this is from my paper on the teenage mutant ninja turtls, why they are superheroes accordind to the comic studies reader book.
These Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles certainly were crime fighting martial arts using tough turtles. The question is though, were these mutant turtles actually super heroes? It is said that super heroes must contain certain criteria in order to be recognized as one. This criteria can include having extraordinary abilities, highly developed physical attributes, mystical skills or beliefs, iconic costume(s), being able to easily distinguish them from different characters and also if they have transformed from an ordinary being to a super hero (comic reader, 77).
Other main themes help to determine if a character is a super hero, do they have a mission to complete, any powers, an identity/ multiple identities and a costume (comic reader, 78)? Besides fighting crime and helping the authorities the four turtles do have a set mission. This mission is to seek revenge for the death of Splinter’s master and kill the head of the Foot clan in New York City, Shredder. Killing shredder is a rather dark way of looking at a children’s cartoon but this series started out as a comic so this dark reality seems to fit it more and is easily more acceptable. Having super powers or great physical advantages is what makes these super heroes different from ordinary people like Joe the plumber. These four turtles were mastered in the martial arts of ninjitsu. They were taught this by their master and somewhat mystical sensei Splinter. As far as identity goes they are these super human turtles, they do not try to hide this at all from the public. Since they are different though, the turtles do stay in the sewers for their own safety and privacy. Also they do not have different names, this makes them a little simpler and what I think to be a rather honest set of characters. For the costumes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have only different color headbands and different weapons they use to fight. I suppose that the shells they have could be considered part of their costumes since no other characters in the series have shells like them. This is good in my opinion because a lot of the times super heroes have really complex and flashy costumes. It takes away from who they are rather than just what they look like. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are who they are and did not want any unwanted attention on them. I would have to say that it is pretty convinvcing that these super turtles are indeed super heroes.