Review: TMNT: Utrom Empire (TMNT 8.5)

TMNTUtromEmpire

IDW publishing

The last time I reviewed a TMNT comic (link at bottom of review), I wasn’t sure how much I could reveal without creating some massive spoilers. Fortunately, this time is different.

Fugitoid, a fugitive android on the run from, well, pretty much everyone, has been captured by Stockman after an unsuccessful attempt at android-suicide. He finds himself caught between the insane, angry Stockman, and Krang, a general of the Utroms. He must decide what to do in his situation, and find his own way out.

Interspersed with Fugitoid’s story is some of Krang’s history, as well as a short storyline with the Turtles themselves. In his history, Krang is painted as a semi-sympathetic villian, one whose only goal is the survival of his species. The turtles are on the farm in Northampton, and Don finds the Fugitoid’s work journal, which is filled with plans for the Technodrome.

The only thing I hate about comics and graphic novels is that usually, an entire story is not encased in a single volume. It’s more like reading a serialized novel, and it. is. frustrating. I want the entire story, from beginning to end, in a single volume. Not because I hate it being separated, but because I just want to know the whole story because I become so involved in it.

This is also probably the fault of my own history with the TMNT franchise, since I grew up with it and love it immensely. I’d love to see an entire story arc contained in one single graphic novel (though I realize the odds of that are probably astronomical).

This is a nice middle-ground of an arc for the Turtles, but also sets up the beginning of a new arc for them. For the fugitoid, it’s also a middle-arc area, and all I want is to read the next installment. This is seriously worse than waiting for next Saturday’s morning cartoons.

A lot of the characters here are familiar, and will be to anyone who has seen the ’87 cartoons and the ’03 cartoons. Zog, the outer space Triceratops from the Triceraton Wars arc of the ’03 cartoon, appears (as a slight aside, that’s the first arc we see the Fugitoid in during those cartoons, also). Stockman is actually more reminiscent of the ’03 cartoon Stockman, and Krang shows up, although he belongs to a race that is never mentioned in the ’87 cartoons, and to be honest, his personality here in the graphic novels is a much-needed upgrade. Fortunately, the storyline itself is unique to these graphic novels, and this is very exciting for me.

So, as a quick recommendation, if you liked the cartoons, you’ll probably (most likely) like this series. Start with volume 1, Change Is Constant, and work from there. Because this is seriously beautiful.

You can find the first graphic novel I reviewed here. TMNT Micro-Series: Villians vol. 1.

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Review: TMNT Villains, vol. 1 (graphic novel)

_graphicnovel-TMNT_Villains

So it’s no secret that I like TMNT. A lot. I grew up with them and it’s one of the only things that I refuse to let go. Imagine my surprise when I came across a graphic novel on netgalley (and, even better, it’s listed as read now). I immediately picked it up, and…

Well, truthfully, I really enjoyed it. If you watch the cartoons, Baxter Stockman and Krang are somewhat familiar characters, although how familiar depends on the incarnation–after all, Stockman in the ’87 toons was a dweeby nerd that eventually turns into some weird fly mutant, and Stockman in the ’03 series is a brilliant megalomaniac whose ambitions quickly go from being a great scientist to nothing but revenge.

Krang’s back story and Stockman’s back story are somewhat similar, in that they were both inspired by their respective fathers. Old Hob and Alopex are both mutants, one working to become a Big Bad in his own right, and the other working for the Shredder himself.

The artwork is gorgeous. Each story has its own color scheming, and it’s beautifully done to separate the stories. Each story is also book-ended with full-page images of the character in question.

Overall, it was a nice, quick read for some backstory on a few of the villains. I enjoyed it and look forward to more.