Raphael or Raph is one of the four main protagonists in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a member of the TMNT. He is the younger adoptive brother of Karai, younger brother of Leonardo, older brother of Donatello and Michelangelo, and the second son of Master Splinter. He is "The Muscle" of the team.
Mirage Comics Edit
In the earliest black-and-white Mirage Comics, Raphael was the most violent turtle and had a tendency for going berserk either in battle or when his temper flared up. He has a somewhat cynical and sarcastic sense of humor. In later issues, it's shown that he is not particularly fond of the supernatural, stating so explicitly in Tales of Raphael: Bad Moon Rising.
Raphael mellowed somewhat as the series went on, possibly a key moment for his character development was when he allowed Leonardo to go in alone to defeat The Shredder after nearly being killed by the Foot Elite. Since then, he has been less likely to challenge Leonardo's leadership, and on the whole is more friendly towards his family and allies.
Of his three brothers, Raphael is actually closest to Michelangelo, having stated this in the fourth issue of the original TMNT comics. Raphael often shows a caring, more laid-back, side of himself when around his younger brother, frequently indulging the younger turtle emotionally when at home and ferociously protecting him from harm when in battle. Raphael openly admits that the mere thought of his younger brother being grievously injured causes him to experience violent rage. In his self-titled one-shot miniseries, Raphael meets human vigilante Casey Jones, his foil, who is more violent and unstable than he was. Despite their brutal first meeting, the two have since formed a close bond.
In the comic book series' Volume 4, he is still the most violent turtle, but is more sociable. After having been bitten by a vampire-like creature, he experienced a further mutation, and became a large, dinosaur-like version of himself. He went into a state of berserk animal rage because of it, but with some guidance by an inner manifestation of Master Splinter, he regained his original mentality and later assisted Leonardo and Casey Jones in tracking down the vampires who attacked him. This is also somewhat similar to an earlier storyline during Volume 1, where Raphael was attacked by a leech-like creature who, when sucking his blood, also drained him of the mutagen in his body and reverted him to a small turtle. The leech itself mutated and vanished, prompting the remaining turtles to follow it. Finally, after tracking down the creature, Raphael manages to bite it and pierce its skin, thereby drinking its blood and mutating back.
This incarnation of Raphael appeared in the crossover special Turtles Forever voiced by Sean Schemmel.
Image Comics Edit
In the Image series that treated the first two volumes of the Mirage Comics as canonical, Raphael was blasted in the face and disfigured. After that, he wore one of Casey Jones' hockey masks for much of the time, and eventually just an eye patch. Later, Raphael wore Shredder's armor in an attempt to psychologically dominate a number of the New York Mob, with whom the Foot Clan was engaged in a losing gang war. He donned a slightly variant version of the armor, and pretended to be the Shredder to get the advantage on his pursuers. He succeeded in defeating them and was then accepted into, and given control of, the New York faction of the Foot Clan for a brief time. In the independent published series of the Image Comics #24, Raphael had an eyepatch and red bandana for the whole issue and was even angrier than ever. He killed Cheng with whom he had been friends in issue #25, and as soon as Pimiko was killed by the gauntlet of Lady Shredder, Raph removed his bandana and eyepatch to reveal his left eye was no longer disfigured but was back to normal. He later said to Leonardo he had a thing for Pimiko, and like Donatello with Baxter's help on ridding him of cyborg parts, Raphael kept his crush on Pimiko a secret.
Archie Comics Edit
The Archie comics series was titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures and began as a direct adaptation of the popular cartoon series in the late 1980s. After the second story arc, Raphael changed costumes and began wearing an all dark ninja outfit which he won during an Alien Wrestling Match. He would be the first member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to have a girlfriend, meeting Ninjara in issue #28 and breaking up near the end of the magazine's 75 issue run. In the future, Raphael would lose an eye during a conflict with the Shredder, Verminator X, and Armaggon (in most of the future timeline incarnations of Raphael, his left eye is missing). He would time travel after his brother Donatello invents the technology and eventually retire on the island Turtleco (which used to be Manhattan) and become a bar owner.
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