Exclusive Interview: TMNT X Stranger Things Unites the Best of Both Worlds in New Crossover

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IDW Publishing Unites TMNT and “Stranger Things” in an Exciting Crossover: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the kids from “Stranger Things” join forces when Demogorgons attack in the New York City subway. In “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things” #1, the youngsters from Hawkins, Indiana, find themselves lost in the subway system, pursued by the mysterious creatures. Thankfully, the sewer-dwelling Turtles arrive, armed with their unique weapons, to help the kids in an epic battle against the formidable foes.

Read our exclusive interview with writer Cameron Chittock and artist Fero Pe as they discuss the exciting fusion of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Stranger Things.” Discover why these franchises are a perfect fit for a crossover and get a sneak peek into what readers can anticipate from the series in the future. Don’t miss out on our engaging conversation below!

Crafting the TMNT x Stranger Things Crossover

What led to the creation of this project? Why do “Stranger Things” and “TMNT” make the ideal crossover?

Cameron Chittock: There’s a long list of commonalities between the two, but both of these properties masterfully blend genre with genuine heart. I think that’s why they resonate with fans so profoundly and why they make so much sense together.

Fero Pe: That’s what makes them perfect, although it initially seems like an unlikely union. They both have the ability to deal with the unknown and strange in a way that works and is very entertaining.

Why was bringing the Mirage version of the Turtles into this story important? The timeline fits nicely.

Pe: Although, at first, I thought of the version of the first film because it is live-action, comparing the dates with my editors, it seemed more logical to go with the Mirage version.

Chittock: Considering the strong connection between “Stranger Things” and ’80s pop culture, using the Mirage era as our inspiration for the Turtles felt like a natural fit. The grittier look of the Mirage era also complements the horror elements of Upside Down. Personally, I have a deep appreciation for Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original run of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” so I couldn’t resist paying tribute to their incredible work.

What were some of your favorite interactions to write/draw? 

Pe: I love the double pages with fights that Cameron has put in each issue. I love these pages so much.

Chittock: It shows! Fero knocks those spread out every time. When I first saw what he did for the one coming in Issue #2, I literally gasped. I love finding the little character moments. The Hawkins Kids meeting Splinter might be my favorite from the first issue.

In Issue #1, we’ve already witnessed significant characters from the TMNT universe, like Baxter Stockman and Master Splinter, making appearances. Can we anticipate the arrival of more major characters in the upcoming issues? And what about the “Stranger Things” side of the story? Will we see notable characters from that side as well?

Pe: There are definitely more strange beings to appear from each world.

Chittock: All I’ll say is that the cliffhanger in Issue #3 has been in my head since the beginning, and I can’t wait for people to see it.

Did you have stricter guidelines on what you could do with this story? 

Chittock: The “Stranger Things” and “Turtles” teams have been incredibly supportive. All the feedback, especially early on as I got settled into writing the characters for the first time, was really helpful.

Pe: I have loved the freedom when working with the characters of [“Stranger Things”] without having to get so attached to the exact resemblance to the actors and more to their most important characteristics. I feel that I can give them more expressiveness.

Would you like to see more “Stranger Things”/”TMNT” crossovers? Who would you like to see cross over?

Chittock: I find myself full of various ideas about bringing the Turtles to Indiana. Even though we have many characters in this series, some of my personal favorites from both franchises couldn’t be fully involved, so I am eager for the opportunity to explore them further.

Pe: I would definitely like the Turtles to take a road trip to Hawkins. I would love most the anticipated crossover of “Daredevil” with “TMNT.”

What to expect next in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things

In “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things” #2, Raphael and Donatello team up to rescue Eleven from the clutches of TMNT’s villain Baxter Stockman. Meanwhile, Dustin, Will, Lucas, Leonardo, and Michelangelo will investigate the cause behind the Demogorgons breaking free in the subway system. Take a look at the captivating covers for the issue by Fero Pe, Jorge Corona, and Adam Gorham, along with the enticing text teasing the thrilling adventures that lie ahead.

“Escape from TCRI! With Eleven captured by Baxter Stockman, Raphael, and Donatello must concoct a plan to free her before her powers fall into the wrong hands. Meanwhile, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Will, Lucas, and Dustin embark on a daring journey through the depths of the NYC subway system, drawing nearer to a portal to the Upside Down, which has been unleashing Demogorgons into the tunnels. What awaits them on the other side is unlike anything NYC has ever seen before.”

Don’t miss the next chapter of the crossover in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Stranger Things” #2 by Cameron Chittock, Fero Pe, Sofie Dodgson, and Rus Wooton, hitting comic book stores and online retailers on August 23, 2023.

The interview has been edited to ensure clarity.

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