hard to read. There's also some weird grey hatching pattern on some the interior page margins.

The first initial print was suppose to have 1,000 copies, and it's not entirely known how many comic shops actually obeyed the destroy notice. Many believe that most probably didn't. Recalled Comics estimates around 800 copies of the Error Edition survived.

CGC also notes the Error Edition as well, so they recognize it. Just letting you know in case you may have either one in your collection or if you're on the hunt for rare comics. I don't think the regular printing or fixed printing is rare, but I'm not entirely sure about that.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Special #1 was published November, 2009, and they are not that widely known in the market just yet or crazy out there in price.

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I am cutting this series off with Part 4. When it comes to the other comic series like volume 2 of the TMNT or the Image or IDW version of the comics, the only keys worth anything are the first issues to each of those series. The rest are bargain bins.

So far the exceptions is the volume 4 series by Mirage and the Dreamwave series in which even their #1 issues are pretty much bargain bin buys. As mentioned in the very beginning of this series, it won't go that in-depth but I think I've covered most of the important keys and some over-looked first appearances in this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles key issues series.

I felt it necessary that I get all the individual 1st appearances of Mutanimals even if they are bargain bin buys right now. I have no idea why Overstreet makes a big thing about noting it, so I figured I might as well track down the member's firsts.

The last issues starting with issue #50 of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (2nd series or 1st on-going series) are a bit more valuable, so I'm assuming they have a lower print run or something. The last issue #72 may have a low print run, but not 100% sure of that.

Anyway, I hope this Teenage Mutant Ninja key issues series was enjoyed for those fans out there. There are quite a few rare comics I uncovered if you didn't know them already. For rare ones, I'm hoping you may find these in your collection already.

For those of you on the hunt for them, I wish you the best and happy hunting. See ya soon!


  1. Hey TCM,

    thanks for bringing me up to date on this Goobledygookmadness :-) Did you actually mention the first TMNT crossover? My favourite one is in the pages of the Flaming Carrot.

    Max Rebo

    1. Naw, I missed their first crossover, but I think it is Fugitoid #1 back in 1985. They show up in the actual story in a cameo near the end of that comic and meet Fugitoid for the first time.

  2. Hey bro great read! I was wondering... what's your take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #44 on the ongoing series? The first death of a turtle Donatello! Would you consider that a comic to look out for?

    1. No clue as I don't know that much about TMNT. It is a death of a turtle but if that's all that's going for it, I don't see the market picking up on it in a big bad way since he's obviously brought back to life. Maybe if a future turtles movie plays upon that story line though.

  3. Was curious why the 1st color appearance of TMNT in Grimjack #26 didn't make the list?

  4. CGC has TMNT Vol. 1 #52 noted as the first appearance of Karai. I always thought it was issue #53 as well.