Comic Vine Review

23 Comments

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #220 - The Legend of the Kuro Kabuto Review

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A skilled thief has his sights set on Shredder's iconic helmet!

Nick's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles loves to give nods here and there to the horror genre, but this week's episode goes in a totally different direction: comedic heists!

With a funky and energetic score, this latest chapter introduces a skilled thief named Anton Zeck (his visor and hair looks pretty familiar, don't they?). The smooth criminal is by voiced by the charismatic J.B. Smoove and it's clear the actor had a blast with the role. You can't help but smile whenever you hear him deliver his unique laugh. Zeck's goal to snag Shredder's helmet also gives us some insight into the Foot Clan's history. This tale is given the "comic book-ish" style of animation (I believe they're illustrated by Ciro Nieli) and it was an incredibly cool way to give us all of this new information. I especially loved how the unique style began while Shredder was still standing in the foreground. The contrast of styles worked very well and the backstory was legitimately interesting.

One thing that I really loved was a whole new focus on the villains. Sure, they're basically reduced to slapstick comedy in this episode, but the banter between them was priceless. The bit between Tiger Claw and Rahzar was hilarious (although the shot lingered for a little too long after the dialogue ended), and Xever's remarks were equally amusing. We often see these characters when they're trying to be intimidating, so it's a nice change of pace to see them banter just like the Turtles do. Honestly, I'd love to see an episode all about what a regular day is like for them. There really is a lot of potential with these villains. I have to admit I'm a little bummed out to see Tiger Claw treated like less of a threat so soon (especially after the last episode's supremely badass fight), but it's still massively entertaining set of scenes.

There's a fair amount of good action in this episode, but that all becomes a distant memory when we get round two of the heroes in a half shell vs. Shredder! It's short-lived but every bit as exciting as you'd want it to be. Shredder isn't downplayed one bit and you have to appreciate the courage they gave Leo and his brothers. Oroku Saki's role isn't limited to just being a badass in this one, though. Much to my surprise, they made him open up just a little bit to Karai. In his own twisted way, we got a glimpse of what a more "caring" version of Shredder is like. Hopefully we'll get to see more of this dynamic in the next episode.

As enjoyable as this episode is, I found myself asking a lot of questions along the way. There's nothing major that would make me want to give it 3-stars (implying it's just okay), but little things began to pile up. Zeck's able to sneak into Shedder's lair -- something I'm perfectly cool with -- but he slips in through a hole in the window that's the size of his hand. The dude's skinny, but that skinny? And maybe I'm missing something, but why can't Baxter Stockman speak like a human anymore? If the answer is his mutation progressed, then wouldn't the same happen to characters like Xever and Rahzar? Also, when Baxter unleashes his projectiles, it looks like all of the acid blasts hit the ground, but it's later revealed they hit an object nearby. Maybe he fired more that I missed? Unfortunately, the most noticeable issue is Jason Biggs isn't voicing Leonardo in this episode. Dominic Catrambone does sound similar to Biggs, but when he has several lines -- which he does in this episode -- the difference can absolutely be heard and it's a little jarring.

The Legend of the Kuro Kabuto is a ton of fun. The heist vibe is delightfully lighthearted (Steranko's line in the helicopter had me cracking up) and the introduction of Zeck is almost guaranteed to get any TMNT fan thrilled about this show's future. Yes, I have a good amount of small issues with the episode, but overall, there's a lot of solid laughs for us to enjoy and it's a consistently exciting adventure. Now we just have to wait and see what'll happen next with Zeck and Karai!

23 Comments
Edited by SlickyMike88

I would gladly watch this if they had it on netflix

Edited by Golden Cod

This was one of the weaker episodes for me. We get no background as to who Zeck is, why he's wearing a Tron/Kraang tech suit, or why a guy with his skills is intimidated by this Russian arms dealer. The Russian's speech about all of these legendary items he's collected also breaks the writing rule of "show don't tell".

Then there's all the plot holes you mentioned. The ending also felt strangely abrupt, like in the Rat King episode.

The best parts were Shredder's chat with Karai in the prison cell and Rahzar's banter with Tiger Claw.

Posted by Lurkero

I hold a rule that every show with a villain syndicate should have an episode dedicated to showing how that villain syndicate operates. Seriously, what is Shredder doing most of the time? In the 2003 cartoon his alternate personality was well known and functional, but the 2012 TMNT series hasn't said anything about how he operates as Oroku Saki. Is he just a crime lord in his spare time? How have the police not been notified of all the foot soldiers going around stealing stuff? I know it's a cartoon, but c'mon.

Besides that, it was good that Shredder and Karai had a moment right after she learned who her real father is. With only a few episodes left I hope plots move quickly. Right now it doesn't seem like Dimension X is coming up but that could change soon.

Zack is too much of an "out-of-nowhere" villain for my liking. If there is one thing this show has failed at it's giving villains compelling motivation.

I would gladly watch this if they had it on netflix

I don't know why Nickelodeon is keeping TMNT away from Netflix, but the episodes go up on Amazon Streaming and Hulu Plus.

Posted by Golden Cod

Oh and why is a guy with invisibility running in the middle of the road? It's like he's asking to get hit by a car.

Posted by SpitfirePanda

Pretty good episode. I thought the thief was a fun character.

Posted by AmazingWebHead
  • So, Shredder is sworn to protect the helmet with his life, yet he sends his thugs to go get it?
  • I kinda liked Rhazar & Tiger Claw's mini bonding scene.
  • Mikey and Donnie used a Fastball Special!
  • Did Leo sound different to anyone else?

Let's be honest, guys: we all know Anton Zeck is gonna be Bebop, right?

Posted by RoTheKid

Great review, Gregg. I really enjoyed this episode as well. And you've brought up some good questions. Hopefully, Baxter's lack of talking will be revealed soon. The only thing I can think of is that maybe Phil Lamar wasn't available that week? Also, I read, and I don't know how completely true this is, that Jason Biggs will continue to be Leonardo, however, there were times he couldn't do voice acting work because of his wife having a baby. To my understanding, he missed a few episodes, but he's most definitely still a part of the cast.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying this season of the Turtles and I look forward to the rest of the season. The new movie though? Eeeeh.....

Posted by Golden Cod

Let's be honest, guys: we all know Anton Zeck is gonna be Bebop, right?

And the Russian guy Steranko is slated to become Rocksteady. I'm curious as to how he'll acquire that nickname though. He doesn't look like the kinda guy who'd listen to the genre.

Posted by The Impersonator

Edited by hammers_of_justice

They're coming !!

Edited by Lurkero
@amazingwebhead said:
  • So, Shredder is sworn to protect the helmet with his life, yet he sends his thugs to go get it?
  • I kinda liked Rhazar & Tiger Claw's mini bonding scene.
  • Mikey and Donnie used a Fastball Special!
  • Did Leo sound different to anyone else?

Let's be honest, guys: we all know Anton Zeck is gonna be Bebop, right?

Shredder's insistence that his minions do everything is working my nerves. The writers should have avoided Shredder's stern talk if Shredder himself wasn't going to do much. I can only think of 2 episodes where Shredder decided to leave his lair. It's not a very compelling threat. I did like Shredder's line near the end, "Of course I'm going to attack you!" And it was also weird that the turtles didn't bother to try and free Karai until they got far away from Shredder. Of course it was a trap.

Leo was definitely different. It was more noticeable as the episode progressed.

Unfortunately, the most noticeable issue is Jason Biggs isn't voicing Leonardo in this episode. Dominic Catrambone does sound similar to Biggs, but when he has several lines -- which he does in this episode -- the difference can absolutely be heard and it's a little jarring.

Posted by w0nd

They're coming !!

ironically he was smooth talking and moved like a cat compared to his 90's counterpart...seems like an actual threat

Posted by Dark_Guyver

@hammers_of_justice: Awesome! I haven't seen these pics before. Hopefully we see them this season

Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows

@golden_cod: I think he will pick up the name based more on minerals. He has a golden tooth and a diamond eye. all of that embedded in grey rhino skin will certainly give the impression of rocks.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

@lurkero said:

@amazingwebhead said:
  • So, Shredder is sworn to protect the helmet with his life, yet he sends his thugs to go get it?
  • I kinda liked Rhazar & Tiger Claw's mini bonding scene.
  • Mikey and Donnie used a Fastball Special!
  • Did Leo sound different to anyone else?

Let's be honest, guys: we all know Anton Zeck is gonna be Bebop, right?

Shredder's insistence that his minions do everything is working my nerves. The writers should have avoided Shredder's stern talk if Shredder himself wasn't going to do much. I can only think of 2 episodes where Shredder decided to leave his lair. It's not a very compelling threat. I did like Shredder's line near the end, "Of course I'm going to attack you!" And it was also weird that the turtles didn't bother to try and free Karai until they got far away from Shredder. Of course it was a trap.

Leo was definitely different. It was more noticeable as the episode progressed.

Unfortunately, the most noticeable issue is Jason Biggs isn't voicing Leonardo in this episode. Dominic Catrambone does sound similar to Biggs, but when he has several lines -- which he does in this episode -- the difference can absolutely be heard and it's a little jarring.

Probably because the show has made Shredder such a good fighter, his mere involvement is a total plot-breaker.

@amazingwebhead said:
Let's be honest, guys: we all know Anton Zeck is gonna be Bebop, right?

And the Russian guy Steranko is slated to become Rocksteady. I'm curious as to how he'll acquire that nickname though. He doesn't look like the kinda guy who'd listen to the genre.

We'll just have to find out. Wait, a russian guy becoming a rhino super villain? Sound familiar to anyone else?

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

I honestly didn't notice Leo had a different voice actor

Posted by w0nd

@lurkero: both shredder and splinter not willing to do things got on my nerves. He sends casey and april out before himself. Which in the movies was fine because he was so old, but now that he is younger and shown to be an actual threat it baffles me. But the show is TMNT not splinter and the TMNT. He did seem scared to go out in that one ep where April gets captured. maybe he is traumatized, he clearly seemed that way, but they never explored on it so he looks like a hypocrite or someone who lets his mutated kids do the dirty work

Posted by StMichalofWilson

When will the Turtles actually fight Shedder and win?! Anyways, cool episode Also...

They're coming !!

Awesome!

Posted by k4tzm4n

@rothekid said:

Great review, Gregg. I really enjoyed this episode as well. And you've brought up some good questions. Hopefully, Baxter's lack of talking will be revealed soon. The only thing I can think of is that maybe Phil Lamar wasn't available that week? Also, I read, and I don't know how completely true this is, that Jason Biggs will continue to be Leonardo, however, there were times he couldn't do voice acting work because of his wife having a baby. To my understanding, he missed a few episodes, but he's most definitely still a part of the cast.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying this season of the Turtles and I look forward to the rest of the season. The new movie though? Eeeeh.....

Thank you!

Staff
Posted by Golden Cod
Posted by AmazingWebHead
Posted by chad4208

I did not notice Leo sounded different. I guess it was just me, but I didn't notice.

I'm not sure what your talking about with the Acid but Baxter not being able to talk.... Frankly, something like that never has a reason; I guarantee you that is either an inside thing, a joke or whatever, or a discontinuity between different writers...nothing more.

As for anyone feeling empty because of the lack of background on Zeck, not every character had their background story on their first appearance, especially if they ended up being a recurring character.

Posted by Mezmero

Pretty good episode. Only other time I remember seeing a weaponized mohawk was in an episode of Bionic Six and in the PS2 game Godhand. Not a huge fan of Leo's new voice actor. I can't tell if he's just a stand-in or what. I'm pretty stoked to see Bebop and Rocksteady enter the fray especially if they end up being somewhat competent as henchmen.