Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin writer Tom Waltz reveals there was no better choice than Michelangelo as the series’ Ronin.

Warning: spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #5 below!Michelangelo might seem like an out-of-the-box choice to be the final surviving Turtle in a dark future, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin writer Tom Waltz explained why the hero was the perfect brother to make the Last Ronin. In a new interview, Waltz explained that the creative team behind the miniseries chose Michelangelo for the role because he was the last Turtle readers would expect to take a dark turn.


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin miniseries recently concluded its five-issue run, as the adventures of Michelangelo in a dark future ruled by oppressive forces ended with a bang. In the comic, Michelangelo watched his brothers and Master Splinter die in the war against the Foot Clan, leading him to adopt the role of Last Ronin, seeking revenge against those who murdered his family. Michelangelo teamed up with April O’Neil and her daughter Casey Jones Jr., as they took one final stand against the Foot Clan.

Related: TMNT’s Casey Jones Officially Becomes a Power Ranger in Crossover Upgrade

TMNT’s Mikey Was The Least Expected Last Ronin

Last Ronin, Ninja Turtles Return

In a new interview on CBR with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin writer Tom Waltz, he explained working alongside Kevin Eastman on an outline from Peter Laird that was more than 30 years in the making. When asked why Michelangelo was chosen as the TMNT’s Last Ronin, despite being known more for his light-hearted, party-dude attitude, as opposed to a Turtle who would seemingly fit a darker role better, Waltz responded that the juxtaposition between Mikey’s past and future made him the best fit. Furthermore, he added the Turtle would be the last readers would expect to take up the mantle.

The simplest answer is that Mikey was the brother we figured nobody would expect the happy-go-lucky party dude is now Rambo? What?! Raph seemed too obvious, Leo wasn’t too far behind on the obvious scale, and Donnie seemed like someone who would’ve gone more tech than conventional in his revenge, and we really wanted this to be a grunt’s story. Besides, we already had plans for April to handle a lot of the technological aspects of the Resistance, which freed up a warrior turtle to do the wet work. Plus, Kevin really liked the idea that Mikey, who was the first TMNT ever drawn, was also the last to be alive. Thematically, Mikey gave us the opportunity to explore the irony of the one person in the family who never truly bought into the clan-war aspect that exists at the foundation of their lives — being the only one left alive and stuck with the mission of ultimately winning said war… or dying trying.

It’s a great answer from Waltz, as Michelangelo becoming the Last Ronin turned out to be the perfect choice among the brothers. But, as he mentions, it’s also a full-circle moment to make Mikey the last surviving Turtle. It’s poetic he ended up being the first TMNT hero originally drawn and the final to survive in the battle against the Foot Clan.

Michelangelo Had To Become The Last Ronin

Michelangelo Last Ronin

As Waltz notes in his comments, Raph and Leo were pretty obvious choices, and Donatello would have been too technical had he survived, a role already being taken care of by April. As such, Mikey was the most entertaining choice by far while also being the most compelling, harboring a new darkness he’d never had prior to the loss of his brothers and Master Splinter. Revenge is a color that hadn’t been seen on Mikey in the slightest.

Ultimately, as Waltz explains in the interview, Michelangelo had to be the Last Ronin. His journey to get to that point was filled with heartbreak, helping show how dark the future got for the hero and how losing his family turned him from a light-hearted jokester into the Last Ronin, desperate for revenge against the Foot Clan. Choosing Michelangelo to be the final surviving Turtle in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin was the right call.

Next: TMNT Officially Reveals What The Turtles Look Like As Humans

Source: CBR

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