So, these are the CLASSIC issues of TMNT that were created primarily by Eastman and/or Laird. You may or may not be surprised by how few isues they actually did, considering how famous they are for it. The criteria for this list is, “Can I recommend this to other people?”
1984 TMNT #1 story and art by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird
First issue evarrrrrr, so naturally it introduces the TMNT and Splinter, who tells them to go kill this guy Shredder. They fight a bunch of Foot Clan ninja and then fight Shredder on a rooftop. This whole sequence was adapted for the end of the first TMNT movie, but in the comic the Turtles are able to kill shredder without any help from Splinter.
1984 TMNT #2 story and art by Eastman & Laird
Introduces April O’Neil, Baxter Stockman, and the Mousers (never seen again in the comics). In the comics, April is a computer programmer, not a reporter. When the Turtles return home to tell Splinter about their adventure with the mousers, they find that he’s been kidnapped omg! The whole “Splinter is missing” thing also made it into the first movie.
1985 TMNT #3 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Introduces jack shit. The Turtles drive around with April looking for splinter until they’re all mistaken for some armed robbers and drive around like wussies instead of killin’ cops!
1985 Raphael #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Raph gets antsy and leaves the sewer to search for Splinter. If you’ve seen the first movie, you’ll be familiar with the following sequence: Raph interferes with a dangerous, hockey mask-wearing vigilante named Casey Jones, resulting in a vicious street fight.
1985/1986 TMNT #4, 5, 6, 7 and Fugitoid #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Apparently, way back in 1986, some people felt the series jumped the shark at this point. These issues combine to tell a rather epic story that begins with a run-in with remnants of the Foot Clan, which results in a chance spotting of the building owned by TCRI, the same company whose logo appears on the cannister that mutated the Toitles. They infiltrate the building and find that it’s filled with Utroms, the alien race that inspired the villain Krang on the kids TV show. There’s a melee and the Turtles are teleported far, far away. They meet up with a fugitive robot, the Fugitoid, who possesses valuable information that the Triceraton aliens want. They’re captured and there’s a really sweet gladiatorial sequence during which the Turtles kill some badasses. Then they fight their way out, get back to earth, learn that the Utroms are friendly and have Splinter (they rescued him from the Mousers) and all ends well. Yay.
1985 Michaelangelo #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Yay, a Christmas issue! As an old man, these are the kinds of stories that I really like, as they show the Turtles doing fairly normal things and not just fighting werewolves or aliens or whatever. Basically, some thieves steal a truck full of the latest must-have Christmas toy. Michaelangelo chases them down and then delivers the toys to an orphanage.
1986 Donatello #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
The all-out homage to Jack Kirby. Donatello discovers that April’s new tenant (she rents out a room, apparently), a dude named Kirby, just HAPPENS to have a magical crystal that he attaches to his pencil that makes his drawings come to life.
1986 TMNT #8 story and art by Eastman, Laird and Dave Sim
The TMNT team up for the first time, this time with Dave Sim’s Cerebus. They meet a time lord chick named Renet, go back in time, meet Cerebus, fight a goat guy named Savanti Romero and then end up in April’s shower. Eventually, Dave Sim informed Mirage that the issue had been reprinted too many times and denied them permission to ever reprint it. Mirage also offered to produce a Cerebus action figure as part of the TMNT toy line but he said nope!
- Mirage Classics Part 2: TMNT Comics by Eastman & Laird 2 of 2
- Mirage Classics Part 3: TMNT comics by Eastman & friends
- Mirage Classics 4: TMNT short story collections
- Mirage Studios Miscellanea Part 1: Non-TMNT Publications