Someone said to me via Twitter this afternoon, "Please help me figure out how I am supposed to feel about the sale.. I am so confused!" Well, I can't tell you how you should feel about this, but perhaps by saying how I feel about this I can offer a bit of perspective.
I am not shocked, nor horrified, nor any degree of outraged or upset about the complete sale of the TMNT property to Nickelodeon.
Ok, I take one part of that back. While I'm not shocked that Peter Laird sold the TMNT to Viacom/Nickelodeon, I am a little surprised at the timing. Given the investment Mirage put into the TMNT 25th Anniversary (with no shortage of the use of the word "shell-ebrate"), it is rather shocking that in the same year Mirage (more specifically, Peter Laird) would "quit" the Turtles. And, similarly, I can't quite wrap my head around Mr. Laird's insistence on certain (and generally unpopular) creative decisions when he was apparently so willing and ready to wipe his hands clean of the whole thing for a "little" bit of cash.
I can't help but wonder just how long this deal has been in the works and how much of this "shell-ebration" has been a complete sham of a diversion from what was going on behind the scenes. Or, perhaps, it could be viewed as Mirage giving the TMNT, and the fans, one last "Hurrah!" before letting them go.
While deals like this really don't afford it, it would have been nice to have been given a little notice of these plans so that we, the fans, could return the favor and give a last little "Hurrah!" back to the creators and the creations that many of us have held onto for a significant part of our lives. There's still a little bit of time left before all strings are cut, so perhaps that opportunity still exists. But it seems that the TMNT are fated to never receive a proper farewell whenever they depart, be it from TV, comics, movies, or now the studio from which they were born. It seems that Mirage will once again become its illusionary namesake.
The future of the TMNT now rests in the creative hands of the people at Nickelodeon. What they do with them may be completely different from what you or I would like them to. But it doesn't change or erase the past 25 years. And, unbelievable as it may seem at the present moment, it is also entirely possible that what Nick does will be awesome. (After all, they're not exactly newbies to the world of green slime.)
The truth of the matter is that the TMNT have been flailing as a franchise for awhile. High expectations have fallen short, and some expectations haven't delivered at all. It certainly hasn't helped that Mr. Laird so obviously had lost the interest and motivation that would be required to set everything back on track again, and with a seemingly equal lack of motivation to get anyone else to do those things (or, simply, willingness to let anyone do those things).
This is the end of an era, and there are sad elements about it, and this fandom is in for some serious changes. But I am seriously hopeful and excited for what the future now brings. Because now I can at least see a potential for a bright and positive future, instead of more flailing that just makes the TMNT look a bit sad and pathetic. Because I know that, in fact, they are so, so capable of being so, so awesome.
A lot of questions still remain about how the transition from Mirage to Nickelodeon will proceed, but I say: Bring on the Future.