Although I love TMNT and this new villain micro-series, Baxter Stockman’s story was a little slow for me. I loved the Krang issue but I have never been a big Baxter fan and never understood his mad scientist tendencies. His back story never got told hence why I was interested in where this new TMNT comic would take it. Like any other crazy boy, Baxter has daddy issues. The comic starts with Baxter explaining how he plans to take over Krang and be somebody. His dad taught him that. We get our first flashback of him and his dad playing chess. The comic interjects flashbacks of the same scene only Baxter gets older and smarter in each one. When we first see him, his father is beating him in chess trying to teach Baxter about how to get power by laying out your moves. Baxter is being verbally abused by his father in each panel.We go back to present day and Baxter is being verbally abused by Krang. Krang has somehow taken the spot of Baxter’s father. He clearly cannot function unless he is being ruled over, but constantly fights the notion in his mind thinking he is more powerful. It is sad really; thinking Baxter has the power to break free but he will always need that abuse in order to survive, thrive. Baxter is trying to somehow out maneuver Krang’s Technodrome. I do like seeing the Technodrome idea coming back into the TMNT series. I think it was always this huge allusion as to what it was actually capable of.
Baxter develops Flyborg to help him achieve his goal. This creature is like the Mousers but instead it is fly-like. He uses this robot to distract Krang into getting top secret information about the Technodrome. We then have the next flashback of Baxter as a young teenager getting angry at his father because his father is taunting him during chess. The whole Stockman clan has anger issues no doubt. Well, the Flyborg goes crazy and Baxter explains to us how the Flyborg processes strength of great multitudes; it can always out move all of its opponents. I think this part of the comic really relates to the chess match. The Flyborg being the Queen, being the strength and unbeatable, and Baxter is the King, the protected. He creates these machines in order to protect himself and ultimately win. The story ends with one more flashback to the chess match. Finally, Baxter has decided to take control of his moves and defeat his father. The game isn’t chess though but rather something bigger. It shows Baxter’s true nature come out and being taught this anger by his father.
Overall, the story wasn’t horrible by any means. It just lacked some action. I don’t need asses being kicked but at least some better mind maneuvers. It all seemed too predictable.
Writer: Erik Burnham Artist: Andy Kuhn Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/22/13