The Fifth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Was Originally a Human Being

1 week ago

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies are best known for their four iconic members: Raphael, Donatello, Michaelangelo, and Leonardo, with additional members joining the team on occasion. However, a fifth member was introduced to the TMNT and her backstory is almost too insane to believe. Unlike the core turtles, Jennika was originally a human before being transformed.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird franchise started off as a dark satire of Frank Miller comics like Daredevil and Ronin. However, multiple feature films in the mid-90s transformed TMNT to a kid-friendly property, that grossed hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, while making the characters a house-hold name, as they dominated pop culture. The team has mostly stayed as four core members, with Venus de Milo's, a fifth, oft-forgotten female turtle who debuted in Ninja: Turtles: The Next Mutation, having a short-lived stint on the roster before being completely forgotten - and the likes of April O'Neil and Casey Jones joining them on adventures. There was also Kirby, a fifth turtle who was supposed to join the crew in TMNT 4, which was canceled before it hit production.

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #95 by Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz, Dave Watcher, Ronda Pattison, and Shawn Lee, a Foot Clan assassin named Jennika (who was dating bad boy Casey Jones) is impaled by Karai after she refused to switch allegiances. The Turtles take her to a laboratory in an attempt to save her life. They plan on using Ooze to keep her alive, however, after the villainous Metalhead attacks the lab, the vial is shattered. After escaping, the turtles have no other choice and Donatello and Leonardo give Jennika their blood in a transfusion. The blood transfer works, however, it turns Jennika into a mutant turtle.

Unlike the original turtles who were actual turtles before being mutated by the Ooze, Leonardo and Donatello's blood transforms Jennika from a human into a mutant turtle. It's a bizarre, harrowing tale that helped introduce the fifth member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She became the second female mutant turtle to join the team following De Milo.

Jennika would join the Turtles before spinning off in her own solo adventures earlier this year. The character has proven to be a welcome addition to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles family, as her human origin gives her a dynamic backstory that brings something new to the table. Plus, her Wolverine-esque metal claws that she uses in battle, plus her yellow bandana make her a certified badass. Adding a fifth member was always going to be tough to get fans on board, but Jennika has shown to be a perfect fit - even if her human origin and transformation are straight out of a horror movie.

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