In 1984, a one-off comic published by Mirage StudiosĀ appeared in a New Hampshire comic book convention. Originally intended as a parody of the comics created by Frank Miller and Dave Sims, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the result of a collaboration between friends Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Word of the Turtles spread through comics circles and they quickly became a phenomena that only began to abate after a very successful cartoon, movie series, hundreds of comics, along with licensing of all shapes and sizes. It remains one of the most successful independent comics of all time.

While I only have access to a colorized version of this issue, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 was originally a black-and-white comic detailing a fight between four identical turtles and the evil Shredder. In this one-shot, which was half origin story and half massive fight scene, the Turtles were shown to be trained fighters who were trained by their master Splinter, a giant rat. The issue’s final page, an image of the Turtles successful in their mission and headed home, got fans clamoring for more. The next decade would certainly give them what they wanted.

UPDATE: A user has set in the original page of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 as it appeared in 1984. Thanks jokingofcourse for sharing the original image with us. Both are presented below to give you an idea of how the comic was changed for later editions.

From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Vol. 1) #1 (1984)

From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Vol. 1) #1 (1984)


  1. Met Eastman at the Boston con this year and the guy in front of me had a first edition of issue one to get signed. Even Eastman was pretty pumped to see someone with it.

  2. Love this page, one of my favorite issues of all time, love the Ultimate Collection Hardcovers!

  3. Gotta say, I prefer the original. Its all dark and moody. The new coloured page is just too shiny and happy.