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Old 08-21-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
Panda_Kahn_fan
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tmnt; adaptations and the source material

Okay, this is merely a comparison based on observation, and an opinion. Please do not take this as an attack on anyone else’s opinions, this is merely my take on the nature of adaptations and the source material. And how turtles and other franchises have interacted between adaptation and original work.

One of the things I have noticed, there is this notion that the original Mirage comic version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is the ‘one, true, definitive version’ of the Ninja turtles, and any adaptation must adhere as closely to said source material as possible. Any deviation from it, or incorporation of ideas from previous adaptations or plotlines not related to the source material, is frowned upon.. Likewise, characters from the OT and other versions are often scorned as blemishes on the source material, and there is anger when any version of TMNT does not strictly adhere to the source material.

I am here to suggest that this is not the case. Mirage, while being respected for being the first version, is no more definitive that the OT, 2k3, the 'supah mutation' OVA, or even the must hated next mutation. while it is the source they all stem from, their influence should not drown out other aspects of the franchise that came from other incarnations.

Let's take a look at other pieces of literature or fiction- starting with the Arthurian cycle. The legends of King Arthur and his knights started as a cycle of Welsh legends based on a quasi-historical freedom fighter who protected the Romono-British from the invading Anglo-Saxons (possibly based on the historical figures, Abrousious Arulianis, and Roman Cavalry leader, Luscius Artorius Castus). Merlin, while an early addition, came in from another Welsh legend, as did the tragic lovers Tristan and Ysault. When the stories of Arthur crossed the channel with the Britions escaping the Anglo-Saxon conquest, the French Troubadours added the character Lancelot, the chivalrous aspects of Knighthood, and the love triangle that doomed Camelot. Much like the OT is regarded as the best version of TMNT by casual fans, so the version of the King Arthur story that is the most well known comes from Sir Thomas Mallory's "Death of Arthur"- an adaptaion of the source material. If we were to 'stick closely to the original source material' ala Mirage, you lose Merlin, the love triangle, medieval knights, and just about everything Arthur enthusasists find compelling. You're left with a Romano-British warlord, very much akin to Braveheart, fighting the ancestors of the English.

Another, more modern Example- the Superman radio show was the source of many aspects of the superman mythology- The Daily Planet, Kryptonite, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White. These elements proved popular, and were incorporated back into the comics- the source material. If we purify the source material here, Lois and Clark would still be working at the Daily Star under George Taylor, with a goofy character named 'office boy' running around. In recent years, even more elements have been incorporated from adaptations- such as Krypton being a planet that uses Crystal tech (brought in from the Richard Donner Superman films) And General Zod has even been redesigned to look like Terrence Stamp. "Kneel Before Zod", a well known cultral phrase, was created for an adaptation, not the source material.

Now, jumping over to Batman. Batman: The animated series has turned out to be one of the most popular adaptations of the Batman franchise, and ohhh boy has it impacted the source material! A purified batman comic would lose the wonderful Character of Harley Quinn- created as a hench girl for the Joker by the animated series, Mister Freeze would lose one of the most dramatic back stories in comics, created for him by the animated series, and go back to being a B-movie style scientist who robs banks with a freeze ray. Also lost would be the Penguin's evolution from a bird themed bank robber, to a major underworld figure running his own nightclub, the iceberg lounge. But wait! Both he and Mister Freeze started as goofy characters who were best left in the silver age, yet they were remade into successful and compelling characters, all without losing the essence of who they were as silly characters.

And there was that goofy 1960's Batman series with Adam West. What influence has it had on the source material? King Tut, one of the goofiest villains ever introduced in the 1960's batman, was re-introduced into the comics in the 2000's, and has proven to be a very successful villain. Another goofy character that made it good!

Myths, stories, and legends are told and retold- adapted over time to suit different tastes and people. Characters are created and incorporated into retellings, and characters and elements that are not popular are discarded and tossed aside. If a story is forced to be retold the exact same way, again and again, it can often grow stagnant and stale. Different versions of a fiction allow it to appeal to different tastes, instead of forcing it to slavishly cater to one group . Adaptations allow for different takes on the same characters and story, enriching the mythology as a whole.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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Furthermore, for Sonic, you would lose Amy, Sonic's love of chili dogs, the concept of Sonic being in love, a semi-realistic setting, sexy anthros, and any form of decent plot. We'd have another dull, meaningless, homogenized, mindless mascot platformer in trite, colorful worlds that would have died quite a while ago.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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The original toon took most of its concepts from Mirage, so by default, Mirage is the original source material.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by miru View Post
Furthermore, for Sonic, you would lose Amy, Sonic's love of chili dogs, the concept of Sonic being in love, a semi-realistic setting, sexy anthros, and any form of decent plot. We'd have another dull, meaningless, homogenized, mindless mascot platformer in trite, colorful worlds that would have died quite a while ago.


Miru, will you quite it with Sonic already! This is a TMNT forum, not a Sonic forum! So quite bringing him up on almost every post you make! Seriously, it's gotten real old. And take that "furry" junk away from this site.

Honestly, it's posts like this that gives the Sonic fandom a bad name.

Anyway, regarding the topic, I do think that in any new TMNT stuff, there should be a perfect mix of things.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:00 PM   #5
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Honestly, I can't think of much new to say on this topic, since it's an eternal issue, and it ultimately boils down to which changes made in an adaptation ruffle your personal feathers. There's no way to "prove" which changes are okay and which aren't, so we all just jump in and react whenever something annoys us.

On this *particular* franchise, Mirage purism has always struck me as silly. I can understand Peter Laird himself being miffed about the way that a kiddie adaptation changed and culturally supplemented his original work, but for fans, I can't see why, when it's so easy to tune out the kiddie parts of the franchise.

To use a cliche, the adaptations don't get rid of the original work. You have the original comics over *there* and the scads of cartoons and toys and merchandise over *there*, and it's easy to separate them. Same goes for any other iteration of the franchise one doesn't like.

If the culture at large thinks of TMNT solely as a childhood/childish thing, then it's their fault for not looking at the original comics, not of the toy companies and cartoon companies for making money off the original concept.

Don't get me wrong, the Mirage comics are great, but I don't think they, or any other version, should be the be-all and end-all of TMNT.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:25 PM   #6
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I think the general sentiment of, "Stick to the source material," is really, "Don't mess up what made the original great." But OT so outshined the comics in exposure... You just can't count it out as less legitimate when it's what everyone knows.

Relative to other massively popular, enduring comic properties, TMNT is young. Should it last as long as Batman or Superman, the various interpretations will have compounded into an accepted mythology. Over decades of trial and error, accepted things like Krang and Channel 6 News may still be around, while things like Venus and a Eric Sachs may not. But the Mirage series isn't exempt from that. Some elements won't stick, and they will be (read: have been) forgotten.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by chrisdude View Post
I think the general sentiment of, "Stick to the source material," is really, "Don't mess up what made the original great." But OT so outshined the comics in exposure... You just can't count it out as less legitimate when it's what everyone knows.

Relative to other massively popular, enduring comic properties, TMNT is young. Should it last as long as Batman or Superman, the various interpretations will have compounded into an accepted mythology. Over decades of trial and error, accepted things like Krang and Channel 6 News may still be around, while things like Venus and a Eric Sachs may not. But the Mirage series isn't exempt from that. Some elements won't stick, and they will be (read: have been) forgotten.
I mostly agree with this. As time progresses there will certain elements of each TMNT interpretation will be remembered and cherished, and as much as some "purists" may dislike it, those particular elements that make the most impact will start becoming staples of the franchise.

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Don't get me wrong, the Mirage comics are great, but I don't think they, or any other version, should be the be-all and end-all of TMNT.
Another viewpoint I agree with. As Pterobat said earlier, it all depends on how the reader/viewer interprets TMNT as either a cartoon and/or a serious comic series which can skew someone's appreciation for the franchise, and therefore what elements that person wants preserved or removed.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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I honestly don't care what they do with TMNT as long as it's done well. I like the idea of taking the comics and OT material and making it into something more, but as long as it's turtles changed by ooze and they're ninjas, I don't have a problem unless it's so far out there it's stupid.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdude View Post
I think the general sentiment of, "Stick to the source material," is really, "Don't mess up what made the original great." But OT so outshined the comics in exposure... You just can't count it out as less legitimate when it's what everyone knows.

Relative to other massively popular, enduring comic properties, TMNT is young. Should it last as long as Batman or Superman, the various interpretations will have compounded into an accepted mythology. Over decades of trial and error, accepted things like Krang and Channel 6 News may still be around, while things like Venus and a Eric Sachs may not. But the Mirage series isn't exempt from that. Some elements won't stick, and they will be (read: have been) forgotten.
It's true. Don't forget that Batman originally used a gun and Superman couldn't fly.
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:37 PM   #10
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I agree with everything said here. Yes, Mirage is the original source material that spawned the Turtles, but that doesn't mean that everything that comes after it must stick to said source material. Remember, the 2K3 series adapted some Mirage storylines and while some were done well, there were others that were not received well at all. I like how the Nick show is doing its own thing while still giving us homages and references to what came before and using some of the Mirage material while still trying to be what it is. That's awesome.

I think that a lot of purists need to get their heads out of their a**es and realize that not everything is going to be the way you want it. You still looking for that really hardcore and violent TMNT movie? It's not going to happen. If you like the Mirage stuff, that's great. However, not all incarnations have to stay faithful to just the comic books as there are a lot of different incarnations now.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:26 AM   #11
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A very interesting post Khan. Thanks.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:14 PM   #12
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Thank you, . Havig taken courses on creative writing along side my history courses in college, I often like to anaylize the mythologies I enjoy.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:55 PM   #13
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I would be interested in your analysis of Mirage TMNT issue 1, or perhaps an in depth examination of the property as a whole.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:24 PM   #14
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Five Years Since

One thing I indeed noted is that TMNT actually has significantly more in common with the Arthurian Mythos than big two comic heroes (unless one counts the 1933 prose story "Reign of the Superman" for Superman), in that the MAJORITY of their content is from adapatations. Similar to how Lancelot and the Round Table and Merlin (amongst many, many others) come from the most popular adaptation of the tale, so too do Mondo Gecko and the Technodrome and Dimension X (and so forth) come from the most popular adaptation. IDW is probably the TMNT equivalent to "The Death of Arthur", in how it ties everything together. Even Fugitoid and the Triceratons were originally an unrelated comic by the same authors.

So I guess TMNT is unique in this regard, and hence the effect of GEEWUN! people is a lot more severe, in that it cuts off around 3/4ths of the franchise's identity, if not 9/10ths. What you're left with after this is what Mirage was; a strangely somber set of surreal and suspenseful stories, which often lead nowhere. The only other major media franchise I can think of like this is probably Jurassic Park. An ever-increasing amount of what the series is has been made thanks to the films. The source material ran alongside adaptations and yet ignored them consistently, and only when the source material ended was everything mixed together.

True, the source material has some compelling elements adaptations could use in the future, but for now, the adaptations rule. These original elements that could easily be uncovered again for future use include the Father of All Reptiles & the Adversary (PERFECT for Rise of the TMNT), Shadow Jones, Radical, GoseiCo, and especially Chote. (Chote barely counts, as he had a 1994 toy but nothing else).

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Old 09-19-2018, 09:39 AM   #15
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Wow, this thread sure rose from the dead after a long time!

While everything I said back then still holds true, more recent incarnations of TMNT show that some details from different incarnations will stick, while others will fade away and be discarded. I could see tigerclaw from the nick series returning in future incarnations, or IDW's reincarnation origin. But elements from the two bay films or most of hat's been shown in Rise of the TMNT... not so much. I think two elements of Mirage have become accepted as overall TMNT lore- namely that version of baxter stockman and Karai, which the 2k3 series introduced to the fandom and the public.Thoguh a lot of the things in Mirage have remained unique to that incarnation.

In the end, it falls to the fanbase and content creators to decide what will stick, and what will not. Just as each fan has their own particular 'canon' or 'continuity' that they adhere to personally. Such is the way of lving, ever-expanding mythologies.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:09 PM   #16
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I think which you like isn't a problem unless it's fleshed out and is made up of mostly original content.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:42 PM   #17
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So, Nickelodeon is producing a live-action reboot of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

It may be a long shot, but I would love for this to open to a live-action Netflix series of TMNT based at least mostly close to the Mirage continuity.
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Old 09-24-2018, 02:37 PM   #18
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Notably, there are many minor tellings that have yet to contribute anything meaningful to the series. While something like TNM, Rise, Image, and ESPECIALLY the PD series are too off-kilter/inferior and are hence largely ignored, these versions are simply forgotten and discarded away. Will the Welsh magazine, Panini magazine, etc. ever get the chance to contribute anything? At least those above versions left their mark of what not to do in a series (with some potentially salvageable content once all is said and done), but indeed the obscure versions are untapped mines for potential content as well. Could someone like Motorhead or Lobsterdude make the cut into another version of the franchise? Does Xemnar stand more of chance than Eric Sachs?

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Old 09-25-2018, 04:49 AM   #19
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So, Nickelodeon is producing a live-action reboot of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

It may be a long shot, but I would love for this to open to a live-action Netflix series of TMNT based at least mostly close to the Mirage continuity.
I’ve already started a little prayer circle for both. I'm currently chanting: ”Please let this Avatar be good...Please let this Avatar be good” and ”Please give us a more mature TMNT series...Please give us a more mature TMNT series”.

Feel free to join in with a deity of your choosing. Bring your own candles, refreshments are served on Tuesdays.

On topic though - each version is canon in its own universe - one does not replace the other. I do give the Mirage series some extra points though, it’s where everything started, it's by the original creators and you have to respect what they went through. But yeah, each universe is its own thing and as long as the franchise’s core ideas are intact, I'm fine with it.

I get way more miffed when TMNT full out copies other series. April did not need to be Jean Greyed/Dark Phoenixed. April being ”a red-headed, telepath, brain zapped by evil entity inside a crystal” was so X-Men ’92. They even copied the bad hair day.

I refuse to accept this! April’s great hair is universal and canon in all dimensions.

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Old 09-25-2018, 10:22 AM   #20
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I've thought about this for a while now and I think Mirage really does provide more than enough material to work with, there really isn't any need to pull characters or storylines from other versions. There isn't even much need to create new characters or storylines, even if some might need a new conclusion written. Even even you were to run out of material (which I doubt) everything is still open ended and could easily be built opon without creating new characters or concepts.
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