The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a fictional team of four teenage anthropomorphic turtles, who were trained by their anthropomorphic rat sensei in the art of ninjutsu. It is often shortened to TMNT or Ninja Turtles. They were named after four Renaissance artists. From their home in the storm sewers of New York City, they battle petty criminals, evil overlords, mutated animals, and alien invaders while they are attempting to remain isolated from society.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in an American comic book published by Mirage Studios in 1984 in Dover, New Hampshire.
The characters originated in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book before their expansion into a cartoon series, films, video games, toys, and other general merchandise.During the peak of franchise’s popularity in the late 1980s through the early 1990s, the franchise gained considerable worldwide success and fame.
- Leonardo (Leo) – The tactician, courageous leader and devoted student of martial arts, Leonardo wears a blue mask and wields two long and razor-sharp ninjakens that slice through nearly anything solid. He is the oldest of four, so he bears the burden of responsibility for his brothers and sensei, which often leads to conflict with Raphael. Leonardo was named after the Italian polymath, painter, engineer, inventor, writer, anatomist, and sculptor, Leonardo da Vinci.
- Michelangelo (Mike or Mikey) – Easy-going, fun-loving jokester, and free-spirited being, Michelangelo wears an orange mask and wields a pair of nunchakus. He is the youngest of the four Turtles, and often provides the comic relief. He is named after the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer, Michelangel
- Donatello (Don or Donnie) – The scientist, inventor, engineer, and technological genius, Donatello wears a purple mask and wields a bo staff. Donatello is perhaps the least violent turtle. He prefers to use his knowledge to solve conflicts, but never hesitates to defend his brothers. He is named after the early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence, Donatello.
- Raphael (Raph) – Raphael is the team’s bad boy. He wears a dark red mask and wields a pair of sai. He is physically strong. He has an aggressive nature, and seldom hesitates to throw the first punch.He is named after the Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, Raphael.
- Splinter –Splinter is the Turtles’ sensei and adoptive father. He is a Japanese mutant rat. He learned the ways of ninjutsu from his owner and master, Hamato Yoshi
- April O’Neil –April is a former lab assistant to the mad scientist Baxter Stockman. She is the plucky human companion of the Turtles.
- Casey Jones – A vigilante who has become one of the Turtles’ closest allies as well as a love interest to April
- Shredder – A villainous ninjutsu master called Oroku Saki. He is the leader of the Foot Clan
- Karai – A female high-rank member of the Foot Clan. She has appeared in several different TMNT comics, cartoons and films, as well as in multiple video games. In most works, she shares an ambiguous rivalry (occasionally even bordering on romantic interest) with Leonardo.