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NOTE: This article covers Leonardo from the Mirage Comics TMNT continuity. For the other iterations see Leonardo.

Leonardo is the main protagonist of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series by Mirage Comics. He is the eldest brother of the Turtles and has a special relationship with Karai, the relative of his archnemesis the Shredder.


He is often depicted wearing a blue bandanna. His signature weapons are two ninjatō, commonly confused as katana. Leo is a turtle.


Hardworking, honorable and respectful, Leonardo is the Turtle's fearless leader. Driven to be the perfect hero, Leo's inexperience and often rowdy brothers sometimes get in the way of his goal. Leonardo is the leader with honor, calm, and reassurance. He’s most "spiritual" of the four, and kind of a grown-up, psychologically because of all of his seriousness. Though mature calm and level-headed as he may seem, Leonardo can easily gets angry just like Raphael, if not even worse. And a strong sense of honor and ethics.


He never explicitly referred to himself as leader in the early stories, except in issue #44 ("The Violent Underground"). He is the one to usually take charge of the turtles when Master Splinter is not present. He is often at odds with his more hot-headed brother Raphael.

In Leonardo #1, Leonardo goes out for a run on the rooftops of New York City and is ambushed by the Foot Clan. He puts up an admirable fight against an army of Foot Ninja, but is eventually overwhelmed. Beaten to near unconsciousness, he is thrown through April O Neil's apartment window. The remaining Turtles and Splinter are forced to continue the fight, but even with the aid of Casey, the odds are against them. In the end, the building catches fire and the police arrive, but they secretly escape to Northampton. During this time, Leonardo recovers from his physical wounds. However, he lost a great deal of confidence. He repeatedly attempts, unsuccessfully, to hunt for deer. While out hunting, he sees April fall through ice into a lake, and he rescues her. In subsequent issues, it is implied that Leonardo has regained most of his confidence.

In the Return to New York storyline (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (vol. 1) #19-21), Raphael demands that the Turtles return to New York to confront the Foot Clan and the Shredder. He accuses Leonardo of cowardice, and the arguing brothers soon come to blows. Leonardo is beaten by Raphael, who throws Leonardo through the wall of the barn and leaves alone. Along with his younger brother Donatello and his youngest brother Michelangelo, Leonardo returns to New York and reunites with his wayward brother in the old sewer lair. The three go along with Raphael's plan to storm the Foot Headquarters, where once again Raphael goes off on his own to fight the Shredder.

However, he is ambushed and beaten by the Shredder's Elite guard, but is rescued by Leonardo. This prompts Raphael to finally cede to Leonardo's leadership, leaving him to fight the Shredder. Leonardo engages in a bloody battle with Shredder that spills out onto the rooftop of the building. Leonardo ends the battle by decapitating the Shredder just as the building implodes. The Turtles later burn the Shredder's corpse in a funeral pyre in a nearby Manhattan harbor.

In the City at War storyline (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (vol. 1) #50-62), a feud between various factions of the Foot Clan over leadership breaks out. As fighting ensues in the streets of New York, the Turtles and the civilian populace get caught in the middle. Leonardo grows weary of constant battle with the Foot Clan and seems fraught with indecision. The Turtles are approached by Karai the leader of the Foot Clan in Japan who has come to New York to unite the Foot. She presents the Turtles with an offer of a truce between the Foot and the Turtles if they help her kill Shredder's Elite Guards, which are a major obstacle to her reorganizing the Foot. Despite Raphael's objections, Leonardo persuades his brothers to accept Karai's offer and all four Turtles successfully work with Karai to eliminate the Elite Guard.

In Volume 2 of the Mirage Stuidos comic, the turtles begin living in separate places. Leonardo decides to live in a newfound sewer lair. Michelangelo and Raphael notice a change in Leonardo and note that he seems more easygoing, though Raphael points out that his and Leonardo's natural order is to be "buttin' heads."

Years later in Volume 4, Leonardo still leads his brothers (all four now in their thirties) in fights against crime. Leonardo and Raphael's conflict seems to have greatly lessened. When the Utroms make a very public arrival on Earth and reveal alien life to humans, however, the Turtles become free to mingle in everyday society. The Turtles also help the Utroms acclimate to life on Earth and work alongside the Foot Clan as security. One Foot Clan member is Cha Ocho, who Leonardo has a rivalry with due to an encounter years earlier. Karai approaches Leonardo for help when a mysterious force begins attacking various Foot Clans; only the New York branch is left intact. His investigation takes him to the Battle Nexus, where he meets Oroku Yoshi (who wears armor similar to the Shredder's).


           TMNT-Logo-Original.png Heroes

Mirage Comics: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Leonardo | Raphael | Donatello | Michelangelo) | Splinter | Hamato Yoshi | Utroms
IDW Comics: Leonardo | Raphael | Donatello | Michelangelo | Jennika | Hamato Yoshi | Utroms | Angel |

1987 TV series: Leonardo | Raphael | Donatello | Michelangelo | Splinter | April O'Neil | Irma Langenstein | Casey Jones | Fugitoid | Buffy Shellhammer | Mona Lisa | Karai | Renet Tiley
2003 TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Leonardo | Donatello | Raphael | Michelangelo) | Splinter | April O'Neil | Casey Jones | Hamato Yoshi | Utroms (Mortu) | Karai | Leatherhead | Agent Bishop | Fugitoid | Traximus | Zog | Miyamoto Usagi | Nanobot (TMNT) | Renet Tilley (TMNT 2003) | Justice Force | The Ancient One | The Ninja Tribunal | Cody Jones | Serling | Starlee Hambrath
2012 TV series: Leonardo | Raphael | Donatello | Michelangelo | Splinter | April O'Neil | Casey Jones | Karai | Ice Cream Kitty | Dr. Cluckingsworth | Fugitoid | Bishop | Slash | Leatherhead | Dr. Tyler Rockwell | Pigeon Pete | Mona Lisa | Sal Commander | Utroms | Metalhead | Shinigami | Miyamoto Usagi | Mondo Gecko | Muckman | Jack Kurtzman | Alopex | Renet Tilley | Zeno the Triceraton
Rise of the TMNT: Leonardo | Donatello | Raphael | Michelangelo | Splinter | April O'Neil | Todd Capybara | Frankenfoot | Piebald | Karai

TMNT 1, 2, 3 & TMNT (2007): Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Leonardo | Donatello | Raphael | Michelangelo) | Splinter | April O'Neil | Casey Jones | Danny Pennington | Keno | Jordan Perry | Mitsu | Max Winters
TMNT (2010 films): Leonardo | Splinter | Raphael | Michelangelo | Donatello | April O'Neil | Casey Jones

           InjusiceTitle.png Heroes

Batman (2021) The Flash | Green Lantern | Supergirl | Catwoman | Harley Quinn | Lex Luthor | Deathstroke | Green Arrow | Nightwing | Black Canary | Batgirl | Martian Manhunter | Zatanna | John Constantine | Atom | Blue Beetle | Firestorm | Black Lightning | Plastic Man | Alfred Pennyworth | Huntress | Captain Atom | Etrigan | Ragman | Deadman | Doctor Fate | Batwoman | Guy Gardner

Justice League
Superman | Wonder Woman | Aquaman | Hawkgirl | Robin | John Stewart | Shazam

Teen Titans
Raven | Cyborg | Starfire | Red Robin | Superboy | Wonder Girl

Red Hood | Mera | Power Girl | Swamp Thing | Lobo

Non-Injustice/Guest Star Heroes
Scorpion | Sub-Zero | Raiden | Hellboy | Leonardo | Donatello | Raphael | Michelangelo