The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) is an American media franchise that Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird conceptualized. The story follows four anthropomorphic turtle brothers that were trained in ninjutsu to defeat the evil in New York City. But did you know Laird was not particularly fond of an additional character that was added in The Next Mutation?
Peter Laird despised the 5th turtle, Venus de Milo, from the short-lived “The Next Mutation: so much that she was forbidden from being referenced or joked about in his presence.
Who is Peter Laird?
Peter Alan Laird was born on the 27th of January, 1954. He is a writer and illustrator for comic books from the United States. He is best known for co-creating the Turtles with Kevin Eastman. (Source: Turtlepedia)
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an American comic book series created by Mirage Studios that has been published on and off since May 1984. Eastman and Laird created the comic as a one-off spoof, but its success has spawned a massive pop culture franchise that includes a television series, six feature films, multiple video games, and a vast range of toys and products.
An evening of casual brainstorming gave birth to the idea. Eastman drew a turtle with nunchaku tied to his arms. A slow turtle dressed as a ninja amused Laird greatly. Eventually, they created a team of four turtles, each specializing in a different weapon.
They founded Mirage Studios with a tax refund and a loan from Eastman’s uncle. They released a single-issue comic book that parodied Daredevil, Ronin, and X-Men/The New Mutants, among other titles.
All of the turtles’ bandanas are red in this series, and the turtles usually are only identified by their weapons, their addresses, and occasionally by their personalities; differently-colored bandanas first appeared in the 1987 TV series and became the norm in most subsequent renditions. Most Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequels would be lighter in tone and aimed at a younger audience than the Mirage original.
Other successful independent comic books, such as Dave Sim’s Cerebus the Aardvark, Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon, Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot, and Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo, would cross over with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles over the years.
Laird sold the Turtles to Nickelodeon’s parent company, Viacom, in 2009. IDW Publishing announced at WonderCon 2011 that it had won the rights to produce a new series and reprint earlier comics. (Source: Turtlepedia)
Who is Venus de Milo?
As a fifth mutant turtle, She was presented in the live-action Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation TV series. She has also been featured in other books.
The existence of Venus is one of the most contentious issues in TMNT history. Most series fans disliked her, and she came out as a forced Deus ex Machina to many.
Venus has not appeared in any other TMNT media since the termination of Next Mutation, even as a joke. Laird, the franchise’s co-creator, has been vocal in his opposition to Venus returning in future installments.
Her biography on the official site was taken down for a while after the series ended but was eventually reinstated on page 2 of the Classic Characters profiles page. 2K3 TMNT Universe Characters had the first page inverted.
Laird gave Kevin Munroe, the writer, and director of the 2007 TMNT film, a list of extensive instructions about the presentation of the characters.
There’s absolutely no mention of Venus de Milo, the female turtle. You can’t even joke about that with Peter. It’s just one of those things that he hates with a passion.Kevin Munroe, Director of TMNT 2007