Well, you’ve seen my top fifteen (’cause I couldn’t bring myself do to do just a top ten), but believe it or not, there were several that didn’t make the cut. There were a few characters that I really agonized over, and the final choices were pretty tough. If I had infinite time and resources, all of these guys would find their way into Freedom Force, but unfortunately such is not the case. Prepare to meet, in no particular order, the also-rans:
Wrestling Turtles: Another story arc from the Archie comics had the fab four whisked away to an intergalactic wrestling show by a giant, disembodied, floating cow head (I’m really not kidding). The story itself was so over the top and unapologetically bizarre that it was charming. The idea of the Turtles having to compete in some strange, alien contest of skill and courage is hardly a unique one. I believe it shows up in just about all of their incarnations, but I liked the way that the Archie series really embraced the tropes of the wrestling shows that they were parodying. The Turtles got strange new costumes, battled bizarre, gimmicky foes, and generally were very similar to your average episode of your average wrestling show. Perhaps its just the guilty pleasure of watching those things during one of their goofiest stages, but something about this adventure appealed to me. I think it would have been great fun to try to put together a set of missions where you have to engage in wrestling matches with various foes, though it would have taken a lot of work on my part.
Sarnath and Quark: This pair of aliens, one blind, one a big, spikey, dog-like-thing, were another neat feature of the Archie comics. In the cartoon, the Turtles had come across an alien artifact of great power called the “Eye of Sarnath.” This object was left on Earth by an alien, but the eponymous “Sarnath” was never seen. In the Archie series, he shows up, and he’s pissed. It turns out that the eye is an actual eye, of sorts, for the cybernetic Sarnath. We have the usual heroic misunderstanding, but then an interesting and tragic story is kicked off. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read the issues in question, but I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘ol Sarnath and his spikey seeing-eye dog.
Hothead: An ancient dragon spirit empowering a modern firefighter, this character was not only very cool as a toy, but also hot stuff (I couldn’t resist the pun. I’m so, so sorry…) in the comics. His apperances in the Archie comics were part of a pretty good series of story arcs which took the Turtles all across the world. His role in the series culminated with an awesome showdown with an eastern demon. His size changing would make him an interesting opponent for Krang on the city-crushing scale, but he’d really be too powerful to be recruitable.
Alright folks, that’s it for those that coulda’ been a contender, but tomorrow we’ll have something new, but still TMNT related.