Carl, a young man in his early 30s stands alone in a room surrounded by TMNT memorabilia. Comics, toys, VHS videos, posters, T-shirts, mugs, caps, lunchboxes, old fast food cartons (with Turtles promotions), video games, replica costumes and weapons – the complete Turtles collection. He’s slowly, wistfully, packing them away into huge cardboard boxes.
Standing to one side of Carl is Janine, his girlfriend. She’s not actually present, except in Carl’s mind, so she should appear ghostly, immaterial, a nagging thought…
JANINE: If we decide to have a child, you’re gonna have to face up to certain responsibilities, Carl…
The room is bare. All the Turtles stuff is packed away in boxes. Carl carries one of the boxes out of the room, his face full of sadness. Janine is not present in this panel.
CAP (Janine): We’ll need the room, we’ll also need the money. You’re always going on about how much that collection is worth…
Carl loads the boxes into a beaten up old car. He lives in a rundown neighbourhood. It’s late in the afternoon, kids are coming home from school. Carl is being harangued by the ghost-form of his father, Frank, a memory from his childhood. Frank is not much older than Carl himself in the memory. He’s angry, gesticulating, shouting at his unseen wife / Carl’s mother.
FRANK: Sick an’ tired of working my ass off to support this ungrateful shmuck. From now on, Sharon, you’re on your own with him. See how you like wasting your money on all his stupid comics and girly dolls and… turtles…
Driving his car (stacked high in the back with boxes), Carl pulls up outside the comic shop. A sign in the window reads “Cash-Money Paid For Big Collections!” Carl’s father is not in this panel.
CAP (Frank): Freakin’ turtles…!
Inside the car, Carl finds himself joined now by his four childhood heroes. Leonardo is in the front seat, next to Carl. In the back, replacing the boxes of toys and memorabilia, the other three Turtles are jostling to be heard.
LEONARDO: We’re with you whatever you decide, Carl.
RAPHAEL: I say, ‘drive!’, man – and don’t look back!
DONATELLO: You should give this more consideration, Carl. Your whole life depends on it.
MICHELANGELO: What the shell, dude – let’s go bowling!
Carl drives away. The Turtles are still with him.