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Turtle power outage: Three of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have died

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
(Image credit: IDW Publishing)

Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello, three of the vigilantes informally known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, have died under mysterious circumstances at the hands of the grandson of their arch-enemy, the Shredder.

The exact date and cause of the deaths of Leo, Raph, and Donny, as they were affectionately known, remain undisclosed. Their deaths were revealed in October's TMNT: The Last Ronin #1

The trio leave behind one remaining brother, Michaelangelo, the youngest of the four, who has sworn vengeance for his family.

The story of the Last Ronin goes all the way back to their '80s heyday when creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird envisioned an ending for their breakout heroes - and Eastman and Last Ronin co-writer Tom Waltz have also considered what might come in a sequel or spin-off to the story.

Though the details of their deaths remain a mystery, the remembrances of the dearly departed Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello remain all too fresh in our minds.

Leonardo

(Image credit: IDW Publishing)

Leonardo, known affectionately as 'Leo' by his brothers, was the eldest of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Recognizable in most incarnations by his blue bandana and twin katana swords, Leonardo was the most dedicated ninja among the TMNT.

And like his namesake Leonardo da Vinci, the affable, brave Leonardo was a true 'Renaissance Turtle' – skilled in all the arts of ninjitsu, both in terms of his stealth and combat skill, and in his spiritual practice in the teachings of Master Splinter, with whom he shared a special connection.

Though he was too humble to say so himself, Leonardo was considered the leader and moral center of the Turtles, their de facto guide when out of the watchful eye of Master Splinter. Dedicated to justice for the citizens of New York and vengeance against Shredder and the Foot Clan, Leonardo embodied the best of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Raphael

(Image credit: IDW Publishing)

Second eldest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Raphael may be best remembered for the chip he carried on his shoulder. But it's the weight he also carried on his shoulders that most defined the beloved 'Raph.'

Raphael struggled to be as skilled in combat as Michaelangelo, as intuitive as Donatello, and as charismatic as Leonardo. But wearing red and brandishing a pair of sais, Raphael fought through every challenge placed in his path and became the core of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – a champion for his brothers.

Raphael was the most streetwise of the TMNT, and cultivated a special understanding of New York City, befriending and often fighting alongside the vigilante Casey Jones – a true Turtle of the people, who channeled his anger into defending those who needed it most.

Donatello

(Image credit: IDW Publishing)

Donatello was perhaps the most inquisitive and inventive of his brothers. Second youngest, the bookish, brilliant Donatello may have lacked some of his brothers' ninja aptitude, but he more than made up for it with his natural gift for invention, which allowed him to often supplement his ninja prowess with gadgets and weaponry that he shared with the other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Clad in purple and wielding a bo staff alongside his array of gadgets, 'Donnie' was somewhat shy compared to his brothers, often lost in his own world of technology and science. But he complemented their abilities with his engineering, outfitting the Turtles' iconic battle van, and helping overcome many of the Foot Clan's most dastardly weapons and schemes.

TMNT: The Last Ronin #2 may reveal more of the story behind the deaths of these three heroes - including the timeline of their passing - when it arrives on February 17.

Keep up with all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles upcoming adventures, including The Last Ronin, with our listing of their upcoming comic book releases through March.

George Marston

Newsarama staff writer who learned to read from comic books and hasn’t shut up about them since.