Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin # 2 can resurrect a familiar face as a sinister villain to help end the Splinter clan for good.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin # 2 by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz, Esau, Isaac Escorza, Ben Bishop, Samuel Plata, Luis Antonio Delgado and Shawn Lee, out now.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin has painted the most heartbreaking and heartbreaking story yet for Heroes in a Half Shell. After it was revealed that Michelangelo was the last surviving turtle, issue # 2 reveals how the war affected April as well. She lost limbs and ended up raising her and Casey Jones’ daughter.
Under Shredder’s grandson and Karai’s son Oroku Hiroto, Foot has turned New York into his own cyberpunk dystopia. While it looks like Hiroto has enough pawns with robotic ninja soldiers, drones, and mechs, he may have one more trump card if he resurrects Raphael as a villain.
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In this issue, a flashback shows Raph chasing the Pie for hurting Splinter and his brothers. He is badly damaged as they have numbers, leading Karai to stab him in the throat when they fell into the sea. We know that the Foot extracted it when he is in a stasis chamber in Hiroto’s lair in the present. Raph’s body apparently sank to the bottom of the ocean, we never get confirmation that he is actually dead.
The Foot could have caught him before he died. With Hiroto so obsessed with science and technology, he could have experimented and made it a weapon of last resort. It would be a great failsafe in case some Turtle ever hunted it, like what Mikey does now. Given Raph’s skill set, he would be the perfect bodyguard once he was brainwashed.
It could be a cybernetic turtle or even the base of a mind-controlled Shredder. Raph always had a habit of running into battle and condemning his brothers, so becoming his worst enemy and total monster would be the ultimate dark poetry.
Raph has become the Shredder before in the Image Comics / Urban Legends continuity, where he was scarred after a battle with a cyborg. He wore the Casey mask and eventually befriended the infantrymen who became contacts. Later, Raph would find himself embroiled in a gang war against some mobsters, using Shredder’s outfit to scare them and help his friends Foot, which became something else when he was anointed as the new Shredder. It led to a conflict with his brothers and Splinter, with Karai returning for the mantle.
Now, in this case, it would be much more emotional and personal since Raph would not have an agency, it would also be a nightmare for Mikey to have to fight with a brother who he thought was dead. Mikey is mutating, getting bigger and stronger, plus he has mastered all the skills of the brothers, so it would be the perfect test to see who is the best. And ultimately it would drive one more gamble into Mikey’s heart and show that Hiroto is just as cerebral and maybe even more sadistic than his family.
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