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"I always knew it was going to be a bittersweet sort of ending." Sophie Campbell on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ epic 150th issue

2024 is a massive year for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s the 40th anniversary of the Heroes in a Half Shell and publisher IDW is going all out in celebrating their adventures with a range of new comics and a sequel to the hit Last Ronin series just the beginning of the treats in store.

Alas, this year also marks the end of long-standing TMNT writer Sophie Campbell’s time on the core Turtles comic. Campbell has been involved with IDW’s Turtles range for many years, initially as an artist – she designed the fifth turtle Jennika – and then later as a writer. Since 2020’s TMNT #101 she has been the regular writer of the monthly series. But all good things come to an end and while Campbell will still be involved with the Turtles line, this month’s epic, double-sized #150 marks the conclusion of her run on the comic.

In an exclusive interview with Newsarama, Campbell looks back at the last few years and teases the “bittersweet” final chapter of her run.

Newsarama: Sophie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #150 is a massive issue for both the comic and for yourself. How does it feel reaching this milestone?

Sophie Campbell: It’s pretty amazing! I finished working on the issue over a month ago and it feels like it hasn’t fully sunk in yet that my time on the series is over. I’m sure I’ll have a clearer head about it once #150 is actually released and my run is officially concluded.

Can you tease a little of what fans can look forward to in the issue?

Lots of Donatello stuff! We finally see his “kids” who have been teased for a while, we get to see some stuff touching on the Hamatos’ reincarnation again, and we’ll head back to Northampton one last time.

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How did you decide where to leave all the characters at the end of your run?

The ending was a bit different in my original outline for the story, the details shook out differently as often happens, but I always knew it was going to be a bittersweet sort of ending that leaves the characters in an ambiguous place rather than something triumphant.

What are some of the challenges that come with ending a chapter of an ongoing comic like TMNT while also leaving it open ended enough for what’s coming next?

That part was tough! I knew I couldn’t tie everything up because the story would have to continue without me, but I tried to wrap up as many of the storylines and themes I’d been working with for the past few years, and touch on some of the more important supporting characters I’d introduced. There are definitely things I wish I could have done and characters I could have spent more time with but that’s how it always goes.

The TMNT are multi-generational characters, with parents and kids sharing their love of these characters and stories. What do you think has made these characters so enduring?

Probably the fact that it’s such a weird “wait, what?” sort of concept, and that the Turtles themselves aren’t human and are outsiders, I think there’s something appealing about that.

I know you’ve been a fan of TMNT for a long time. What has it been like being able to work on this title and with the creators of the characters?

It’s truly been a dream come true. It hasn’t always been smooth and there’s always things I wish I would’ve done or had done differently, but it’s still amazing that I got the opportunity. It’s still kind of hard for me to believe that I was able to write as much as I did, never in a million years did I think I’d be writing TMNT for 50+ issues, or that I’d be working with Kevin Eastman, one of my heroes. It’s been a labor of love for me.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #150 is published by IDW on April 24.

Travel back to the start of Sophie Campbell’s run as writer on the TMNT comic with this archive interview from 2019.

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