Monday, January 4, 2010

The Mirage Comics continuity timeline



Foreword:

As you may well know, a very healthy portion of the Ninja Turtles stories published by Mirage Studios were not written in anything approaching a coherent chronological order. The primary TMNT volumes were, of course, but even then, you have to weed out the non-canon “guest” issues from the purely canon “in-house” issues before you can get a reliable reading order. Then there’s the matter of both volumes of Tales of the TMNT, each telling stories that take place at different points across the Turtles’ timeline, having to be slotted in-between issues of the primary TMNT volumes. And lest we forget, there’s also a metric ton of back-up strips printed as bonus material in trade paperbacks, as guest content in other indie books and as episodes in various anthology publications, including those from Mirage.

The Mirage Comics Ninja Turtles continuity is anything but linear. However, that doesn’t keep some of us from trying our damnedest to make sense of the whole thing. In April of 2007, after completing my collection of all Mirage Turtles publications under the sun (or at least, so I thought at the time), I decided to take it upon myself to spread all the pieces of the puzzle out before me and assemble them into a competent, chronological timeline. It proved a daunting task and far beyond the means of a single mortal. So I made this thread over at The Technodrome forums and soon dozens of helpful Turtles fans came to my aid, pointing out inconsistencies in my timeline, offering recommendations and alerting me to any hyper-obscure pieces of Turtles fiction I was unaware of.

Later, Mirage freelancer Tristan Jones took my timeline and asked if it could be used for the then-upcoming “Mirage Universe Sourcebook” publication. After much fuss and hard work, we hammered out an even more thorough chronology to be used in an actual Mirage guidebook. Then Laird sold the Turtles to Viacom and the “Mirage Universe Sourcebook” got cancelled. Bummer.

Regardless of that, the timeline still stands three years later. And after all this time, it continues to be improved upon by helpful fans at The Technodrome forums who are still finding minute inconsistencies in story placement. The Timeline below is subject to change as new material is written or as new inconsistencies are discovered, so don’t feel like you’re losing your mind if issues move from place to place while you were busy blinking. The goal is to make this as complete and accurate as possible, and perfection is not something that can be achieved overnight (no, it takes three years and two dozen nerds for that).

Enjoy!

KEY

White: Officially verified Mirage canon from in-house creators, freelancers and guest contributors.
Red: Guest stories published between TMNT (Vol. 1) #21 and #45 and other guest stories that are not officially verified or are considered "non-canon" despite no contradictions in content.
Green : The Image series.
: Indicates back-up strip, short comic or anthology installment.


The Mirage Comics continuity timeline

THE EARLY YEARS

Tales Vol. 2 #44 – The Amulet (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #50 – Threads (review)
Big Bang Comics #10  Galahad  (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #25 – My Hero! (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #38 – Triptyche (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #38 – Awww... rats! (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #44 – The Lessons (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #13 – Loops, Part 1 of 1 (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #14 – Loops, Part 2 of 2 (review)
Shell Shock – Bottoming Out (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #4 (2nd printing) – The Survival Game (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #2 – Seeds of Destruction (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #9 – The Passing (review)
Tales Vol.2 #1 – Not Forgotten (review)  
TMNT Adventures! – New York Ninja (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #6 (2nd printing) – It’s a Gas (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #35 – The Pantheon (review)
TMNT Book I – Night Life (review)
Shell Shock – Junk Man (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #52 – The Mission (review)
Tales Vol.2 #55 – A Day in the Life (review)
Hero Comics 2012 #1 - Ready Set Go! (review)
Creed/TMNT #1  Dream Stone (review)

LIVING WITH APRIL: YEAR ONE

TMNT Vol. 1 #1 – The Turtles’ Origin is Told (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #4 – Fifteen Years Later... (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #2 – TMNT Vs. the Mousers (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #3 – The Great Chase (review)
Raphael (microseries) #1 – Me, Myself and I (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #4 – Rescuing Master Splinter (review)
Fugitoid (microseries) #1 – The Fugitoid’s Origin (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #5 – Teaming Up with Fugitoid (review)
Grimjack #26 – D'Ants Fever (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #6 – The Triceraton Homeworld (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #7 – All is Revealed (review)
Grunts #1 – The Lesson (review)
TMNT Guide to the Universe – Terror by Transmat! (review)
Tortugas Ninja Vol. 2 – The Paradox of Chudnovsky (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #3 (2nd printing) – Complete Carnage an' Radical (review)
Raphael (microseries) #1 (2nd printing) – Fun With Guns (review)
Bodycount #1 – Bodycount, Part One (review)
Bodycount #2 – Bodycount, Part Two (review)
Bodycount #3 – Bodycount, Part Three (review)
Bodycount #4 – Bodycount, Part Four (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 1 #1 – Apparition (review)
TMNT & Other Strangeness – Don't Judge a Book... (review)
Michaelangelo (microseries) #1 – The Christmas Aliens (review)

LIVING WITH APRIL: YEAR TWO

TMNT Vol. 1 #1 (5th printing) – Not One Word (review)
TMNT Book I – New Comic Day! (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #8 – Team Up with Cerebus (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 1 #1 – Turtle Soup and Rabbit Stew (review)
Usagi Yojimbo (Vol. 1) #10 – The Crossing (review)
Shell Shock – The Treaty (review)
Usagi Yojimbo (Vol. 2) #1 – Shades of Green part 1 (review)
Usagi Yojimbo (Vol. 2) #2 – Shades of Green part 2 (review)
Usagi Yojimbo (Vol. 2) #3 – Shades of Green part 3 (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 1 #1 – Turtle Dreams (review)
Donatello (microseries) #1 – Kirby and the Warp Crystal (review)
Gobbledygook (Vol. 2) #1 – Crazy Man (review)
Gobbledygook (Vol. 2) #1 – Technofear!!! (review)
Tales Vol. 1 #5 – Complete Carnage and Radical (review)
Anything Goes! #5 – The Road Trip (review)
Tales Vol. 1 #7 – The Return of Savanti Romero (review)
Tales Vol. 1 TPB 2007 – Spinal Tapped (review)
Shell Shock – Meanwhile... 1,000,000 B.C. (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #3 – Sweat, Sweat, Sweet Renet (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #2  Raphael: Snapper  (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 1 #1 – The Howl (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #5 (2nd printing) – Ghouls Night Out (review)
Tales Vol. 1 #3 – All Hallow’s Thieves (review)
Leonardo (microseries) #1 – What Goes Around… Comes Around! (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #10 – Silent Partner (review)

EXILE TO NORTHAMPTON

TMNT Vol. 1 #11 – True Stories (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #33 – Credo (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #4 – Thoughts on Paper  (review)
Tales Vol. 1 #1 – A Tale of the TMNT (review)
Challenges – Origin (review)
Challenges – Splinter (review)
Challenges – Michelangelo (review)
Challenges – Leonardo (review)
Challenges – Donatello (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #30 – The Mother of All Anger (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #12 – Survivalists (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #13 – The People’s Choice (review)
Mirage Mini Comics Collection story #11 – Casey Jones, Private Eye (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #14 – The Unmentionables (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #15 – Dome Doom (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #17 – Distractions (review)
Tales Vol. 1 #2 – Nobody’s Fool! (review)
Tales Vol. 1 TPB 1989 – "untitled Nobody story" (review)
Tales Vol. 1 #4 – I, Monster (review)


RETURN TO NEW YORK

TMNT Vol. 1 #19 – Return to New York, Book One (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #70 – Zog (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #20 – Return to New York, Book Two (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #21 – Return to New York, Book Three (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #3 – The Worms of Madness, Part One (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #4 – The Worms of Madness, Part Two (review)
Digital Webbing Presents #24 – Digital Webbing Presents
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #26 – The Value of Gold (review)
Casey Jones #1 – North by Downeast, Part One of Two (review)
Casey Jones #2 – North by Downeast: The Conclusion (review)
Tales Vol. 1 #6 – Leatherhead (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #37 – Casey in Point (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #25 – Kung Fu Theater (review)
TMNT Book III – 49th Street Stompers (review)
Challenges – Raphael (review)
Muscle & Faith (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #3 – The Ring of Death  (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #1 – The Name is Lucindra (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #44 – The Violent Underground (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #45 – Leatherhead, Too (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #8 – Virus (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #23 – Attack of the Replicants (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #34 – Splinter Cell (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #30 – Circle of Darkness (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #21 – A (Bull) Wrinkle in Time (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #7 – You Had to be There (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #3  Bearing the Burden  (review)
TMNT (Vol. 1) #33  Turtles Take Time (review)
The Savage Dragon #2 (review)
The Savage Dragon/TMNT #1 – Enter the Savage Dragon! (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #11 – The Quick and the Dead (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #50 – World’s Deadliest (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #63 – Monster Island (review)

RETURN TO NORTHAMPTON

TMNT Vol. 1 #24 – The River Part 1: Down to the River (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #25 – The River Part 2: River Hymn (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #26 – The River Part 3: Old Man River (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #28 – Sons of the Silent Age (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #27 – Dreams of Stone (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #29 – Men of Shadow (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #30 – Sky Highway (review)
Shell Shock – O-Deed (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #1 – The Purpose of Fear (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #3 – Crack in a Hard Heart (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #1 – Donatello: The Ring (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #37 – Twilight of the Ring (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #42 – Juliet’s Revenge (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #43 – Halls of Lost Legends (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #1 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Attack!!! Part 1 (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Attack!!! Part 2 (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #3 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Attack!!! Part 3 (review)
Turtle Soup Vol. 2 #4 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Attack!!! Part 4 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #46 – Masks Part I (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #47 – Masks Part II (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #19 – A Ghost Story (review)

CITY AT WAR

Tales Vol. 2 #22 – Change of Power (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #48 – Shades of Gray, Part One of Two (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #49 – Shades of Gray, Part Two of Two (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #50 – City at War, Part 1 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #51 – City at War, Part 2 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #52 – City at War, Part 3 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #53 – City at War, Part 4 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #54 – City at War, Part 5 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #55 – City at War, Part 6 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #56 – City at War, Part 7 (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #46 – Temps (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #57 – City at War, Part 8 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #58 – City at War, Part 9 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #59 – City at War, Part 10 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #60 – City at War, Part 11 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #61 – City at War, Part 12 (review)
TMNT Vol. 1 #62 – City at War, Part 13 (review)

VOLUME 2

Tales Vol. 2 #20 – The Trophy (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #41 – Fathers and Daughters (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #1 – Memories of the Future (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #2 – Winds of Change (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #3 – Evolution (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #4 – Intruders (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #5 – Death Race (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #6 – Killer on the Loose (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #7 – Confrontations (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #8 – Face Off (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #9 – Victory? (review)
Donatello #1 – The Brain Thief, Part 1 (review)
Donatello #2 – The Brain Thief, Part 2 (review)
Donatello #3 – The Brain Thief, Part 3 (review)
Donatello #4 – The Brain Thief, Part 4 (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #10 – Descending into D.A.R.P.A. (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #11 – The Rescue (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #12 – The Escape (review)
TMNT Vol. 2 #13 – The Battle (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #49 – Mined Games (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #33 – The Bait (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #48 – The Decider! (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #43 – The Proposal (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #20 – The Cure (review)
TMNT/The Savage Dragon #1 (review)
The Savage Dragon #22 (review)

THE GANG WARS

Tales Vol. 2 #36 – To Serve and Protect (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #56 – Hun (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #59 – Expose (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #61 – Sometimes They Come Back (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #48 – One’s Shadow! (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #64 – The Burning Man (review)

IMAGE VOLUME 3

Shattered Image #2 (review)
The Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck #1 (review)
Mars Attacks Image #1 (review)
TMNT (Vol. 3) #24  TMNT vs. Spawn (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #1 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #2 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #3 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #4 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #5 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #6 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #7 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #8 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #9 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #10 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #11 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #12 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #13 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #14 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #15 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #16 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #24  Conflict Resolution (review)
The Savage Dragon #41 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #17 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #18 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #19 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #20 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #21 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #24  Christmas Past (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #22 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #23 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #24  Practical Jokes (review)
TMNT 30th Anniversary Special – Rest in Pieces  (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #24 (review)
TMNT Vol. 3 #25 (review)

MIRAGE "VOLUME 3"

Tales Vol. 2 #9 – Community Service (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #57 – Gangs All Here (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #67 – Schooled (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #51 – Night of the Living Gingerbread (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #53 – Alien Invaders (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #65 – Cold, Cold Ice (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #68 – A Klunk Adventure (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #9 – The Path (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #3 – Green  (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #5 – Blind Faith (review)
Tales of Leonardo #1 – Blind Sight, Part 1 (review)
Tales of Leonardo #2 – Blind Sight, Part 2 (review)
Tales of Leonardo #3 – Blind Sight, Part 3 (review)
Tales of Leonardo #4 – Blind Sight, Part 4 (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #35 – Secret Spirit (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #10 – Kaddish (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #20 – The Rippling (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #24 – Rock of Ages (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #32 – The Eye of Aga-Moo-Tou (review)
Michaelangelo (microseries) #1 (2nd printing) – A Christmas Carol (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #53 – Ghosts of Christmas Past (review)

PRELUDE TO VOLUME 4

Tales Vol. 2 #69 – Dark Shadows (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #7 – Darkness Weaves (review)
Raphael #1 – Bad Moon Rising, Part 1: The Calling (review)
Raphael #2 – Bad Moon Rising, Part 2: The Taking (review)
Raphael #3 – Bad Moon Rising, Part 3: The Catch (review)
Raphael #4 – Bad Moon Rising, Part 4: The Win (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #6 – Scars (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #15 – Hell’s Blacktop (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #28 – Channeling 
Tales Vol. 2 #42 – The Curious Case of Mr. Jones (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #66 – There's No Place Like Home (review)

VOLUME 4

TMNT Vol. 4 #1 (review)
TMNT Vol. 4 #2 (review)
TMNT Vol. 4 #3 (review)
TMNT Vol. 4 #4 (review)
TMNT Vol. 4 #5 (review)
Michelangelo #1 – The Third Kind, Part 1 (review)
Michelangelo #2 – The Third Kind, Part 2 (review)
Michelangelo #3 – The Third Kind, Part 3 (review)
Michelangelo #4 – The Third Kind, Part 4 (review)
Michelangelo #4 – Life on Earth  (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #16 – Sins of the Past (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #54 – Mere Appendix (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #62 – Adventures in Bunnysitting (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #18 – The Blue Hole (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #12 – Paris Nocturne (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #28 – Shanghaied (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #29 – Soul Survivor
Tales Vol. 2 #31 – Reflections
Tales Vol. 2 #45 – Rocks
Go Green Machine TMNT Tribute (unpublished)  Slash!  (review)
TMNT Vol. 4 #6
Tales Vol. 2 #47 – The Secret Origins of the Super Turtles!!!
TMNT Vol. 4 #7
TMNT Vol. 4 #8
TMNT Vol. 4 #9
TMNT Vol. 4 #10
TMNT Vol. 4 #11
Tales Vol. 2 #17 – Wrong Turn
Tales Vol. 2 #52 – The Crystal at the Heart of the World (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #58 – All Tomorrow’s Yesterdays (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #39 – What Wolves Wear (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #68 – Heroes in a Half Cell (review)
TMNT Vol. 4 #12
TMNT Vol. 4 #13
TMNT Vol. 4 #14
TMNT Vol. 4 #15
TMNT Vol. 4 #16
TMNT Vol. 4 #17
TMNT Vol. 4 #18
TMNT Vol. 4 #19
TMNT Vol. 4 #20
TMNT Vol. 4 #21
TMNT Vol. 4 #22
Tales Vol. 2 #53  This Mortal Shell  (review)
TMNT Vol. 4 #23
Tales Vol. 2 #60 – Nobody Does it Better (review)
TMNT Vol. 4 #24
TMNT Vol. 4 #25
TMNT Vol. 4 #26
TMNT Vol. 4 #27
TMNT Vol. 4 #28
Tales Vol. 2 #27 – White Horses
TMNT Vol. 4 #29
TMNT Vol. 4 #30
TMNT Vol. 4 #31
TMNT Vol. 4 #32

THE ADVENTURES OF PROFESSOR OBLIGADO

Tales Vol. 2 #4 – The Grape  (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #6 – The Raisin' (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #8 – The Risen (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #10 – The Question (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #14 – First Mud (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #15 – Apocalypse Vow  (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #18 – Altered Fates  (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #25 – The Doors of Deception (review)

THE FUTURE

TMNT 30th Anniversary Special - Night of the Ninja Girl  (review)
The Collected Gizmo – King for a Day
Gizmo and the Fugitoid #1 (review)
Gizmo and the Fugitoid #2 (review)
Plastron CafĂ© #1 – Old Times (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #40 – Silent Knight
The Puma Blues #20 – Choices (review)
Tales Vol. 2 #41 – Swan Song
Tales Vol. 1 TPB 2007 – Frontispieces and Epilogue (review)


Notations:

The Mirage chronology for the most part holds up fine, thanks to the episodic nature of much of the storytelling. However, there are continuity errors that cannot be rectified by even the cleverest of story placement. In such cases, those instances must simply be overlooked in absence of a better option. Additionally, many TMNT stories that could easily work with Mirage continuity, and indeed, have been published by Mirage, have been the work of outside “guest” creators, making their canonicity questionable due to Peter Laird’s opinions toward Mirage stories not written by in-house Mirage staffers. Additionally, some stories that were canon when they were written were later retconned out of continuity at Laird’s behest. These stories have been included for the sake of completion, but with proper notations indicating their canon-status. The following is a detailed account of these discrepancies and incongruities as well as rationalizations for various timeline placements.

*THE EARLY YEARS: These stories take place before TMNT (Vol. 1) #1, dealing with various points in the Turtles’ childhoods. They’ve been arranged by ages given in the issues or just by “eyeballing” the size and intelligence levels of the Turtles. So far as discrepancies are concerned, there are a few that should be noted to prevent confusion. Karai is much, much older than the Turtles in this continuity, thus her origin story takes place first. “Loops” brings together four Leonardos from four different points in the character’s timeline. However, since the primary perspective is from the youngest Leonardo, the story is slotted into this era. The back-up strips printed in “Shell Shock” and other books could conceivably take place just about anywhere in the Turtles’ timeline, but have been placed here for lack of a better idea. They’re all mostly goofy and fun stories and fit well with the more carefree days of this era.

*LIVING WITH APRIL YEAR ONE: This era covers their first year living in April’s apartment as well as their space adventure with the Triceratons and the Utroms. It ends with the Michelangelo (microseries) #1 issue, as it is established as taking place during a different Christmas from the one seen in TMNT (Vol. 1) #10 (which is established as being their second Christmas with April). Many of the Raph/Casey adventures that lack definitive evidence for timeline placement have been grouped here to illustrate their time spent bonding as friends. Stories like “The Lesson” and “Terror by Transmat!” also lack definitive evidence for placement and have been grouped here for the sake of theme. Some stories, such as “Fifteen Years Later” and “D’Ants Fever” take place between pages of actual issues and as such have been placed below the issue in which their events transpire.

*LIVING WITH APRIL YEAR TWO: This era covers their second year living in April’s apartment. Only the first and third Usagi Yojimbo crossovers offer timeline placement evidence, showing the Turtles living in April’s apartment. The other Usagi crossovers were grouped here for sake of theme. Various horror-themed back-up strips with no concrete evidence for placements were grouped around the Halloween issue, “All Hallow’s Thieves”, for sake of theme.

*EXILE TO NORTHAMPTION: This era covers their banishment from New York at the hands of the resurrected Shredder. Most of these stories were specifically written to take place in this era with others simply being placed here due to location and theme.  As TMNT #10 takes place on Christmas 1986 and TMNT #19 takes on Christmas 1988, the Exile spans a full two years in story-time. Issues #16 and #18 have been skipped as they were guest stories not written to work with the continuity of the series. The Tales (Vol. 1) stories that take place in this era have been placed primarily based on the seasonal settings.

*RETURN TO NEW YORK: This era covers the Turtles’ return to New York City following their exile and the subsequent defeat of the resurrected Shredder. This is where things start to get tricky. To keep the Turtles from constantly bouncing back and forth between Manhattan and Northampton, the stories taking place in those locales have been separated where applicable. Additionally, the story “Leatherhead” has been shuffled down the line to undo a rather infamous continuity error (at the end of that story, the Turtles give their sewer lair to Leatherhad, yet they are repeatedly shown living in their lair later with no Leatherhead in sight). Additionally, several short strips featuring the Turtles battling sloppy and pitiful groups of Foot Soldiers have been placed here, as established by “City at War”, the New York branch of the Foot became pathetic and disorganized following the death of the Shredder, despite their lame attempts to obtain vengeance on the Turtles.

*RETURN TO NORTHAMPTON: This era covers the Turtles’ return to Casey’s farm in Northampton and the adventures they encountered while staying there. Again, these stories were separated by location. As color-coded, a large number of these stories were written between TMNT (Vol. 1) #21 and #45, thus making their canon status questionable.

*CITY AT WAR: This era covers the massive “City at War” epic. It includes “Change of Power” and “Shades of Grey” as they were both written as prologues to the event. The Tales (Vol. 2) story, "Temps", takes place between TMNT #53 and #54, but features April back in New York before she fully decided to return following her father's funeral in #57. Due to the lack of snow on the ground and the Turtles' water tower base being intact (it was attacked in #56), the story cannot take place after #57. April was possibly just "visiting" New York at the time, if one must explain away the continuity glitch.

*VOLUME 2: This era covers the events of Mirage’s Volume 2 series as well as those written around them. At this point, stories are slotted into this era either by theme or solely by judgment of Shadow’s age. Following TMNT Vol. 1, her growth would play a major factor in determining how many years have passed between stories and thus where a story should be placed.

*THE GANG WARS: This era covers the events of the Gang Wars. Unfortunately, due to the Viacom buy-out and the cancellation of Tales of the TMNT (Vol. 2), the Gang Wars arc never received a conclusion, leaving this era rather open ended.

*MIRAGE “VOLUME 3”: This era covers the stories retroactively written to fill the void between Mirage’s Volume 2 series and Mirage’s Volume 4 series. There was no actual Mirage Volume 3 (hence the quotations), as the official Volume 3 was published by Image and, as per Laird, that volume is no longer canon.

*IMAGE VOLUME 3: This era covers the events of Image’s TMNT series. When the Image series was originally written, it was the official continuation of the Mirage storyline, even covering several plot threads that Laird and Eastman had established in their previous volumes. The volume was canon until the publication of Mirage’s Volume 4 series. By that point, Laird had decided he did not approve of the direction Image’s Volume 3 had taken the series and chose to ignore it completely with his new volume, thus retconning it out of continuity. However, as it was canon once, it has been included here for posterity.

*PRELUDE TO VOLUME 4: This era covers the years taking place just before the beginning of Mirage Volume 4. As has been stated, the chronology of Mirage “Volume 3” is determined primarily by Shadow’s age. However, there is a wide gulf of years between those stories, as Shadow is written as either a little girl or a teenager/young adult. Her teenager/young adult stories must take place several years away from her “Volume 3” stories and almost directly before Volume 4. As such, they have been grouped with stories that pertain directly to the events of Volume 4 and have been dubbed a “prelude” to that series.

*VOLUME 4: This era covers the events of the Volume 4 series. Due to scheduling conflicts and, it seems, a lack of interest, issues of TMNT (Vol. 4) were first delayed and then put on an “indefinite hiatus” status by Peter Laird. The volume is currently incomplete with no indication that the hiatus will be lifted. Several Tales of the TMNT (Vol. 2) stories were written to elaborate upon or continue plot threads within this volume due to the series itself being postponed indefinitely. Additionally, issue #5 of the series featured a six month gap in the narrative to allow for the Utroms and other aliens to establish their presence on Earth and integrate with the masses. Stories placed here feature a heavy alien-on-Earth presence or major cooperation between the TMNT and the Utroms. The short, "This Mortal Shell", was a guest story specifically noted in the opening editorial to be "non-canon". However, the actual content of the story contradicts nothing in the series.

*THE ADVENTURES OF PROFESSOR OBLIGADO: This “era” simply contains all the Professor Obligado back-up stories. They do not interact with the TMNT in any fashion and could conceivably take place during the six month gap or after the events of Volume 4 or sometime long afterward. Due to a lack of interest, the storyline was never completed by Stephen Murphy.

*THE FUTURE: This era covers stories specifically written to take place in the vague and possible “future” of the Mirage TMNT. Tales (Vol. 2) #69 establishes that all these future stories are merely "potential" outcomes and may not all even be related to each other in the same timeline. So with that in mind, determining chronology for these stories is difficult. Some can be placed due to how old the Turtles appear, where they’re living, references to the events in other stories or, in at least Donatello’s case, how depressed they are. The “Gizmo and the Fugitoid” miniseries has been placed here since the Gizmo series by Michael Dooney takes place in Earth’s future. Additionally, the miniseries ends with a glimpse of an Earth-like street corner populated by humans and aliens, fitting in with what we know about Volume 4 and the Mirage future. For reference’s sake, the stories “Loops”, “A Christmas Carol” and "Dark Shadows" also feature looks into this future of the TMNT, but the primary narrative of these stories is set in the past or present, hence why they are not included in this era.

*The Volume 1 “guest era”: Between TMNT (Vol. 1) #21 and #45, the book was handed over to a series of guest creators with little to no regard for continuity. Stories like “Spaced Out” and “Soul’s Winter” are too bizarre (each in their own way) to possibly be part of the Mirage timeline, while others are simply too contradictory or silly. Several stories, however, were written to function with the Mirage continuity of the day. However, Peter Laird has stated that with the exception of “Dreams of Stone” and “Sons of the Silent Age”, all stories published during this period are of dubious canonical status, if not outright non-canon. This is partly due to creator ownership rights, as Mirage does not own any of the characters created for these stories by the guest artists. Oddly, this non-canonocity decision also includes “The River” trilogy, which is directly referenced in “Sons of the Silent Age”, a canon story. For the sake of posterity, all stories written during this period which are non-contradictory to the Mirage canon have been included, but with proper notation of canon status.

*"Turtle Soup": The "Turtle Soup" series was an anthology title containing short TMNT related stories by both in-house creators at Mirage and guest contributors. Many of the guest contributions were too "out there" to qualify for inclusion in the Mirage timeline, while others were either harmless or prologues to stories written during the TMNT (Vol. 1) "guest era". All stories capable of existing within this timeline have been included and color-coded where applicable.

*”Bodycount”: The “Bodycount” storyline, written by Kevin Eastman, was originally intended to be published by Mirage as “Casey Jones & Raphael”. The first issue was released, but when publishing of the TMNT series was shifted to Image, the series was retitled “Bodycount” and finished release under that publisher. Although it was primarily published by Image and boasts at least one Image-exclusive element (Casey’s star-spangled hockey mask), the fact that it was penned by a franchise co-founder and initially intended for publication under Mirage lends it credence for primary Mirage canon status.

*The Savage Dragon crossovers: Likewise the same can be said of the Savage Dragon crossover. Both two-part crossover arcs were co-published between Mirage and Image and before the publication of TMNT comics became strictly the duty of Image. The events of the first crossover are referenced in TMNT (Vol. 2) #3, while Radical’s depowering in the second crossover is referenced in Tales of the TMNT (Vol. 2) #41. This, as well as involvement from Mirage in-house staffer Michael Dooney, would appear to make these crossovers Mirage canon.

*The back-up strips: short TMNT comics have been published within anthology books, reprints of old material, trade paperback collections, other indie publications, role-playing game guidebooks and just about everywhere else under the sun. Some of them are important to the narrative of several storylines, while others are merely comedy relief filler. Most do not offer any evidence as to where they take place in the Turtles’ timeline due to their brief length. For the purposes of this timeline, those with evidence for placement have been slotted in where they belong. The remainder have been dropped in where they “feel” best, carry on a theme or simply can do no harm. Back-ups that were too silly or contradictory have not been included.


16 comments:

Adam Winters said...

Mighty impressive body of work here.

ADZ said...

I totally agree Adz #1 would have taken ages!!
Now if only Someone would publish them in that order.

John Pannozzi said...

"Now if only Someone would publish them in that order."

Yeah. It would be cool if whoever gains eventually gains the right to reprint TMNT comics would collect all the Mirage stuff in this order, and have each collected book contain one of the eras in your timeline (though some eras, particularly, volumes 3 and 4, would take at least 2-3 books to contain them in a good, affordable package). The only real problems I could see would be the issues of vol. 1 short stories (plus "Muscle and Faith" and the Casey Jones"Down by Downeast" by Rick Veitch and maybe a few other freelanced material I missed) that were gone by guest creators, as they contain characters owned by those particular guest creators (I could see Rick Vietch possibly giving permission to use his stories, but I can't find ANYTHING whatsoever on Lucidna creator Rick Arthur, so who knows if anyone else can?) and the cameo-heavy Shattered Image, Mars Attacks Image and Savage Dragon #41 (but those crossovers contributed virtually nothing to the TMNT's story, and Erik Larsen doesn't even really consider Shattered Image to be part of the Savage Dragon universe, so they could easily be skipped).

John Pannozzi said...

Oh, and would the TMNT's crossovers with Flaming Carrot (both in issues #25-27 of FC's Dark Horse-published comic, and later in a 4-part full color miniseries published by Mirage with story by FC creator Bob Burden and art by Jim Lawson) count, seeing as how you included Savage Dragon #41, which FC also appears in?

I hear that the Turtles were in a book called Phantasy Against Hunger and in issue one of Shadow of the Groundhog, but I don't know in what context. It might be in your best interest to find out.

There's also the second and third Last of the Viking Heroes Summer Specials, which I don't own and and have only seen a few scans of on Go Green Machine.com. It seems the Turtles's outfits are color coded like in the OT in these books, so they're probably not meant to be part of the Mirage canon, though for I know they maybe could with some fudging.

Vincent said...

The Phantasy Against Hunger, and Shadow the Groundhog cameos can be seen here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49309780@N06/page5/

There's also scans of the TMNT magazine and 2 of the cereal comics and some possible Mirage comic called 'TMNT Street Collectors Edition' that I've never heard of.

Fugitoid555 said...

Thank you so much dude, you´ve got no idea of how much Im enjoying re-reading my turtles comics following your timeline (I´m such a geek hehe). It´s been years since I last saw them and if it weren´t for you they would be lost in an old box in my basement.

Anonymous said...

i just wanted to say thanks! this wood have taken me ages you see i have been colecting them all so i can put them all into a cbr and put it on pirate bay so people who are fans can download. i am almost done i am just getting the last ones so if anyone has wanted to collect every tmnt movie, comic, and tv show go to pirate bay in a fuew weeks it will be there. So thanks for putting this list up it made it all possable.

cathrina said...

HEY that web sit www.flickr.com/photos/49309780@...well it does not work it says file not fownd and i was looking forward to the tmnt cereal comics if someone has another link that wood rock thanks

Allen Ryals said...

I must say fantastic work. I have been following your guide without missing an issue, and just finished TMNT vol 1 issue 7. What an amazing story it has been thus far. I was just wondering if you are still working on this and adding new releases as they appear.

John Pannozzi said...

"This is partly due to creator ownership rights, as Mirage does not own any of the characters created for these stories by the guest artists."

Actually outside of Rick Veitch's stuff and Rick Arthur's work with Lucindra (in which Arthur owns the new characters established in the stories but otherwise did as work-for-hire), the only guest written stories in this timeline which Mirage didn't own the characters from are "Apparition" and TMNT Vol. 1 #43: "Hall of Lost Legends" (and in the latter's case, A.C. Farley signed away his rights, but Paul Jenkins didn't).

Rowerowe Fightthepower said...

I doubt I would ever have gotten into reading the original TMNT comics as much as I have if not for this page, which laid out a coherent style for doing so. It's not quite a "reading order" (I for one find it awkward to go from reading 1980s Vol. 1 stuff to Tales Vol. 2 stuff done 20 years later), but as a chronology it's indispensable and has helped me greatly in the formation of my own "personal" canon/reading order.

Mark Pellegrini said...

@Rowerowe Fightthepower,

That's a good point. I'll be rereading The River trilogy soon. I'll see if the references contradict then and whether I should move #27 or not.

jediofjah@hotmail.com said...

Hey Mark, amazing body of work.
i've been collecting all of the mirage turtles and putting them into correct order according to this and i am missing just a few and its driving me nuts. i've googled the shit out of it and come up dry.
i'm hoping to find scans of the following:
Tales v2 04 - The Grape
Tales Vol. 1 TPB 2007 - Spinal Tapped and Frontispieces and Epilogue
Tales Vol. 1 TPB 1989 - "untitled Nobody story"
Casey Jones North by Downeast (#1-#2)

as you can imagine, having all but 6 out of over 300 stories is very frustrating for the ocd in me.
i dont know where else to look as the wife wont let me buy them lol.
Help me, Mark, you're my only hope!
thank you for your time
-Spencer Kapp jediofjah@hotmail.com

Industrialoco said...

Tortugas Ninja Vol. 2 - The Paradox of Chudnovsky (review)

te confundiste, te olvidaste de traducirlo jaja

muy buen blog, felicitaciones!

Rob Luther said...

Thank you so much for this! How long did it take you to research and organize this timeline? Very impressive!

Kinasin said...

This body of work is incredibly impressive. Thank you.