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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire #1 Review

4

This limited-series focuses on Krang and his quest to construct the Technodrome and take over the Earth. However, Baxter Stockman has plans of his own.

The Good

Prior to City Fall, IDW established some big plans with Krang, Baxter Stockman and Fugitoid. Now, writer Paul Allor is going to show us how it all plays out. First and foremost, it's important to note this is incredibly new reader friendly. Not only are the essential facts provided for each of the key characters, but this debut issue also reveals why Krang's mission is so important to him. Allor jumps through the Utrom's history and presents where it all went wrong for them and why. It's a nice little dose of sci-fi before jumping back into the present and helps reveal how much Krang has changed over the years.

If you've been checking out the solicitations, then longtime fans are aware this mini-series also marks the return of the Triceratons. Allor rewrites their history and it's a justified decision. It gives them a stronger connection to the key backstory and an understandable degree of tension towards Krang.

Andy Kuhn's style puts a strong emphasis on bold lines. This works particularly well with Fugitoid (love the look of sorrow on the opening page) and Baxter Stockman. Kuhn also does a solid job with the one big fight scene. It's a huge emotional moment for Krang and you can really feel the intensity behind some of the hits. That said, the decision to include stars when Krang's struck in the face took away from the serious tone of the physical conflict.

The Bad

The Turtles have only one scene, but the way Kuhn illustrates them really stands out. The cheeks and teeth are noticeably different than how other artists handle the classic characters and at times it gives them an odd expression. It's not terrible, but it's certainly distracting.

Krang tells his employees to make sure the back-up power supply is functioning just fine after Baxter ruins it (or during, it's a bit unclear). If you're working for someone like Krang and he threatens you, wouldn't you want to make sure everything is at 100%?

The Verdict

If you're interested in Krang or the evergrowing TMNT universe, you should definitely pick this up. Allor's taking steps to expand the cosmic mythos while also establishing a whole new conflict. Kuhn's art is a bit of a mixed bag, but since the Turtles didn't take up too many pages, the good definitely outweighs the bad. It's a solid, character-driven premiere issue and, to top it off, it leaves us legitimately guessing where it'll go next.

7 Comments
Posted by AllStarSuperman

Ill get the trade later, but I dont like andy kuhns art.

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Edited by Dark_Guyver

Great first issue. And plus.... Triceratons!!

Edited by manwithoutshame

I think Baxter is sabotaging Krang, and figures if he gets called out for it he'll have an excuse or outsmart Krang. Also, I love seeing the Triceratons again. Though they used to be orange, I've been a fan of them ever since that amazing cover for the NES TMNT III - The Manhattan Project.

Posted by ScrappyDont27

Good story, has me hooked

Posted by BillyFamine

Kuhns art fits kind of well with the Utroms, those slimy little brains, although I didn't recognize Baxter at first. Good story though, I'm stoked to see where it goes :)

Posted by greenlucario

I'm glad I picked it up. Kuhn's art isn't great but the story made up for that, really interested to see where this goes. Kind of wondering if that cover preview is a new take on Traximus from the 2K3 tv show.