turtles hero

Exclusive preview: Splinter learns the true meaning of Christmas in IDW's TMNT #89

Contributed by
Dec 11, 2018, 5:05 PM EST

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's Heroes in a Half Shell have become a family institution and a beloved franchise across multiple entertainment and pop culture platforms since they first burst onto the indie comics scene way back in 1984.

So with the holidays fast approaching it's only customary (and good manners) to invite the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into our garland-draped abodes to see what the pizza-munching martial arts clan of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael are planning around the wintry season in IDW's TMNT #89.



Penned by Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman and perfectly paired with festive art by Michael Dialynas, IDW is dropping a special Christmas-tinted issue on Dec. 19, and SYFY WIRE is unwrapping an exclusive look into the tinseled edition.

The contemplative storyline takes a cue from Charles Dickens' classic story A Christmas Carol with a hearty "Bah! Humbug!" as Splinter forgets the real meaning of the holidays. To shake the frost off his attitude, it requires a time-spinning visit from the Turtles of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, guided by a freaky giant frog named Toad Baron to remind him that nothing is as important as family and rekindle his fading yuletide spirit.

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Though there have been a number of TMNT Christmas-themed issues at IDW over the years, Waltz honestly says that this year’s was his favorite to write.

"First and foremost, A Christmas Carol is one of my most beloved stories, so when Kevin, Bobby, and I sat down to talk about our plans for TMNT #89, and the discussion turned to paying homage to Charles Dickens’ classic work, I was ecstatic," Waltz tells SYFY WIRE. "I mean, if you’re gonna steal from somebody, might as well be from the best, right?"

For this preview, IDW chose to share Master Splinter’s (their Ebenezer Scrooge) visit with the Ghost of Christmas Present, played by the toothy Pantheon member, Toad Baron.

"It’s a fine example of how our existing characters fit so seamlessly into Charles Dickens’ well-established framework," Waltz added. "It really was a marriage made in heaven, and my fellow creators and I are extremely happy with how it all turned out. We hope our loyal readers (old and new alike) are, too. Happy holidays, everyone!"

toad baron


Dialynas has worked on and off in the TMNT IDW universe for the past few years, and the fact that he got the chance to come back to the main series with a Christmas issue was a sugar-coated treat.

"I got to channel a lot of emotion in this issue," Dialynas explained. "I felt that each page packed a different type of punch for Splinter's journey and was a great challenge after drawing the Michelangelo Macro-series issue which helped me flex my martial arts choreography muscles! Of all the new characters, the Toad Baron was the one that I redrew the most, though! It was a challenge to balance his huge head with so many teeth and make him look jolly at the same time, but I'm glad that I figured him out in the end, heehee."

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This 32-page holiday-themed issue storms into comic shops next Wednesday, so kick and slash your way toward grabbing one and enjoy our early peek at three interior pages plus a poignant cover for TMNT #90 in the gallery below.