Despite the huge box office draw, the recent TMNT movie was not so good. In fact, it was downright terrible. But as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans, we haven’t really had many good reasons to be proud to show our colors anyway. Between some of the less-than-impressive reboots and the Coming Out of Their Shells tour (shiver), it’s been difficult for a number of years to say that we were fans of the turtles. And this recent movie doesn’t help.

But then, there are those shining moments in half-shell history where we can all look back and understand just why we fell in love with them in the first place. These are five moments in particular that every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan can point to, and for good reason, and claim that every last one of these is awesome.

Turtles Comics
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comic Book Series
First Appearance: 1984

Who knew that a parody of Marvel’s Daredevil, as well as a few other comics at the time, could spawn such a unique and special premise? Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird brought their series to life in 1984 when they formed Mirage Studios and put out their first issue. These turtles were very different from the ones we would eventually see become a worldwide phenomenon in a scant few years. This version of the turtles came in black and white and they all wore red like Raphael. (Hence the reason for that "strange" cover on the original NES game.)

They were also a lot more violent. The Foot Clan, which was actually a parody of Daredevil’s "The Hand," was composed of humans rather than robots, and the turtles also swore a bit, too. In essence, they were like real teenagers, but they were turtles, and also learned in martial arts. Some of the early arcs in the comic even made it into the first movie, but we’ll get to that shortly. As a whole, with the creation of the turtles coming out of this comic, how could you not be proud of it? It changed history.

Highlight: The true origin of Master Splinter and The Shredder’s blood feud

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