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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Villains Micro-Series #2 - Baxter Review

5

Step aside, Turtles and Shredder! This issue gives Baxter Stockman a chance to shine!

The Good

Can you hear that sound? That's me doing a slow clap for Erik Burnham and Andy Kuhn. Baxter's mostly known for hiding behind his inventions, but this issue shows why he could very well be one of the Turtles' greatest threats. He may be just a minion in Krang's eyes, but he's the kind of villain who strikes when you least expect it and that's what this phenomenal story is all about.

This issue revolves around Baxter creating the Flyborg -- a nice little nod to fans of the '87 cartoon -- and telling Krang it'll help speed up construction of the Technodrome. However, this creation just goes to show that Baxter is the kind of guy who always has an ace up his sleeve. Watching how he tries to reach his objectives from behind the spotlight is legitimately thrilling and downright diabolical in one case. This is sprinkled with scenes from Baxter's past as he gets an important lesson from his father, but eventually twists it and uses it in a manner clearly never intended by his dad.

I saw a lot of complaints about Andy Kuhn's art when he was on the primary ongoing (personally, I only took note of the sometimes awkward faces from the heroes), but I think this issue looks fantastic. His style is definitely rougher and less polished, but it's unique and, combined with John Rauch's colors, there are some exceptional panels and it's a great fit for the issue's atmosphere. The action heavy splash page is a legitimately fun moment and brings the issue in an exciting direction. And when it finally happens, the Flyborg's death is really great visual.

The Bad

Only minor complaint: Krang's indents in the middle of his head look like a mohawk.

The Verdict

TMNT fans, this is a must read issue. It's not critical reading for the overall narrative or anything along those lines -- it's just a simply awesome short tale. Burnham does a stellar job improving Stockman's reputation and making the character infinitely more fascinating. Meanwhile, Kuhn's unique visuals are a great fit for Burnham's tech heavy story and the end result is an issue any and every TMNT fan should read.

4 Comments
Posted by G_Money_Christmas

Can't wait. Erik Burnham is a great TMNT writer. I can't wait for the Animated Adventures one he's doing... Whatever it's called.

Posted by RoTheKid

Man, I hope comixology has a 99 cent sale on these books soon! I need to catch up!

Posted by munkieKONG

Also, the cover is a tribute to MC Escher's self portrait.

Posted by Arkhamc1tizen

definatly getting this