By 1990, there hadn’t been all that many comic-to-film adaptations. With the exception of BATMAN (1989) and the SUPERMAN franchise (then-starring Christopher Reeve), films in the genre were not the box office tentpoles that they often are now. Compared to current trends, there was far more of an emphasis in the 1980s on adapting lesser known comic characters and properties to film, with the likes of THE PUNISHER (1989), HOWARD THE DUCK (1986), RED SONJA (1985), SWAMP THING (1982), and HEAVY METAL (1981) having as much in common with the counter culture as popular culture. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES would release in 1990 to nearly unheard of success, following a wildly successful animated series and a highly revered – though decidedly darker – comic book (pulled from the pages of HEAVY METAL, as it were). Turtlesmania would finally make its way to the big screen and it would be totally radical.