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Usagi Yojimbo and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began at around the same time, in the mid-1980's. And they have crossed over lots of times since then, including a very recent one, from July 2017. Laird and Eastman have always had a good collaboration with Stan Sakai, which made Usagi cameos in TMNT comics, cartoons and toy lines easy from the start.




The first crossover was in a special called "Turtle Soup", which isn't canon. Some temporal void captures Leo and he finds himself in Usagi's world. He faces the samurai bandits, while Usagi takes care of the ninjas, and then they meet each other.




The first official crossover is in Usagi Yojimbo #10, a story called "The Crossing". In this story, Usagi sees a badger samurai wannabe bullying a pig and tells them a tale of how once he also bullied what he thought to be a fat priest. He ordered the "priest" to carry him over his shoulders so the rabbit wouldn't get his feet wet. The "priest" complied but then sank in the water, leaving Usagi soaking wet. It was then that he revealed himself as a skilled swordsman named Leonardo.




(Scans from the excellent page TMNT Entity).

The third encounter is called "The Treaty", written and drawn by Stan Sakai and available on a collection of TMNT short stories called "Shell Shock". While out to buy pizza, Leo finds him zapped to Usagi's world once again. There, he helps Usagi protect a treaty against the Neko ninja. He also takes the opportunity to brief the rabbit ronin on his brothers and Master Splinter, and introduces them to pizza.




Oh yes, and since it involves Lord Hikiji and his plots, Tomoe is there to help the good guys as well.



After Stan left Fantagraphics, he went to Mirage in 1993 and began publishing Usagi in colour. As a likely homage to his new home, he did a three-parter called "Shades of Green" in which the TMNT are summoned to Usagi's dimension to fight the Neko ninja. Usagi-wise, this story is interesting because it establishes the dynamics of Chizu as the always contested Neko leader.

I think this story deserves its own post in the future but, for now, some scans might suffice.



(Notice he said "three times". Funny, since "Turtle Soup and Rabbit Stew" is not canon).




The most recent crossover was published this July. Kakera summons the turtles again in order to help him get a stone back into its place and stop the earthquakes caused by Namazu the giant catfish.



But Kakera does not summon the same versions of the Turtles, so there is the mandatory "fight before we team up" scene.



For some reason, (the first) Jei thinks it's better to let the whole land go to waste and all the evil be killed instead of, you know, doing his psychotic vigilante act. Go figure. So he acts as the Big Bad in this story.



This story deserves its own post later, too. For now, I recommend you buy it.



Up next: other media (I'll find a way to post the mandatory scans, though).


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