Sophie Campbell, soon to be writer/artist on IDW’s TMNT, revealed on Friday that Mona Lisa will appear in issue #101. The news comes from Campbell’s Twitter, where she posted her redesign for the Turtles’ mutant lizard friend. It draws from elements of both of the character’s previous designs, but still combines Campbell’s signature look with a classic Turtles flair.

Mona Lisa is a lesser known character who first appeared on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 animated TV series in the episode “Raphael Meets His Match.” Before she was transformed into a mutant lizard, Mona Lisa was a college student studying physics. But that all changed with a fishing trip gone wrong. Out on the water with her friends, slinging their lines into the water, the young woman and her unsuspecting friends were attacked by the pirate captain Filch. Although her friends escaped, Mona Lisa was captured and forced into using her physics knowledge to help Filch with his world domination. But, Mona Lisa wouldn’t stand for it. While on board, she sabotaged the pirate captain’s nuclear reactor – and in doing so underwent the mutation that would create the character we know today.

Eventually, she meets the Turtles when Filch holds a yacht full of people hostage and the gang comes to the rescue, but after that she essentially disappeared. That is until the 2012 animated series, in which Mona Lisa takes on the mantle of Lieutenant Y’Gythgba of the Salamandrian Air Troops and dates Raph. It’s a favorite relationship that’s a big part of why TMNT fans are so excited about this news.

Mona Lisa has a long history with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but when she slithers onto the pages of issue #101, it’ll mark the character’s comic debut.  The issue will also be Campbell’s first as writer and artist for the series with long-time team Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman and Dave Wachter stepping away. Although the trio has brought nothing but great storytelling to the series, Campbell’s taking over is highly anticipated. A huge Turtle fan herself, recent announcements have also revealed her role creating the first female Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Jennika.

The current team is wrapping up its time with the Turtles over the next few issues, capping off in an oversize #100 in November. Then, make room for Mona Lisa and Sophie Campbell. ‘Till that happens, check out how Mona Lisa’s design has evolved over the years, from ’87 to 2012 to 2019.

mona lisa tmnt