The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had many iterations, from the various comics to Nickelodeon’s latest vibrant series. No matter what version audiences may have connected with, it’s undeniable the power the franchise holds. Fans have been expressing their love for their favorite heroes in a half shell in many different ways, including by making fan art.
The TMNT community houses some of the most talented artists across any fandom. Whether they’re inspired by the comics, original movies, or cartoon shows, they take the designs of the turtles and amplify them, giving us their unique takes on the world’s most fearsome fighting team. Here are ten innovative fan art pieces of the Ninja Turtles.
10 Retro Turtles
Among the shows, movies, and comics, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have appeared in a wide array of video games. However, this artwork seems to be inspired by the original NES game from 1989. The turtles above the “press start” icons are even identical to the game. Even the Turtles in the front are in the same poses. The designs of the turtles themselves, though, are different compared to the game.
Instead of recreating the look of the turtles from the video game, artist Eddie Nuñez went for a unique design. While it is similar to the current IDW comics, there are enough differences for it to stand on its own. Hopefully a new Ninja Turtles game will soon be made to give us more fan art opportunities.
9 Select Your Turtle
Another homage to the classic video game, artist theCHAMBA reinterprets the character select screen. All of the turtles are where they originally were, starting with Leonardo and ending with Raphael. However, the poses they’re doing are different from the game.
Leonardo is the most similar, with the most notable difference being switching from leaning left to leaning right. Instead of Michelangelo swinging his nunchucks, he is holding them together. Donatello is still holding his bo staff, it is now in front of him rather than behind him. Finally, Raphael holds out both of his sai forward instead of only one. This shows that while fan artists can be inspired by a piece, it won’t stop them from adding their own originality.
8 Sunset Across The Rooftops
The Turtles have limited ways of getting across New York City. Sure, they have their fair share of cars and motorcycles, but those aren’t exactly inconspicuous. If they want to get around Manhattan without being seen, using the rooftops would be a good option. Fortunately, artist G-man2000 depicted what that may look like with fan art.
In Guru George’s art, the Turtles are surveying New York City safely atop some buildings. They seem to be taking in the warm skies, the calm atmosphere. They’re watching over everything and everyone they hope to protect. All except Michelangelo, who’s clearly enjoying the break from the hustle of crime-fighting.
7 Brothers United
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have always been about unity. While they may disagree on leadership (or what toppings to get on their pizza), at the end of the day, they’ve got each other’s backs. As shown in the fan art by Akiman, they’re ready to defend against anyone who would try to divide them.
In the art piece, the Turtles are huddled together, creating a strong, defensive stance. Raphael may be getting shuriken thrown right towards him, but that doesn’t stop him from standing strong with his brothers. The Ninja Turtles show us that even the toughest or the goofiest can always find someone to depend on.
6 Turtles Night Out
After a busy night of fighting Shredder and the Foot Clan, the Turtles would probably want to enjoy their night out in the Big Apple. They seem to be doing just that in this fan art by emanshiu. In front of a beautiful backdrop of New York City at night, the Turtles are watching over the city they’re sworn to protect.
Even though the Turtles are outcasts, even though they may not be accepted by most, they still watch over as the guardians of Manhattan. They could choose to leave NYC, or just not come up from the sewers. In spite of that, they choose to protect, because they know with great power comes great responsibility.
5 This Is Heavy
Great Scott! Donatello and Michelangelo have switched places with Doc and Marty McFly! Artist Myrling has imagined what the Ninja Turtles would look like in the Back to the Future universe, and it seems pretty accurate. Donatello, the intelligent, crafty, and experimental turtle makes a perfect fit for Doctor Emmett Brown. Michelangelo, the joking, fun-loving party dude is also perfect for Marty McFly.
This swap also makes sense given the relationship that Michelangelo and Donatello have. Like Marty, Michelangelo is always interested in the work Donatello does. While Donatello may not always want him to interfere, he still enjoys someone taking an interest in his machines from time to time. All of this begs the question: what would Marty and Doc look like in the TMNT universe?
4 Leap Turtle
In 2012, after Nickelodeon had acquired the rights to the TMNT franchise, they began airing a new show. This show became an instant success, spawning toys, video games, and fan art! Artist haleynichole based a piece from the show, and it encapsulates what it was all about.
In the TMNT 2012 show, the Turtles spent the course of five years bonding and learning with one another. This is apparent in haleynichole’s fan art piece. Michelangelo is leaping over Raphael’s head with Leonardo and Donatello laughing alongside them. This shows that above all else, the turtles value spending time with and protecting one another.
3 TMNT: Smash-Up
The Turtles are having the fight of their lives in this fan art by artist Fpeniche. They’re fending off so many enemies, from Bebop and Rocksteady to Shredder and Krang. Not to mention the Technodrome, which is firing lasers in every direction. Fortunately, it looks like they’ve got help from some of their friends.
Master Splinter is leaping down to rescue his sons from the Foot Clan, while the Turtle Blimp is firing missiles to counter the Technodrome. Meanwhile, Casey Jones and April O’Neil are helping out however they can. No matter how many enemies the Turtles face, they will always come out on top as long as they’ve got their friends alongside them.
2 Three’s Company
The first fan art on the list without any turtles! Good thing there are plenty of rats, pigeons, and killer robots to keep us company. In the fan art by Phraggle, we can see three different designs of Master Splinter feeding pigeons and Mousers in the park. Feeding creatures both good and bad alike is exactly the type of thing to be expected from the turtles’ master.
No matter how many incarnations of the Ninja Turtles there are, Master Splinter always takes in four baby turtles under his wing. Without even knowing them, he shows compassion and teaches them the ways of ninjitsu. So of course Splinter would be willing to help anyone in need, good or bad.
1 A New Horizon
The final fan art on this list is by artist Puna Nezuki. The turtles are in a grassy orange field looking out into the horizon. This is fitting for the final piece on the list as it shows that the Turtles will go on forever, even after they seemingly end.
Once the final Ninja Turtles cartoon comes out, or the final comic publishes its last issue, it doesn’t mark the end of the Turtles. As long as the fans remember, cherish, celebrate them, they will live on. So while the sun may be setting on this list, fan artists will surely continue to draw with honor.
NEXT: Top 10 Moments In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)