Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) is a group of crime-fighting, martial art heroes that takedown evil villains in New York City. TMNT are actual turtles that were trained by their rat sensei and were named after Italian Renaissance artists. The names of the turtles are Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. As a young child in the 90s, I still remember enjoying my Saturday mornings watching the animated series. The fictional heroes were a staple on television as a cartoon series from the 80s to the 90s. Even the video and arcade games of these characters were enjoyable to play as well! Did you know that the turtles are also a comic book series? Well, it is, and the first appearance of these heroes is one of the most coveted issues to obtain outside Marvel and DC Comic books.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
The first comic appearance of these turtle heroes is in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. This issue came out in 1984 and the book has been steadily rising since its debut. Currently, the last sale of a graded 9.8 copy went for $50,000 on the Comiclink on 12/05/2019 and also sold at Heritage Auctions for $52,800 on 11/21/2019. This issue is highly coveted and is on par with some of the grail books from Marvel and DC Comics. This issue is the gold standard for the series and its popularity appears to be picking up lately, as they try to expand their universe.
As recently as in the last couple of weeks, the issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1 has been a hot book in the indie comic world. The issue itself has been selling out. The regular cover has a high sale of $119.98 for a CGC 9.8 grade and the 1:10 variant went for $139 for CGC 9.8. These issues were noted on the Comicsheatingup.net Top 10 weekly list and it is listed as #3 and #4 respectively. The Last Ronin other variants, 1:25 and Ashcan copy, are on the runner-up list and are also selling well. The prices of these issues are also selling for $100 and above.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #51
One issue that has been picking up steam in the last three months is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #51. This issue is very important in the comic series. This issue depicts the first appearance of Jennika. Jennika is a Foot Clan assassin. These characters are enemies to the Ninja Turtles and are soldiers of the villain, The Shredder. In this case, Jennika was actually not on the villain’s side and paid a price for it. She was going to die until she received a blood transfusion from Leonardo and Donatello.
The transfusion turned her into a mutant turtle like the ones who saved her life. With that, she became the fifth mutated turtle in the series. The issue this occurred was in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #95. This issue is another key issue in the TMNT mythos and there has been a push for this character recently as well. Lately, Jennika received her own self-titled series to further promote her. This issue is steady at $100 for a graded 9.8 copy at a regular or variant cover.
TMNT is a cult classic for many middle-aged individuals and it will continue to try to mix its style with the newer generation. The animated series has been airing on television in the last couple of years and the plans of a live-action reboot are most likely in the works. So, the popularity of these heroes is trending in the right direction and it would be foolish not to get in and grab these key issues!