Details on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin have finally dropped and co-creators Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz and inker Andy Kuhn have some exciting things to say about it. The IDW series was initially teased in the back of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100, the last issue before Sophie Campbell’s excellent run on the series.
The Last Ronin is a five-issue miniseries based on a 1987 concept from Kevin Eastman that’s only now coming to fruition. Funnily, when the story was first created, it was set in 2017 – 30 years in the future at the time – but since then, Eastman says this story and the TMNT have changed drastically along with the world around them. About a decade ago, he rediscovered the original pitch, updating it to a 2040 timeline and bringing longtime TMNT collaborator Tom Waltz into the discussion, who says:
“Beyond Peter Laird’s eerily prescient technological and sociological predictions, the story idea itself was exciting and versatile, designed in a way that it could be easily modified to fit into the many different TMNT iterations that have existed over the years, without losing any of the core elements injected into it by both Kevin and Peter.”
Per THR, Eastman calls The Last Ronin “a heartfelt love poem to all the TMNT universes of the past [that] offers up an intense look at one possible future — firmly based on and adapted from an original 33-year-old idea, from the original creators.”
That love for the series isn’t just found conceptually. Issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin are double-sized at 48 pages each, along with three special editions: standard with an Eastman cover, and two retailer incentive editions with more Eastman cover art and another from fellow TMNT artist Mateus Santolouco.
When Last Ronin was officially announced, it came with a ‘Coming Summer 2020’ tag. Although nothing official has been said regarding this series and the comic industry’s current COVID state, it is worth noting that IDW PR now reads more ambiguously, alluding to a premiere later this year. IDW is currently offering full returnability on product through June 24, suspending May releases corresponding to on sale daters between May 6 and May 27 and reducing its publishing line for product slated for July.
Check out Eastman and Kuhn’s The Last Ronin cover below, and keep an eye out for more on the series here at The Beat.