A Visual History of April O’Neil, Part 1: 1984 – 1987

noviembre 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm (Animation, Comic Books, Film, Television) (, , , , , , )

TMNT # 11 (1987)

Determining when a character has been whitewashed is, in theory, a rather simple task.  Specifically, its a matter of asking oneself:

  1. Was Character X established as a Person of Color in the original work?
  2. Has an adaptation of that work changed Character X so that they are now White instead?

If the answer to both is “yes”, then whitewashing has occurred.

Of course, reality has ways of taking the simplest of tests and adding a whole bunch of complications along the way.  For example, what if the answer to sub-question one is “yes and no”?  This is the case with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ April O’Neil, a character who had no established heritage aside from her last name of Irish origin, and whose looks could change rather drastically between appearances, because apparently, her creators–Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird–had different ideas, and never  definitively settled the question while they were working together.

Because people are complicated, there are a lot of differing opinions about this matter, most with at least some evidence backing them up.  Hence, this series, chronicling the many looks she’s had, beginning with the moment of her creation and taking us all the way to 2014, where she is set to appear on the big screen once again, this time played by Megan Fox.  The idea is not to argue for any particular conclusions–although I do have my own opinions on the matter–but simply to allow people to come to their own.  Plus, I like timelines, I really like seeing the visual evolution of a concept, and I think that April’s is, in particular, really interesting.

We begin this first section in 1984, the year when Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird for the second issue of their surprisingly successful comic book, and go all the way to 1987 when she was set to make her debut in the cartoon that changed the franchise forever.

ETA:

Note: While comments for this series are closed–I do not feel that I am capable of moderating the particular discussions on race that this has the potential to lead into–feedback, either in the form of factual corrections or whatever thoughts you’d like to share, can be sent via the Contact Form at the bottom of the post.

TMNT #2 (1984)

TMNT #2 (October 1984). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird

TMNT (Vol. 1) (3rd Printing) cover.  Art by

TMNT (Vol. 1) (3rd Printing) cover. Art by Richard Corben

TMNT #3 (1985) (01)

TMNT #3 (March 1985). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

TMNT #3 (1985) (02)

TMNT #3 (March 1985). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird

TMNT #4 (1985) (01)

TMNT #4 (June 1985). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

TMNT #4 (1985) (02)

TMNT #4 (June 1985). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

Michelangelo #1 (1985)

Michelangelo #1 (December 1985). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

TMNT #6 (1986)

TMNT #6 (February 1986). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

TMNT #7 (1986) (02)

TMNT #7 (May 1986). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

TMNT #7 (1986)

TMNT #7 (May 1986). Art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

TMNT #2 Colored Reprint, TMNT: Book 1 Collection (November 1986)

TMNT #2 Colored Reprint included in TMNT: Book 1  (November 1986); image obtained from Turtlepedia.

Leonardo #1 (1986)

Leonardo #1 (December 1986). Art by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Steve Bissette, Michael Dooney and Ryan Brown.

ETA:

Cover to Tales of the TMNT Vol. 1 #1  (May 1987).  Art by Ryan Brown.

Cover to Tales of the TMNT Vol. 1 #1 (May 1987). Art by Ryan Brown.

ETA:

Tales of the TMNT Vol. 1 #1 (May 1987) Art by Jim Lawson.

TMNT # 11 (1987)

Cover to TMNT #11 (June 1987). Art by Kevin Eastman. Image obtained from TMNT Entity .

TMNT #12 (1987)

TMNT #12 (September 1987). Art by Peter Laird.

April O'Neil character model.

Character model created for original cartoon (1987), reproduced here for Turtles Forever (2009)

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7 comentarios

  1. TMNT (2012) New Episode Open Thread (Spoilers) | Monsters of New York said,

    […] first, a plug: if you haven’t seen it, the first part of my visual history of April O’Neil series is up at my other blog.  Like the name indicates, it’s a look at the way the character of […]

  2. A Visual History of April O’Neil, Part 2: (1988 – 1991) | Chasing Sheep said,

    […] Part 1. […]

  3. A Visual History of April O’Neil, Part 3 (1992 – 1996) | Chasing Sheep said,

    […] Part 1. […]

  4. A Visual History of April O’Neil, Part 4: 1997 – 2002 | Chasing Sheep said,

    […] Part 1. […]

  5. A Visual History of April O’Neil, Part 5 (2003 – 2010) | Chasing Sheep said,

    […] Part 1. […]

  6. A Visual History of April O’Neil, Part 6: Miscellanea | Chasing Sheep said,

    […] Part 1. […]

  7. A Visual History of April O’Neil, Part 7: 2010 – 2014 | Chasing Sheep said,

    […] Part 1. […]

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