Raphael

RaphaelTime for another turtle, of course from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Today we’ll meet fan-favourite Raphael, portrayed in the upcoming movie by Alan Ritchson. In the trailer, he’s not seen much, and he’s only spotted a little bit…upside down, while trying to slide on a snowy mountain, and ending up crashing against a van (by the way, he’s just as big as the van: they surely made them bigger this time). He of course appeared in the original trilogy and in the tv series The Next Mutation, always winning the audience’s love with his macho-like personality. It’s more than likely that he’ll keep his attitude even in this new installation of the franchise, but surely from the trailer he doesn’t seem as tough as we are used to see him. Anyway, let’s see who the original Raphael is in the comics.

Raphael was born a normal baby turtle in an animal shop in New York City. One day, he and his three brothers got bought by a young boy, who took them away in a bowl. On the road, the boy was almost hit by a truck who had lost control, and let the bowl fall: the four turtles got carried away by the ooze, a green chemical slime that the truck was carrying, and ended up in the sewers. In here, a rat took care of them. The ooze mutated both the turtles and the rat, and they became giant humanoid mutants. raphaelcomics1The rat, called Splinter by the turtles, taught the four brothers the ninja way he had learnt from Hamato Yoshi, a master who had been killed by The Shredder, an evil warrior who was now in New York leading the criminal Foot Clan. Driven by honor, Splinter trained the turtles to become Shredder’s nemesis, to avenge his fallen master and to bring justice to the city, and named them after Reinassance artists he had seen on a book. When time came, Raphael chose as his weapon the sai, the three-bladed dagger, whose strength was just the ideal to let go some of the anger and brutality the turtle tried to deal 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 fought as one, with the calm and wisdom of Leo perfectly balancing the rage and impulsiveness of Raph. Splinter noticed this difficult attitude in his disciple, and helped him nurture his independence, but value the teamwork with his brothers. He showed trust in his strength when he sent him, alone, into the Foot Clan’s lair to send a message to Shredder: Raphael killed many enemies, and left one of his sais challenging the Shredder in duel. The following battle ended up with Leo killing his sworn enemy.

Once, while training with Michelangelo, Raphael lost his temper, and almost beat his brother to death: only Leonardo’s and Donatello‘s intervention could stop him. Disgusted by himself, and worried that he would have never been able to control his anger, Raph left the sewers, and visited the surface world. In an alley, he spotted a man with a hockey raphaelcomics2mask brutally beating up some thugs: he was Casey Jones, a vigilante. Raphael intervened, saving the thugs from serious damage and lecturing Casey about his lack of control: the vigilante pointed out that the turtle wasn’t so different from him, and in that moment Raphael understood that his attempts to control his rage were already the first step to control it, instead of just letting it go. From that first night, Raph and Casey became friends, and formed a crime-fighting duo feared by any gang in the city. When the Ninja Turtles and Casey were defeated by the Foot Clan and forced to leave New York, hiding in a farm in Northampton, Raph was the only one who didn’t change anything in his behavior. He spent all day with Casey, trying to fix an old truck up and training, and spent every night on the barn’s rooftop, guarding his family. When Splinter decided it was time to complete his disciples’ training, Raphael made enormous progresses in the ninja arts, and became eager to face The Shredder again. When Leo opposed him, Raph labeled his brother a coward, and, after defeating him, he left alone to face the entire Foot Clan. His brothers, however, reached him, and joined his plan (involving the alien Zog) to enter the enemies’ base, but Raphael was eventually defeated by Shredder’s Elite Guard. Leo arrived just in time to save him, scolding him for going alone. Raph finally accepted his brother’s leadership, and allowed him to face their mortal enemy.

Raphael is possibly the strongest among the Ninja Turtles, but his lack of control over his anger makes him also the most fallible and incautious. He’s a master martial artist, and uses his sais with proficiency; he’s however able to use quite a variety of weapons, and he’s skilled also with swords, spears and other bladed arms, all of which he uses with extreme precision and brutality. Violent, short-tempered and hot-headed, Raphael is however a honorable warrior trained in the ways of the ninjas, deeply committed to his family’s protection. Faithfully serving the values he’s been raised with, he simply cannot avoid to take action anytime weak ones are in danger.

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7 Comments

  1. […] until he got hurt and started patroling the streets with his hockey stick; he befriended first Raphael, then the rest of the turtles, and aided them in their battle against the Foot Clan. In the third […]

  2. […] 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 teach Ninjutsu to the […]

  3. […] is, of course, the last turtle: Donatello, who’ll be portrayed by Jeremy Howard. Just like Raphael, he’s only briefly seen in the trailer while sliding on a snowy mountain using his own shell, […]

  4. […] 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 mission in […]

  5. […] 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 […]

  6. […] infiltrate the lair of the main enemies of the Foot Clan, the Ninja Turtles. One of the turtles, Raphael, never trusted Alopex, and saw through her schemes, thus forcing Bebop and Rocksteady to show […]

  7. […] mission seemed to be a 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 […]


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