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Old 04-25-2017, 11:35 AM   #1
Monte Williams
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Are (Your) Turtles Killers?

In your mind or in your canon or your collection or whatever, do the Turtles kill?

I know they killed Shredder in the Mirage comics (and presumably some other villains along the way), and they didn't seem especially distraught when Casey killed him in the 1990 film. But then they didn't even use their weapons in some versions of the franchise.

I have a very strange custom in mind, but it hints at considerable violence on the part of the four brothers, and consequently I'm curious to hear how you all regard them, and so...

Do they kill? If so, do they have rules about doing so?

Or are they like (some versions of) Batman, and refusing to kill is their number one rule?

Thanks in advance for your musings and insights.
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:49 AM   #2
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I'm not sure what you're really getting at here... Yes? I guess?

Even outside Mirage they've been shown killing, I don't see why there would be a debate about it, unless someone is in denial about it.
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:51 AM   #3
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If they're not going to kill, I firmly believe whatever non-killing iteration they find themselves in should fall under the "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles" moniker.

Get the "ninja" the hell out of there if you're not going to be serious about it.
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:53 AM   #4
Ulisa
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Depends on the universe. For most universes, yes, I say the turtles kill though it varies from turtle to turtle how much and when. As a general rule, I have Raph and Leo kill the most though Donnie and Mike are capable of it.

The one universe I change it up is the Fred Wolf universe. In this case, I say they know HOW to kill but don't. They pull out all the stops to deliver non-lethal blows except in the case of robots. Now, do I think they may be driven to that killing blow at some point---absolutely, but outside of fan fiction/fan art, I'd say that's a pretty major rule for them in that universe.
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:58 AM   #5
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Otherwise, no. No vengeance killing, no 'killing for the greater good' Opponents who surrender or can be knocked out without the turtles risking harm on themselves are tied up, and left for the authorities.
So "Teenage Mutant Samurai Turtles," then?

I mean, I don't mind that the Turtles aren't straight up... killers. And tying up criminals for the authorities is a good way to... not actually put anyone away (what, will the Turtles come and testify at their trial? that's stupid), and that ventures into "crime-fighting" territory, something I think the Turtles have no business doing unless they somehow become involved in it (i.e., if they happen to be walking down the street and some thug robs a woman, yeah, they might step in). Their "judgement" would be meted out fairly, in terms of who they kill and who they don't.

I don't see a problem with vengeance killing. And, now, if there's ever a situation where they are fighting an opponent, and opponent is down and they know that said opponent is just going to come back and try to kill them again? Of course they should and would kill them. They're not Batman.
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:16 PM   #6
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Only if they must out of self protection or that of others. If it's the only way to really stop someone legit "evil," then they do what they must. Even if they don't always feel too good about having to.

More typical non-murderous (as of yet) criminal sorts... Nah. Give them a good beating as a warning. Leaving them tied up for up police might not work out too badly if there was a witness who had made the call to police in the first place and could to the talking.
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:26 PM   #7
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Why would the Turtles busy themselves patrolling and protecting a society they have no part of? That's silliness. That's trying to dumb down the TMNT to be like every other comic book superhero vigilante and it's wrong.
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:27 PM   #8
Candy Kappa
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"A sword is a weapon, the art of swordmanship is learning how to kill."
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:59 PM   #9
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Of course they kill. They don't go out of their way to straight up murder everyone in sight, but if their own lives (or the life of a loved one) were in peril they would fight to the death.
That goes without saying that they do have honor, and have given their enemies the opportunity to commit seppuku without them outright killing them.
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:10 PM   #10
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They fight to defend themselves and friends, not to kill. But at the end, a lot of fights end with someone getting killed.
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:19 PM   #11
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If they weren't prepared to be killers they wouldn't walk around with weapons used for killing.
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:54 PM   #12
Stephen
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they didn't seem especially distraught when Casey killed him in the 1990 film.
That was Splinter - Shredder falls off a building. Casey beats up Tatsu, but doesn't kill him.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:06 PM   #13
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I think he means when Casey crushes him in the garbage truck compactor.


Heck, Casey thought nothing of it, despite not even personally encountering Shredder or seeing what went on between him and the Turtles on the rooftop. For all he could have really known or heard from the ground, Splinter could have been trying to save some guy from falling and then Casey just assumes and kills the guy. (edit: Now I want a rewrite where it isn't Shredder, just some guy who tried to get involved, so everyone is looking over the edge of the buliding like "Wtf, Casey??" lol)
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:08 PM   #14
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And it's not like they dove to save Shredder. They all just stood there and watched him fall to what could have been his death.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:51 PM   #15
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They kill in the universes they've killed in.

Anything else isn't for me to decide, that's just head-canon.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:22 PM   #16
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To me, the turtles can't really help but be killers. They were born into a loop of violence and revenge. It's part of their origin.

I think this tends to get ignored because it doesn't necessarily feel good to think about, and we want our turtle stories to be fun, alongside being dramatic, exciting, etc.

The fact is, the turtles being born into that never ending cycle of revenge doesn't make them "evil" or "bad". It's actually quite tragic..
They do their best to escape anarchy, or cut it off at it's root, but it mostly just perpetuates the violence.

By the time we roll around to "City at War", they want nothing more than to see a way out of it, even if it means aligning themselves with "The Foot".

The turtles/Splinter don't condone unnecissary violence, but they will do whatever it takes to protect themselves and their family. Like most everyone would.

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Old 04-25-2017, 03:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew NDB View Post
Why would the Turtles busy themselves patrolling and protecting a society they have no part of? That's silliness. That's trying to dumb down the TMNT to be like every other comic book superhero vigilante and it's wrong.
To get them out of the sewers to stretch their legs? They have martial arts training...might as well use it somewhere and it sucks being confined to being underground.
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Old 04-25-2017, 04:31 PM   #18
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"A sword is a weapon, the art of swordmanship is learning how to kill."
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Old 04-25-2017, 04:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
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That was Splinter - Shredder falls off a building. Casey beats up Tatsu, but doesn't kill him.
Actually, Oroku Saki killed himself - he threw a knife at Splinter's head. Splinter caught it, Saki got dropped.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:04 PM   #20
Monte Williams
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Wow, thanks for all the thoughtful replies, folks!

Put simply: I have a skull I plan to incorporate into a "custom" as a trophy of sorts, but in my own head canon (neither beholden to the gritty seriousness of Mirage nor anything like as silly as the Fred Wolf toons), the Turtles keeping a foe's skull seems a bit dark and weird, so I'm trying to come up with a narrative justification.


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I'm not sure what you're really getting at here... I don't see why there would be a debate about it, unless someone is in denial about it.
Because this is a franchise spanning several decades and countless tones and audiences? Because for every die-hard Mirage purist there are hundreds of people who only know the Turtles from a silly and decidedly non-violent cartoon?


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The one universe I change it up is the Fred Wolf universe. In this case, I say they know HOW to kill but don't.
I loved when one of the Nick Turtles derisively said to the classic Turtles, "You don't even fight with your weapons!"


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I think he means when Casey crushes him in the garbage truck compactor.
Indeed.


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Originally Posted by IndigoErth View Post
Heck, Casey thought nothing of it, despite not even personally encountering Shredder or seeing what went on between him and the Turtles on the rooftop. For all he could have really known or heard from the ground, Splinter could have been trying to save some guy from falling and then Casey just assumes and kills the guy. (edit: Now I want a rewrite where it isn't Shredder, just some guy who tried to get involved, so everyone is looking over the edge of the buliding like "Wtf, Casey??" lol)
Ha ha, I'd never really thought of it like that. Hilarious!


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Andrew, this idea Ninja are never ever "crime fighters" or all of them lack a a moral code is a silly concept. As has been said, 'ninjas' in japan are anyone who practices a set of martial arts stealth techniques for any purpose, ninjas are not just assassins. Anyone who uses those stealth based martial arts is a ninja; a ninja clan can protect a village or shrine from criminals or bandits, another clan can be mercenaries for hire, another clan can be saboteurs, and another might be assassins. The idea that only the assassins who use those techniques are ninja, or that ninjas are primarily assassins and can't be 'good guys', is a WESTERN IDEA, it's a Frank Miller-ism.

If anyone went to Japan, and tried to claim 'ninjas aren't heroes' you'd be LAUGHED AT. There are three sentai teams who are ninja, multiple anime with heroic ninja, and Japanese historical fiction is full of noble ninjas. Most versions of the TMNT has had Splinter with a code of honor, and teaching it to the turtles. And the idea of them being crime fighters isn't a 'goofy' as you pretend it is. It appears in the non-mirage versions that Splinter raised them to see New York as the Hamato Clan's protectorate, so patrolling it and protecting is citizens from criminals in the darkness of the night under the cover of shadow, is little different from the ninja clans who protected villages in the sengoku era.
I don't usually quote something this long, but I endorse every word. The pedantic folks who feel their preferred take is the only relevant or accurate version of the mythos are stunted, silly and tiresome.
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