a few fundamental differences between the cartoon
version and the Mirage Studios
version of the Turtles:
1: April O'Neil was NEVER a reporter for Channel 6 news. She lived above her father's junk shop, which she ran. April also had red hair for a very short time, then she got a really EVIL perm, and had black hair for the rest of the series.
2: All the turtles had red headbands. there were no little initials on their belts that signified who they were. you know who was talking to whom, and what they were saying because you actually READ the story, and knew the speech styles of the turtles.
3: the belts that the turtles wore were used to hold their weapons. Raph and Mike had simple weapons, thus the need for only a belt. Leo had two swords, thus two straps to hold them. and both straps hung over his right shoulder. Don had one large strap over the right shoulder, and it was used to hold his bo in place.
4: The shredder was a bad-ass, and only showed up in two story arcs. he was left for dead, but returned later, and almost killed Leonardo (the first TMNT movie was almost accurate in describing this story arc, except that leo was the one almost killed and not raph).
5: Krang never existed. period. there were lifeforms similar to him that ran TCRI, but none were ever evil. In fact, they resucitated a nearly-dead splinter. nice guys.
6: Baxter Stockman was a black man. He created the mousers as a way to catch mice, but his true intent was to use them to eat away the foundations of large buildings, and blackmail the owners of the buildings for large sums of money. he never turned into a fly.
7: "Dimension X" was a crappy concept made up in order to somehow work krang and other stupid characters into the cartoon. time/space travel was handled much better in the comics. When the turtles went to the triceraton homeworld, they used a teleportation device. when they wanted to meet up with Savanti Romero and Cerebus the Aardvark, they used the Sceptre of Time, which was stolen by an apprentice of the lord of time.
8: Casey Jones was the coolest character ever written into comics. Take Ash from "Army of Darkness", give him two baseball bats called "the boys", and apply healthy doses of battle cries such as "Goongala Goongala!!!!". Make him kick the crap outta the Shredder. 'Nuff Said.
basically, every TMNT fan would do themselves a service by reading the mirage studios version.