The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just got a quick glimpse at their new future, and it includes one of the Turtles’ most infamous allies.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #117 by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Sophie Campbell, Ronda Pattison, and Shawn Lee, on sale now.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have seen their clan and their home go through some remarkable changes over the years, and they just fought hard to save them both. Just as the Turtles were settling into their leadership roles in Mutant Town, the adult version of one of their young mutant students, Lita, traveled back in time with harrowing visions and dire warnings from the future. But after making a few key changes over the past several issues, the Turtles seemingly saved their future
And as a glimpse into Lita’s renewed future in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #117 reveals, the Splinter Clan’s future includes the introduction of television’s most reviled Ninja Turtle, Venus de Milo.
Jennika, the current continuity’s fifth Ninja Turtle, and her band, Created in Darkness, have just put on the performance of their lives to defeat Bebop and Rocksteady in Mutant Town’s first Battle of the Bands. That victory helped re-establish Jennika’s place in Mutant Town and, according to Lita, will prevent Jennika’s return to killing. Having accomplished her mission, the adult Lira opened up a portal to the future, where several new Turtles and Turtle allies can be seen.Near the top of the image, a Turtle with a braid is levitating in deep meditation next to Bludgeo, and this character appears to be a version of Mei Pieh Chi, Venus de Milo.
Created 1997’s short-lived live-action Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation television series, Venus was the fifth member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When the Turtles were originally exposed to the mutagen that transformed them, Venus was somehow separated from her brothers. Instead of ending up under Splinter’s tutelage, she was found and cared for by a man named Chung I who brought her to Shanghai with him for training. Upon her return to New York City, she reunited with her brothers and became an important part of the team. When Splinter was trapped in the realm of dreams, Venus used her mystic abilities to free him after purging the Shredder persona from Oroku Saki’s heart and mind. In doing so Venus brought an end to the war between the Splinter and Foot Clans, though she also inadvertently opened a door for the forces of the Dragon Lord to invade Earth, starting a whole new era of problems for the Heroes in a Half-shell.
Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is widely regarded as a low point for the Turtles franchise, and Venus is arguably the show’s defining feature. While the successful introduction and enduring popularity of Jennika has proven that a Fifth Turtle could be successfully added to the team, The Next Mutation was criticized for mediocre storylines, poor production quality and weak character development. And as a new character, Venus received the brunt of criticism against the show. Even TMNT co-creator Peter Laird has been openly outspoken regarding Venom, specifically that she should be left in the past.
Given Venus’ distinctive braid, it’s hard to imagine that the Turtle from the future seen next to Bludgeon is anyone other than Venus de Milo. Apart from the fact that she is levitating, this mysterious new Turtle is also wearing a very brightly colored bandana that could easily be Venus’ trademark cyan from a distance, and it looks to be braided behind her head as well.
If a return to current comic book continuity is in the cards for Venus, it could be a perfect opportunity to do the character justice and room to evolve in a way that she never had in the ’90s. However, the Turtles’ future may not be set in stone quite yet, so the return of Venus may not come to pass.
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