Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin painted a tragic finale for the Heroes in a Half-Shell, with New York falling to the Foot under Shredder’s grandson, Oroku Hiroto. In this dystopian cyberpunk world, all the Turtles are dead, except for Michelangelo, who’s driven by revenge. Now a far cry from the comedic warrior he once was, Michelangelo is on one final mission that he knows could kill him.
Michelangelo wants to take the new Foot down, as well as Hiroto, finishing what his brothers started years before they perished, no matter the cost. And in Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz, Esau, Isaac Escorza, Ben Bishop, Samuel Plata, Luis Antonio Delgado, and Shawn Lee’s The Last Ronin #2, the many tragedies of the Ninja Turtles’ final days are starting to come into focus, from his anguish to how he lost himself in the darkness of exile. However, the most tragic moment of all might be the flashback that reveals the violent death of Raphael.
How Raphael Died In TMNT: The Last Ronin
In this flashback, April and Casey Jones are holding a dinner to reveal their engagement, only for the Turtles to bust in with a badly-wounded Master Splinter. They were ambushed by Karai’s Foot right outside their sewer lair, breaking the truce they had set up. It’s a bloody mess with Leonardo and Donatello not wanting to pursue action in favor of trying to save Splinter’s life. But as they desperately sort out moving him somewhere else for medical aid, Leo’s heartbroken as he realizes Raph’s already gone out.
Raph tracks the Foot down and a brutal fight ensues, which results in him getting slashed up, pumped full of arrows and taking massive damage. Still, he lures Karai into a one-on-one brawl, where they cut each other up and reigniting their old feuds. He’s always seen her as Shredder’s equal and angry he was so gullible to think his Hamato clan could broker peace with their Oroku counterparts. When they fall off into the water, Karai pulls out a secret weapon — a kunai, and stabs him in the throat.
Impulsiveness Led to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s Death
It’s a crushing scene that shows the life leaving Raph’s eyes, with blood filling the ocean as they sink to the bottom. For a moment, it seems like both fighters die here, as Raph stabs Karai too. However, the Ninja Turtle’s final plan doesn’t go as intended, as the Foot leader is reduced by her soldiers above.
While Raph has always had his issues with anger and impulsiveness, those tendencies became fatal flaws that leave the Turtles without one of their best fighters in the battles to come. While the Foot Clan will always have numbers, Raph paid the ultimate price for this final act of defiance that saw him facing impossible odds alone for the last time.
Instead of being a cool vigilante on a bike or prowling rooftops in the shadows, Raphael is a casualty and victim of his own stubbornness and impulsiveness, which leaves Mikey angry in the future. He knows there was no need for the rash Raphael to pay the ultimate price for his bloodlust. But since he couldn’t get a handle on his anger issues, the Ninja Turtle’s death left his family more vulnerable than ever.