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View Full Version : Could season 1 have been a rejected Superman story?


neatoman
10-23-2016, 08:10 AM
So yesterday I remembered that David Wise claimed that he based April's characterisation on Lois Lane, now I always wondered what the point of making April a newsreporter was since the first season still included Baxter Stockman so there really wasn't any reason to change her role. Then I remembered that the final scene of Shredder and Krang is lifted from the last episode of Transformers G1. Both scenes are of two bad guys who teamed, now in off earth in a spaceship (well ok, the Technodrome isn't exactly a spaceship but close enough), the two bicker and it's left ambigious who's in charge.

(5:52 for the Transformers video, 20:35 for the Turtles one)

7ZuynIlJDCU

DeJxJKeKqyE?t=20m35s

Which got me thinking, how much was lifted from something else? The man is an infamous recycle bin after all. Starting out with the idea that April was pointlessly altered to be a copy of Lois, I started to see parallels with Superman stories. So maybe it was recycled from a Super Friends pitch or something similar.

Now this is of course speculation, I have no official Superman story to directly compare this to nor is there any proof that Wise ever worked on a DC property outside of Wonder Woman or Batman (the latter of which was several years later). On the other hand, I did notice several similarities with Superman aside from Lois Lane. Let's start with the official one and work our way down to the least obvious.

A sassy reporter in cahoots with the heroes:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b3/April_O'Neil_1987.jpg
http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/2/25/Lois_Lane_DCAU_001.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130808142646

An alien villain in need of a robotic body:
http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/superheroes/images/f/f1/Krang.jpeg/revision/latest?cb=20140507203353
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7b/Brainiac(STAS).jpg

His mobile death fortress that kinda looks like it has a face:
http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/tmnt/images/9/90/Technodrome_(26).jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100416132425
http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/e/ef/Brainiac's_Skull_Ship.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120825203838

His size manipulation powers:
http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0804/5.jpg

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/villains/images/5/57/Brainiac0987654321.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20110710202627

The evil genius he has an uneasy alliance with:
http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/tmnt/images/e/e9/Shredder87.png/revision/latest?cb=20130919210006
http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/dcanimated/images/b/b2/JL_Luthor.png/revision/latest?cb=20150111225800

The fat editor:
http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/tmnt/images/a/a6/TMNT_87_Burne_Thompson.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/320?cb=20140127142814&path-prefix=de
http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/dcanimated/images/6/66/PerryWhite.png/revision/latest?cb=20090725085820

A not so intimidating cameraman:
http://static4.comicvine.com/uploads/square_small/9/96399/5246300-teenage.mutant.ninja.turtles.(1992).-.6x08.-.too.hot.to.handle.dvdrip.rus-eng.avi_000634.136.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/95/Jimmyolsen.gif

A bunch of alien teenagers driving around in a weird car:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2821/13426462803_5c1bdb3b7d_m.jpg
http://www.cosmicteams.com/newgods/images/kirby/Forever-People-v1-03a.jpg

Maybe that last one isn't Superman specific but they're characters he run into, so I still think it's worth mentioning. And I'm sure there were rock people in Superman too, but every superhero fights rock people at some point, so it's not really worth pointing out. The point is that there's more than enough here to make me suspect this was originally envisioned as a Superman story.

Now, when you swapped out the above mentioned factors, replace the Turtles with Superman, cut out the loose MOUSER adaptation, cut out the other bits lifted from Mirage, maybe cut out Bebop and Rocksteady or replace them with similar characters, what do you get?

Lois investigates Lex Luthor, turns out Lex made a deal with Brainiac to build him a new body, the Forever People show up to help out, Lex build the new body with enlargement powers, they attack Metropolis, Superman shows up to save the day. Keep in mind, all I really did here was replace the Turtles with Superman and cut out the bits that were actually from the TMNT comics or loosely inspired by them, the rest was just name swapping.

Makes more sense as a Superman story than it ever did as a TMNT story, doesn't it?

snake
10-23-2016, 08:46 AM
So cut out everything that doesn't share a similarity to superman and leave the 20% that does?

Sure.

neatoman
10-23-2016, 09:25 AM
So cut out everything that doesn't share a similarity to superman and leave the 20% that does?

Sure.

Well, if this is taken from a Superman pitch, it was probably a lot shorter than five episodes, so a lot of it was probably rewritten to make it a lot longer. I'm just saying that the broad strokes makes more sense as a Superman story.

Again, I'm not saying it is a Superman story morphed into a turtles story, I have no proof that it is. I'm just saying there are enough Superman-esque elements here to suspect the basic plot started out as a Superman story.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
10-23-2016, 10:22 AM
Did somebody just call Fred Wolf Shredder an evil genius? :teek:

neatoman
10-23-2016, 10:52 AM
Did somebody just call Fred Wolf Shredder an evil genius? :teek:

Hehe, yeah, it was the easiest way I could describe the similarities between Lex Luthor and FW Shredder. Not that any of his plans ever made sense mind you, just a quick parallel I drew.

Much like how April was changed into a Lois Lane copy for no real reason, the idea of making Shredder into a mad scientist who only does ninja stuff on the side is also a bizarre change to me. A change that makes more sense to me if his role was initially written for Lex Luthor or a Lex Luthor like character.

Anti-mutation ray guns, robot armies, mutation experiments, wanting to take over earth etc. Most of what Shredder does or aspires to, aside from the ninja stuff, seems more similar to what Lex Luthor does than what Mirage Shredder did. Mirage Shredder was just described as a crime lord and that's about it.

oldmanwinters
10-23-2016, 12:33 PM
TMNT was definitely its own thing, but it seems like just about every "super heroish" franchise borrows from Superman lore at some point.

ProactiveMan
10-24-2016, 12:00 AM
So Vernon is Jimmy Olson, and the Technodrome looks like Krang’s head? I dunno man.

FredWolfLeonardo
10-24-2016, 04:43 AM
I know most about Superman from the Reeve films and the Daily Planet crew does remind me of The Channel Six crew from the OT.

Also, 80s Shredder would be more like Gene Hackmans Lex Luthor more out of the other versions and Otis is remniscent of Bebop and Rocksteady due to his bumbling incompetence but atleast B&R had strength while Otis was just some guy.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-26-2016, 11:35 AM
Anti-mutation ray guns, robot armies, mutation experiments, wanting to take over earth etc. Most of what Shredder does or aspires to, aside from the ninja stuff, seems more similar to what Lex Luthor does than what Mirage Shredder did. Mirage Shredder was just described as a crime lord and that's about it.

But there have been like hundreds of trillions of books, stageplays, comics, films, TV-series and videogames with the bad guys and girls going for Earth-conquest.

sdp
10-26-2016, 01:11 PM
I really wanted to see the similarities when I clicked on the thread but you're really reaching there using different interpretations of Superman and exaggerating some things to make it fit your point. We had a thread years ago that showed all the script remakes that TMNT got from other shows, I'd like to re-read that one since those were indeed the same episodes with different characters.

pferreira
10-27-2016, 09:44 AM
Which got me thinking, how much was lifted from something else? The man is an infamous recycle bin after all. Starting out with the idea that April was pointlessly altered to be a copy of Lois, I started to see parallels with Superman stories. So maybe it was recycled from a Super Friends pitch or something similar.The infamous recycle bin has done pretty well out of providing imaginative stories that everyone remembers years later. ;)


The point is that there's more than enough here to make me suspect this was originally envisioned as a Superman story.

Makes more sense as a Superman story than it ever did as a TMNT story, doesn't it?No. You're grabbing at straws here. Superman as a franchise is the home to so many memorable tropes that any writer somewhere down the line has been directly or indirectly influenced by the comic.The stuff you've listed are tropes writers like to use because they know people like to read or watch them. It's very possible David Wise was indirectly influenced by another comic or cartoon that had elements taken from Superman. Or maybe he's a massive Superman fan and we don't know but he can't be criticised for recycling when he's used tropes that every other writer has used at some point. I mean why the heck not?

TMNT was definitely its own thing, but it seems like just about every "super heroish" franchise borrows from Superman lore at some point.

But there have been like hundreds of trillions of books, stageplays, comics, films, TV-series and videogames with the bad guys and girls going for Earth-conquest.Yep, couldn't agree more guys. :)

neatoman
10-27-2016, 11:53 AM
The infamous recycle bin has done pretty well out of providing imaginative stories that everyone remembers years later. ;)


Really? 'Cuase whenever I try to confront people about it in real life, they can really only recall what the characters looked like, rarely anything that actually happened in the show. But I guess that's what happens when a guy recycles the same scripts over and over again, they all just sort blend together into indistinguishable mush.

pferreira
11-03-2016, 12:52 PM
Really? 'Cuase whenever I try to confront people about it in real life, they can really only recall what the characters looked like, rarely anything that actually happened in the show. But I guess that's what happens when a guy recycles the same scripts over and over again, they all just sort blend together into indistinguishable mush.You could say the same thing about any franchise, there are casual fans who vaguely remember what they watched as a child and hardcore fans who buy the cartoon once it comes out on DVD while studying every detail. You're just talking to the wrong people. ;)

Powder
11-03-2016, 01:09 PM
No, that's pretty much the entire fanbase outside of this forum.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
11-04-2016, 04:30 AM
Really? 'Cuase whenever I try to confront people about it in real life, they can really only recall what the characters looked like, rarely anything that actually happened in the show.

To get access to the 1987–1996 cartoon in Sweden during the early-1990's you needed to either:
*Live in an apartment with cable-TV, giving you access to TV 3 Sweden.

or:
*Live in a single-family house with parabolic antenna, giving you access to TV 3 Sweden and TV 1000.

A third way was to have a video, giving you the posiibility to watch only a few seasons 1-3 episodes.

Otherwise you had just the Archie Comics, where many of the same characters also appeared.

pferreira
11-10-2016, 09:21 AM
No, that's pretty much the entire fanbase outside of this forum.It's good to get out of the forum into reality once in a while. :lol:

What I mean by this is that the casual fans don't try to analyze and critique their memories, they just remember enjoying something and good luck to them. I have fond memories of the Fred Wolf cartoon and I can critique it yet am happy to stand up for it that's why threads like this are embarrassing to read. :-?