Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Episode 1.13 'I, Monster' Review

Posted by k4tzm4n (39712 posts) - - Show Bio

Welcome back, Nick's Ninja Turtles. You were only gone for a bit, but I sure did you miss you. Like many others out there, I was very skeptical about this show when the teasers and trailers first began to land. It looked far too kid friendly and I feared it wouldn't be something older fans could enjoy. Man, I was dead wrong. This show has been spectacular since the very first episode and I'm beyond excited to tell you that the return episode, 'I, Monster,' does not let us down.

This episode brings back a classic villain: The Rat King. He has control over rats and uses the sea of rodents to take over the city. However, he quickly discovers that his ability allows him to tap into Splinter's mind, too. 'I, Monster' has everything we've come to love from the series. I've been blown away by how fun the action sequences are and this one has two fights that'll make your jaw drop or fill you with joy. I particularly love how they utilize slow motion, too. It's implemented just before a strike lands. Then, the split second before it connects, it jumps back to regular speed and makes the impact seem so much more powerful. It's not overused, so every time this happens is amazingly energetic. This happens when the Turtles face Splinter not once, but twice. Oh yes, the Turtles throw down with him in a training session and then while he's being mind controlled by the Rat King. Both times simply rock and the way The Rat King is taken out will astonish you.

As usual, there's plenty of sharp comedy. A lot focuses on Mikey, but all of the Turtles get a decent quip or two in there or are at least the focus of a laugh (Mikey: "I want a recount!"). I especially love the somber tone surrounding Splinter as the Rat King tries to make him believe he's more of a rat than a man. Additionally, the animation was impressive as a flowing sea of rats spread throughout the streets and the sewers. Just don't let PETA know how many were killed off-camera. Between the explosion and the pole falling over, there's a pretty high body count.

While I of course loved the episode, I do have some complaints. The Rat King looks solid (think a gothic cowboy with no dental plan and a skin condition), but his personality was painful at times. It's not that his motivation was poor, it's how he went about doing everything. The guy was constantly spewing forced exposition. I understand a lot of people might not remember the character's previous appearance, but seeing the generic "crazy villain talking to himself" routine went on for too long.

Also, mind controlled Splinter wasn't holding back (for the most part), yet somehow April dodges way more hits than she should. I get this is a show for all ages and striking April would definitely be shocking, but seeing her evade so many attacks was tough to swallow seeing as she's a total novice with her training.

Simply put, this show continues to be phenomenal. Whether you're a new or old fan, odds are you're going to fall in love with it if you give it an honest chance. This is a seriously fantastic time to be a fan of the franchise. The classic comics are coming back in collections, the new IDW comics are superb, and this program is ridiculously entertaining.

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine & IGN Entertainment. Be sure to follow him on Twitter if you also love the show!

#1 Posted by danhimself (21320 posts) - - Show Bio

I didn't like the Rat King's new design or his personality in this...for me this episode was the worst of the season so far...but it was still enjoyable.....I literally loled at the beginning when Leo's face pops up in a bubble saying something and Mickey's face pops up right beside his and he just exclaims some gibberish...I don't know why I laughed so hard at that

#2 Posted by Mr_Athrilla (83 posts) - - Show Bio

The 2003 TMNT episode that introduces the Rat King was also called "I Monster" True Story

#3 Edited by LaserLambert (641 posts) - - Show Bio

@Mr_Athrilla: ....So was the issue of the original comic where the Rat King first appeared... True Story.

anyway, this was one of my favorite episodes yet, I can't believe the review doesn't mention how they already set up the Rat King as Doctor Falco in a previous episode. to me that kind of continuity combined with the more than impressive action pushes this show above its peers.

I hope they release this series on blu-ray, because having to settle for DVD with this might drive me to anger. LOTS of anger.

#4 Posted by The Lobster (1711 posts) - - Show Bio

Master Splinter in this show is easily my favorite adaptation of the character. 
The fatherness, combined with his knowledge, sense of humor, and just general skills are all there and it's fantastic.
He's such a boss, everything he does or says is awesome and this episode really drives that point home. 
Master Splinter in this show kicks all kinds of butt.

#5 Posted by MSchiwal (71 posts) - - Show Bio

I actually really appreciated that they had April dodging the blows... as it showed that she definitely has been excelling in her training even though we don't see it happening on screen. I really like how they are reinventing her as she used to be one of the worse cases of a damsel in distress... so it will be great once she can stand side by side with the other four.

Also big realization was that Splinter had a daughter... this may have been mentioned in a previous episode but if so I missed it there.... so that means his daughter is probably Karai and will be brought in as a villain somewhere down the line.

#6 Posted by Carolina574 (189 posts) - - Show Bio

If you are not watching this show, drop everything and just go check out an episode. In my opinion, it is very bit as good as young justice. I was skeptical at first too, but now I absolutely love it!

#7 Posted by r3d_rob1n (543 posts) - - Show Bio

This might just be my ignorance, mixed in with my nostalgic childhood, but why don't they say "cowabunga"? In this new show they are pushing booyakasha. Is this more in line with the original comics, or did they just want a new catch phrase?

I have really enjoyed this series so far. The way they mix humor with action is commendable. These turtles seem more like teenagers than any previous incarnation.

#8 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (41725 posts) - - Show Bio


#9 Posted by k4tzm4n (39712 posts) - - Show Bio

@r3d_rob1n said:

This might just be my ignorance, mixed in with my nostalgic childhood, but why don't they say "cowabunga"? In this new show they are pushing booyakasha. Is this more in line with the original comics, or did they just want a new catch phrase?

I have really enjoyed this series so far. The way they mix humor with action is commendable. These turtles seem more like teenagers than any previous incarnation.

They don't say it because it's a dated phrase and wouldn't work well in the modern era.

#10 Posted by notoriousmistersims (92 posts) - - Show Bio

wasnt a fan of the look of rat king but great ep non the less

#11 Posted by mattwing87 (441 posts) - - Show Bio

That Rat King looked a mixture of a mummy and something from Pan's Labyrinth lol

#12 Posted by Lurkero (374 posts) - - Show Bio

They really should have found a reason for April to be there. It's only episode 13, but I do not enjoy her lack of progression as a character. Her presence needs to be justified beyond her father being kidnapped.

#13 Posted by powerflux (116 posts) - - Show Bio

The rat king is my favorite tmnt villain!

my only two complaints are

1: the voice doesn't really match rat kings appearance....

2: i think they killed him off at the end....

#14 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (41725 posts) - - Show Bio

@k4tzm4n: Do you know who voiced the Rat King? He sounded really familiar

Also Splinters finisher at the end was so-much-win that I'm going to change my avatar

#15 Posted by LaserLambert (641 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jonny_Anonymous: Jeffrey Combs, you've perhaps heard him voice The Question in Justice League Unlimited.

#16 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (41725 posts) - - Show Bio

@LaserLambert: Thanks, I new the voice was familiar

#17 Posted by Lvenger (24323 posts) - - Show Bio

Given Splinter's showing here there had better be a Splinter vs Shredder throwdown! It simply must happen!

#18 Posted by Mezmero (999 posts) - - Show Bio

This episode was pretty good. The action was sharp and the comedy was on point. Loved seeing Mikey get pissed at not being the one to name the villain. I also like how Donnie's bo staff has a retractable naginata blade. I agree with the complaints on Rat King but I have to say Jeffrey Combs is a natural when it comes to the crazy mad scientist voice as evident in his role as The Leader in Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes. I like the throwback look of the character but I think it was a lot cooler when he was just doing psychic karate in a lab coat. In the last battle I remember thinking that the turtles should have been going for a knockout on the Rat King instead of trying to beat Splinter. I'm chomping at the bit to see more of this show!

#19 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

Definitely a fun time to be a TMNT fan right now I say! ^_^

#20 Posted by sweatboy (911 posts) - - Show Bio

"8000 parasites swarming around the city, with no purpose in life, spreading disease,.... and they expect US to live like vermin? " (well, something like that) at first I thought he was talking about the rats. I like the fact that he doesn't actually use the rats, but is one with them. And he used to be a heartless bastard who turned his own partner into something. I think the main deal is about Splinter trying to control himself

#21 Posted by k4tzm4n (39712 posts) - - Show Bio
@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

Definitely a fun time to be a TMNT fan right now I say! ^_^

Indeed it is!

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