Over the last several days, Nickelodeon has released new information on the new "Ninja Turtles" show and it is going to be different than anything we’ve seen before. According to Nickelodeon Press, "Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" will follow "the band of brothers as they discover new powers and encounter a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City. The 2D-animated series debuts later this year on Nickelodeon.” In addition, Nickelodeon also released the art for the main characters and has provided short glimpses of what each of the turtles' personalities will be like in this new version.

The turtles’ new look

The first thing you may notice about the new art is how drastically different all the characters look. To help distinguish each of the turtles further, each of the brothers is now a different species of turtle.

Raphael is a snapping turtle and is bigger and bulkier than the others. He has also lost his iconic sai in exchange for twin tonfas, and has adopted a mask similar to that of his 2014 live action movie counterpart.

Leonardo is a red-eared slider and uses one singular ōdachi sword instead of his usual two katanas. He also has red marks above and below his eyes presumably from being a red-eared slider.

Donatello is a soft-shell turtle and while he still uses a bo staff, it’s been upgraded to better reflect his reliance on technology. If that wasn’t enough to convince you that “Donatello does machines,” his shell also appears to retract into some sort of high-tech jet pack that allows him and others riding on him to fly.

Michelangelo is a box turtle and uses a kusari-fundo, which looks like a bladed yo-yo. He has some new decals on his belly that look like bolts of lightning and some smiley faces on his knee pads. The turtles aren’t the only ones changing as both April and Master Splinter have taken on a new look as well.

This will be the first animated version of April to be African-American and the first version to sport glasses.

Her main weapon of choice will a glowing green baseball bat. Lastly, Splinter is now small and pudgy and is back to being an old man after the 2012 series de-aged him quite a bit. While some people haven’t taken too kindly to all these characters changing, it’s important to remember that each of the last three animated series have changed the turtles in some way. In the 1987 series, the turtles all looked exactly the same, minus their mask colors and the letters on their belts. The 2003 series made each of the turtles’ skin color a different shade of green. Lastly, in the 2012 series, the turtles were given different head shapes, slight size differences, and small features to help distinguish them (i.e.

Mikey got freckles, Donnie had a gap between his teeth and Raph had a crack in his shell).

The turtles’ personalities and new dynamic

Believe it or not, the turtles’ new look was hardly the biggest change made. Arguably the more decisive departure from the turtles’ mythos was to make Raphael the new leader of the team instead of Leonardo. Instead, according to the Nickelodeon Press release, the new dynamic of the team will be that Raphael is “the oldest and biggest brother, he is the leader full of enthusiasm and bravado; Leonardo, the self-professed "coolest" brother possesses irreverent charm and a rebel heart; Donatello, a mechanical genius and tech wizard whose ninja skills are second only to his coding; and Michelangelo, the youngest brother, a skateboarder and artist who is wild and imaginative.”

Donatello seems the least changed personality wise and Michelangelo seems mostly the same, but with some new hobbies.

However, Raphael and Leonardo are practically two completely new characters based on their descriptions. Raphael’s key character trait of being a hot head is nowhere to be seen and with Leonardo’s past characterizations focusing so heavily on his role as team leader, he’s by far bound to be the most different feeling character.

Previous adaptations of the property have had significant focus on Raph's and Leo’s rivalry on who should be leader, so it’s hard to say if the conflict will remain, but flipped or if it just won’t be featured at all. While much hasn’t been said about Splinter or April’s characterization, it can be presumed that April will continue to act as an ally and confident of the turtles and that Splinter will act as the turtles’ wise and stoic master.

On top of all the weapon changes, “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” will also focus more on magic with three out of the four turtles having glowing weapons. April’s bat also glows green as well, indicating that she can use magic. Lastly, it looks like Shredder won’t be the main adversary of the turtles this time around. Instead there will be a new villain named Baron Draxum who is voiced by WWE star John Cena. Nickelodeon Press describes him as “an alchemist warrior mutant who seeks to turn all of humanity into mutants.”

All in all, it looks like fans are in for a very different take on this beloved franchise. While it’s still up in the air whether all these changes will work in benefit of the show or not, fans can at least rest easy knowing that Ninja Turtle alum Rob Paulsen is voice directing the series. Having previously voiced Raphael in the 1987 series and Donatello in the 2012 series, if anyone can direct this new cast to greatness, it’s going to be Rob Paulsen.

The show is set to air sometime in 2018, on Nickelodeon. If you’re looking to see the classic turtles in action you can find them soon in the "Injustice 2" video game or if you’re interested in other Nickelodeon news, read here about the new “Invader Zim” special that’s in the works.