When I was five years old, I ate a bad hot dog on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day hurling like an inveterate alcoholic on an Antabuse drip instead of playing with my shiny new Maskatron. The experience was so bad that I literally couldn’t even look at a hot dog for about ten years afterwards; the thought of them made me sick, even though I knew that I might like them if I could put the bad memories behind me and try them again.

It was in this spirit that I bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Raphael #1.

Intellectually, I know that TMNT started as a pretty hard-edged satire of Frank Miller’s Daredevil and Ronin, and that any humor in the book came from the inherent absurdity of turtles being involved in a ninja story played completely straight. And that I actually liked those early stories. And that there was a reason that those books were so sought-after in the middle, late 80s. I know this.

But then there was that fucking cartoon.