Does Nickelodeon’s ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Deal Mean The End of Mirage?

Ever since the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” debuted in 1984, their original adventures have always had a home at Mirage Studios. However, with the recent sale of the “Turtles” rights to Nickelodeon, the future of Mirage Studios is no longer clear.

In a post on Newsarama, Tristan Jones—the current writer of the “Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” comics—revealed that Mirage Studios, Inc. will close on December 31, 2009.

“The current crew will become independent contractors on January 1 to get the final issues out,” Jones said. “Mirage will continue to publish ‘Tales’ until the May, 2010 issue – but as of now – that’s the end of the line. Peter [Laird] did keep rights for Mirage to publish 18 ‘TMNT’ comic books per year through the direct market, which would only be based on the current Mirage Universe stuff (eg: a continuation/conclusion to Volume 4).”

Jones also stated that under the terms of last week’s $60 million deal with Nickelodeon, Laird can still publish “Turtles” comics “between 32 and 48 pages.” However, Mirage can no longer publish any trade paperbacks.

“What could possibly happen is that say Nickelodeon/Viacom/Paramount/whoever decided to pick up the ball and run in a completely new direction with the Turtles,” Jones elaborated. “They’d be able to license that out to another company, and that company could potentially do anything they like, except publish anything that continues the currently established Mirage Universe, so any comics that would come from another company would be something completely new (what IDW is doing with ‘Transformers’ and ‘GI Joe’ is a pretty good example of the sort of thing that could be done).”

“Peter still owns Mirage,” Jones continued. “So there’s a chance that Mirage could continue publishing but there aren’t any solid plans for anything Turtle related yet (outside of what I just mentioned) or any new IP’s that I’m aware of.”

What do you think will happen with any future “Turtles” comic books? Would you like to see the “Turtles” go to another publisher for a fresh reboot or do you prefer the original TMNT? Sound off in the comment section or on Twitter!