Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has taken its fair-share of inspiration from Daredevil, and within the Ninja Turtles’ current continuity, the series actually pays perfect tribute to those connections with a shocking mutant character–not to mention a pretty on-the-nose reference courtesy of Michelangelo.


In the first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird), readers are shown the origin of the Turtles which describes how the Turtles were exposed to the mutagen ooze after a blind man tried crossing the street and was almost struck by a truck carrying the substance. Just as the truck was trying to swerve out of the way, a young man saved him, though the resulting accident did cause one canister to fly out the back of the truck and strike the young man in the head before breaking and infecting the Turtles. The TMNT’s origin is strikingly similar to Daredevil’s, and the events of the story seem to imply that the young man was Daredevil himself. But even beyond that, there are many elements from Daredevil that are seemingly tweaked for TMNT. For instance, Splinter seems to be a play on Stick while the Foot Clan seems to be something of a parody of Daredevil’s the Hand. In short, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a number of Daredevil references. And now, the series has just added one more.

One TMNT Mutant has the Same Powers as Daredevil (& Michelangelo Knows It)

TMNT's Daredevil tribute with Michelangelo and Bludgeon.

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #91 by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz, and Michael Dialynas, Shredder’s granddaughter, Oroku Karai, has returned to Foot Clan headquarters to speak with the current leader of the Foot Clan, Splinter. Splinter took over the Foot after defeating Shredder in battle, but Karai believes she is the one who truly deserves to lead the Foot. Surprisingly, Splinter agrees. Splinter sits down with Karai to work out the details of this peaceful exchange of power while the Ninja Turtles entertain Karai’s loyal mutant followers, Bludgeon and Koya. During their last encounter, Bludgeon (a mutated anthropomorphic shark) was blinded by the Ninja Turtles. However, he has since developed another way to ‘see’ his surroundings, and the way he does so isn’t too dissimilar from how Daredevil sees the world–and that point isn’t lost on Mikey. When Bludgeon describes how he is able to ‘see’, Michelangelo says, “…you’re totally like a shark version of my favorite comic book character!”.

It’s no surprise that TMNT would include a cheeky reference to Daredevil within their current continuity, given the extensive history between the two franchises in the past (even if that history has been a bit one-sided). What’s shocking, however, is the mutant TMNT decided to use for this particular reference. Bludgeon has effectively become TMNT’s very own ‘Daredevil’ mutant, as he’s a ninja who is affiliated with the Foot and has heightened senses that allow him to ‘see’ the world in a way that is arguably better than anyone else. One could say that this is a long-time coming, and TMNT has been building towards introducing a character who is this similar to Daredevil since the very beginning. So, why did the series choose Bludgeon?

Bludgeon isn’t a legacy character, as he was created within the current IDW Publishing era of the TMNT. With a tribute this focused on a character who has seemingly inspired the series from the start, it seems as though one of the more established TMNT characters would have gotten a ‘Daredevil’ upgrade, rather than this pretty random mutant. However, shocking or not, this tribute is absolutely perfect as it brilliantly honors the history between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Daredevil.

Source link