|“Let’s rock and ride!”
The mighty powers of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appeared to be waning in 1992, leaving a vacuum at the top of the cartoon food chain. Seeing this, three buff Martian mice rode in on motorbikes to take over. At least, that’s what everyone at Marvel, New World, and Brentwood Television Funnies were hoping the Biker Mice From Mars would do. Several Turtles wannabes had tried for the crown before, but the alien rodents came armed with a comic book crossover, video games, and an enormous Marvel publicity blitz.
The show itself featured a trio of Biker Mice—Throttle (the tan one in sunglasses), Modo (the gray one with the eyepatch), and Vinnie (the white one with the half-metallic face). Martian natives, the humanoid rodents rebelled against the Plutarkians, who had conquered and subsequently ravaged their planet. As the evil invaders chased the mice across the solar system, the trio crashed their space bikes through the scoreboard at Chicago’s Quigley Field (home of the Chicago Nubbs).
Like the Ninja Turtles, the mice decided it might be better to stay secluded from the human race, but they did have a human liaison, spunky female mechanic Charley. Setting up shop at Charley’s “Last Chance Garage,” the mice soon found that the Plutarkians had their greedy eyes on earth as well. Wealthy developer Lawrence Limburger—whom the mice recognized as a Plutarkian flunky—wanted to build his latest ecologically unfriendly project right on the location of Charley’s garage.
Limburger had another Plutarkian at his side: Dr. Karbunkle, who on Mars had conducted cruel experiments on Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie and wanted to continue his work here on earth. Other villains included hulking doofus Grease Pit, Hard Rock, Weather Mister, and the XTerminator.
Rowdy, violent, and filled with cool weapons and vehicles, Biker Mice From Mars more than satisfied action cartoon fans. As it turned out, no successor to Ninja Turtles was necessary, since those pizza loving sewer dwellers kept racking up the ratings through 1996. This didn’t seem to affect the Biker Mice, who became a hit on their own, producing three seasons of original episodes.