Believe it or not, the five-issue Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin had “hundreds” of variant covers. Sounds about right for a collection.
The last action hero
Something of a sensation, IDW’s TMNT: The Last Ronin was a smash hit with comics fans and critics when it launched in the fall of 2020. The book had been in the works for while… actually that might be an understatement.
TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird had actually dreamed up the gritty and brutal tale back when the Turtles were in their heyday. But even though it was sketched out, nothing happened with it til now. And it’s kind of understandable, honestly.
The Ninja Turtles had become such a massive hit with kids, that a darker story might not have been received all that well decades ago. And yes, The Last Ronin is that. If you don’t know, it follows a mystery member of the team, who’s all grown up and out for bloody revenge after the murder of his family.
While the book only ran for 5 issues (with expansions planned out now), it did so with tons of variant covers. And some of those came out of massive talent, counting artists like “Mateus Santolouco, Sophie Campbell,Freddie E. Williams II, Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland, Peach Momoko, Tyler Kirkham, John Giang, Amanda Conner,Rob Liefeld, Simon Bisley, Stan Sakai,and many more!” So of course, if you’re looking to do a comparative tome, a compilation of all of that excellent art is kind of a no-brainer.
And that’s just what IDW has on tap for next year. Launching in June of 2023 will be a hardcover book loaded up with all of the various covers from the series, itself with a brand new cover provided by series artist Ben Bishop.
“All five issues of The Last Ronin came with absolutely insane artwork on hundreds of incredible variant covers—not only from top established legendary creators who may have been drawing TMNT their whole lives but from up-and-coming creators and everyone in between. A cover for The Last Ronin was an opportunity, and every artist knew it and wanted to be a part of it,” says Bishop.
“This book is a celebration of all those artists who contributed to the world of The Last Ronin, giving us a glimpse of the Ronin’s world through many different perspectives. I’m so glad that all these works of art will now live in this one cover collection for fans who may not have been able to grab the issue itself but especially for the artists who created them. Personally, I just can’t wait to bring it around to conventions and track down every single signature!”Ben Bishop, series artist, The Last Ronin