LeonardoWhile we were busy with Captain America, the first trailer for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hit the screens, and we got our first glimpse at the protagonists. Of course, we’ll start from the turtles themselves. First of all, Leonardo, portrayed and voiced, respectively, by Pete Ploszek and Johnny Knoxville. Well, from the trailer he looks kinda…huge. His serious attitude is clear even from the few seconds we see him, and it’s more than likely that he’ll be more or less the same as he has been in the previous incarnations…quite a lot, actually, between movies and tv series. Despite the rumors Leo and the others would have been rebooted as alien turtles, eventually they still are mutants, even if their look has been changed quite drastically, especially their “face”. Anyway, let’s see who the brave turtles’ leader is in the comics.

Leonardo was born a simple turtle, the first of a hatch of four. Shortly after their birth, the turtles were bought by a young boy, who took them away from the animal shop they lived in in a bowl. On the road, a truck carrying chemical waste had an accident, and a leonardocomics1green, toxic slime called ooze erupted from its trailer. The boy, afraid, let the bowl fall and crash, and the four baby turtles were dragged away by the ooze, ending up in the sewers passing through a storm drain. A rat followed them, and seeing them hurt he gathered them together, unwillingly wetting himself in the ooze as well. The morning after, both the turtles and the rat had doubled in size and intellect, gaining human features. The rat, who would have been named by the turtles Splinter, had been the pet of a renowned ninja master, Hamato Yoshi, and rose the four “orphans” following the teachings he had learnt in turn by watching Yoshi all day; he also named them using a book about Reinassance he found in the sewers: the older and wiser got the name Leonardo. When the time came for the turtles, who had completed the basic training, to chose their weapons, Leonardo preferred the nobility and purity of the katanas, the traditional Japanese swords (even if he would have often used also the ninjatō, a straight-bladed variant of the original katana). Disciplined and composed, Leonardo took the lead of his brothers, taking up their training every time Splinter travelled to the surface. When the four turtles were ready to put up an actual fight, it became clear why Splinter had made ninjas out of them: his master, Hamato Yoshi, had been killed by a warlord named The Shredder, who was threatening to expand his regime of terror thanks to his Foot Clan, a sect of fighters blindly loyal to him. The turtles and Splinter, being the only “descendants” of Yoshi, had by honor the commitment of stopping Shredder and his men, defending the weak ones with the strength they had built in their years of training.

The Ninja Turtles and the Foot Clan clashed more than once in the city’s alleys and rooftops, and finally Leonardo himself leonardocomics2managed to defeat Shredder, piercing his torso with one of his swords. He however spared his enemy, leaving a katana with him and suggesting him to put an end to his own life to regain his lost honor, something that the evil ninja did. The Foot Clan, however, kept haunting New York, and the four brothers kept fighting them. While training alone on a rooftop on Christmas’ Eve, Leonardo got ambushed by the enemy ninjas, and was overpowered, defeated and thrown into a nearby apartment’s window, which happened to belong to April O’Neil, an ally of the turtles. Also the other three turtles, and their ally Casey Jones, got defeated, and April brought them into a farm in Northampton to hide. Leonardo had lost all his confidence after the defeat, and mourned over his lost honor. Every night he went out to hunt for deer, and every morning he came back empty handed. One day, however, Leo spotted April falling into a frozen lake breaking thin ice, and ran to the rescue, using both his swords and cloak as a lifeline. Saving April gave back to the turtle leader some of his old pride: seeing this, Splinter finally started a new, intense training for his pupils within the woods, a hard path the four of them came out renewed by. Leonardo came back as strong-spirited and self-confident as always, however not yet ready to come back to New York and fight the Foot Clan again. For this reason, Raphael named him a coward, and after defeating him in duel, he came back alone to the city to face the enemy. Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello followed him, and Leo arrived just in time to save his hot-headed brother from a revived Shredder. The two ninjas fought once again, and this time Leonardo decapitated Shredder, making sure he would have not returned once again. With his honor taken back from both his enemies and brothers, Leo was ready to defend his city better then before.

Leonardo is a strong-spirited and calm warrior, who seeks inner peace through the way of the sword and leads his brothers with authority and wisdom. He possesses superhuman strength, agility, speed and durability, and is extremely well trained in martial arts; he’s also an expert tactician and an excellent swordsman, unbeatable in the use of katanas and ninjatōs. Focused and disciplined, Leonardo often speaks in behalf of his brothers, representing them with allies and enemies alike: fully committed to his family and mission, Leo is a capable and apreciated leader, trained both physically and spiritually to be Splinter’s successor.



  1. […] battled him once again. Stockman tried to electrocute the turtles with a live wire on water, but Leonardo was quicker, and used the same strategy against him, making his body explode. Stockman was […]

  2. […] the leader of New York City‘s branch, The Shredder. Eventually, the turtles’ leader, Leonardo, ended up killing The Shredder, leaving the American Foot Clan without a commander. The situation […]

  3. […] In return, Splinter used an old book on Reinassance he found in the sewers to name his proteges Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello. Knowing he was old, likely to die soon, Splinter decided to […]

  4. […] One day, she was walking on a frozen lake, but the thin ice let her fall, and she was rescued by Leonardo, who finally found some of his courage back. Almost frozen and soaked wet, April was however happy […]

  5. […] pride led Shredder to lower his guard in front of a weaker enemy, and the turtles’ leader, Leonardo, managed to score a lucky shot with his katana through Shredder’s torso. He then asked his […]

  6. […] Donatello’s calm and thoughtful attitude made him also one of the most reliable turtles, and Leonardo chose him as his second in command. Whent the Ninja Turtles came in conflict with the evil Foot […]

  7. […] with every day. Hot-headed and arrogant, Raphael often questioned the leadership of his brother Leonardo, and the two had more than one clash; however, anytime they were up against the Foot Clan, they […]

  8. […] a carefree attitude and a love for fun (and pizza), often annoying his more serious brothers Leonardo and Raphael with pranks and jokes. He however took very seriously both his training and his […]

  9. […] success at first: Rocksteady’s skin proved to be too thick for even Raphael‘s sais or Leonardo‘s katanas to pierce, and he easily overpowered his enemies. When he was about to finish the […]

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