I received this book free from NetGalley and IDW Publishing as an advanced reader copy.
I have to admit that as a kid, I wasn’t very girly. I was much more into G.I. Joe (I had a Snake Eyes figure before I had my first baby doll) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than I was Barbie and Polly Pocket. I was in love with, nay, obsessed with TMNT when I was younger, but as sometimes happens, I moved on to other things as I got older. Getting the chance at a first look read of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire however, brought all those great TMNT memories flooding back.
Here we find Krang’s prisoner Fugitoid, all the information he has stored about the Technodrome stolen from him as Krang tries to find a way to make Earth his for the sake of his dying race. Fugitoid of course is trying to destroy himself and the Technodrome, but Baxter Stockman throws a wrench in his plans, wanting the technology himself for his own personal gains. Through this series we find out the origin of the Utrom race and Krang’s history, and we even see a little emotion from Krang (if you can call it that), or at least find a reason for his bitterness and rage. By the end of the third issue, Fugitoid seems to be working with Krang to find a way to fulfill his own plans, and the Turtles it seems may have to work with some adversaries to overthrow Krang once and for all.
There is an urgency about this series that I absolutely love, and a complexity that doesn’t deter you from the story. I love the fact that we finally find out Krang’s history, and even see a side of him that is never displayed. I think we gain a lot of understanding about his motives and about his attitude, and in some twisted way, I think at least some people will sympathize with his wanting to save the last of his race from complete extinction. The beginning of this series really focuses on Krang and the Utrom empire’s history, so don’t expect to see a lot of the Turtles, but the ending of the third issue leads me to believe that the Turtle action is definitely about to start. And there’s this awesome cliffhanger, that leaves you wondering who’s going to have to team up with who to get the job done! Needless to say, Paul Allor is writing a great story here, and I cannot wait to see what else he has in store, and the art by Andy Kuhn is gritty and totally fitting to the story. I would absolutely recommend Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire to lovers of TMNT; whether you’ve watched the cartoons, or read the comics this is definitely something you can get into!