Warning! Spoilers ahead for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #2.
The saga of the last living Turtle, Michelangelo, continues in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #2, with shocking revelations and heart-warming reunions, but few could have prepared for the ramifications of the final reveal. Since kicking off last October, The Last Ronin has been met with wild popularity, becoming IDW Publishing’s most printed series of all time. Filled from cover-to-cover with hair raising, pulse-pumping action, issue #1 delivered a brand new story with never-before-seen energy that felt like an apocalyptic continuation of the original comics. Issue #2 continued this trend of bringing to the fore a similar ethos to the original Mirage series, concluding with a surprise return from a character who featured prominently in some of those bygone stories.
After a failed attempt to take down the citadel of the Foot Clan, now led by the villainous despot Oroku Hiroto (Shredder’s alleged grandson), a battered and bloodied Michelangelo was retrieved by April O’Neil with the help of her daughter Casey Marie Jones. Though near death, and continuing to hallucinate visions of his now supposedly deceased brothers, Michelangelo was able to heal from his nearly lethal excursion thanks to a progression in his mutation that’s now enhancing his strength and durability as well as his healing. April seemed to take the reappearance of Michelangelo as a sign that the Foot Clan’s days of tyranny might be numbered, and uncovered the final secret of the chapter in the last page. A secret which provides testament to the past tragedy that has resulted in this dark future.
It appears that, in whatever calamity resulted in the deaths of the remaining Turtles and the hostile takeover of New York City by the Foot Clan, one-time ally of the TMNT, Professor Zayton Honeycutt, also known as The Fugitoid, was present and fought alongside the Turtle brothers, resulting in his dismemberment. Now existing as just an inert android head, April seems to have been saving him for a rainy day, as the final page sees her removing said head from a safe, perhaps in preparation for his reactivation in order to use his vast scientific genius to assist in a final assault on the Foot.
Fans might recognize Professor Honeycutt as a mainstay in several iterations of the heroes in a half-shell, including their many comic continuities and cartoons. Equal parts genius and befuddlement, the Fugitoid was actually the first original character created by Eastman and Laird, predating TMNT by a year. Originally a humanoid alien, Honeycutt was transformed into a robot when a freak lightning bolt transferred his mind into his automaton SAL. On the run from his native government as well as the rival Triceraton Republic due to his pioneering work on the Transmat technology, a galactic transportation device, Honeycutt eventually found aid in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles after they were teleported across the galaxy and randomly materialized in front of him.
In the original Mirage continuity, Honeycutt was last seen in the company of the Utrom, benevolent brain-like aliens who provided him with a home after his forced defection. However, it appears that the Fugitoid, as well as the Utrom, were called upon to assist the Turtles in their battle against the Foot at some point, with tragically disappointing results. Not only has Honeycutt been nearly dissembled, but the cyborg Synja used by the Foot (short for “synthetic ninja”) appear to have been co-opted by using stolen Utrom technology, given how closely they resemble the Utrom’s exoskeletons.
How will Professor Honeycutt aid Michelangelo in his quest to take down the Foot? Only time will tell. TMNT: The Last Ronin #2 is on sale now wherever comic books are sold.