Even as a pretty big Turtles fan, I was never really sure who the hell Krang was besides referring to him as the brain in the metal suit. This issue did exactly what it intended to do, it presents a different side of Krang other than evil super-villian, making him a sympathetic character much like The Secret of the Foot Clan did for The Shredder. To be honest Krang still isn’t the most intimidating TMNT villain, but he’s definitely a lot more respectable than before.
The issue actually branches off from the story presented in the ongoing TMNT series, in which Shredder’s grand-daughter Karai, breaks into Krang’s headquarters and kills one of the Ultroms in stasis. This triggers Krang’s flashback of how he came to be the character he is now, showing how he was an utter disappointment to his father and incapable of leading much of anything. To becoming a survivalist, a killer, and ultimately a leader, Krang stows away on a mission against his father’s enemy in an attempt to gain his respect. Krang is the lone survivor as the Ultrom force is completely decimated.
Krang makes his way into the planets incredibly dangerous marshes and finds a way to survive despite the years of pampering and initial helplessness. He eventually tames a lizard creature, and rides it back to his father’s enemy, challenging him directly to one on one combat, and winning. In the process, he dominates his enemy’s entire army, taking them over, and using them to his advantage. This allows him to finally be the son his father wanted, a true successor to the throne and a true leader for the Ultrom people.
Honestly, the story was pretty good, if a bit more outlandish than I expected. I mean the whole TMNT universe is a bit crazy, so it’s not entirely out of place, but a brain surviving alone in the marshes seems a bit over the top. The writing was also done a lot differently than one would expect; in fact Krang is written as a hero until the last couple pages of the book. He is made out to be less of a villain and more of champion of his people, succeeding in his father’s footsteps. He does have his moments ordering around slaves where he seems like a complete dick, but otherwise, he isn’t a character to hate. This is a good and bad thing; it adds a very interesting dimension to his character, which is always good for a villain. However, it isn’t exactly the Krang the ongoing series paints, as a cruel, unjust monster. It’s a very interesting story, but it just doesn’t really fit the character.
The art is absolutely fine, it fits the standard Turtles look and the color is fantastic. Krang is especially well animated for just a brain with eyes and a mouth, his emotions are obvious and he has a variety of actions scenes that make excellent use of the character’s anatomy.
This is a book for Turtles fan’s plain and simple and if you aren’t interested in learning more about Krang you can probably pass this one up. For hardcore Turtles fan’s though it’s a must buy and if you’ve ever wanted to know what the hell was going on with the Brain in the robot, stop by your local comic shop and pick this one up, you’ll at least be entertained when Krang rides in on his mounted lizard.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Mike Henderson
Publisher: IDW Publishing