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Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Villain Micro-Series Volume 1
Authors: Joshua Williamson, Erik Burnham, Jason Ciaramella, Brian Lynch, Mike Henderson (Illustrations), Andy Kuhn (Illustrations), Dave Wachter (Illustrations), and Ross Campbell (Illustrations)
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
Synopsis: Krang, Baxter Stockman, Old Hob, and Alopex all get their turn. Krang's past is revealed, Baxter's secret project may be more dangerous than he realized, Old Hob is ready to branch out on his own, and Alopex learns about her past and discovers a devastating truth.
Review: Having older cousins, I grew up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I watched the cartoons, played the video games, and had the toys and merchandise. As an adult, I started getting my hands on the comics and learning about the grittier, violent beginnings of the Turtles. I've always lived more in the era of the 1980s cartoons and the live action movies, but I also really enjoy the Turtles the way they were originally imagined.
Since I've never been well-versed in the comic series, I was pretty excited when I stumbled across this collection detailing the backgrounds of some of the most well-known TMNT villains. It's really interesting to see where the villains come from and why they do the things they do. I also really enjoyed how the stories tie together. Krang wants to conquer the planet, Baxter ends up working for him, Old Hob stumbles into Baxter's radioactive ooze, and Alopex is created from that same ooze. The connections are there if you pay attention, and I love how the whole universe is so complex and interconnected.
I also thought it was really neat to see glimpses of the Turtles and Splinter, as well as to see villains like Shredder and the Foot Clan who are not discussed in detail here but are well known by anyone who has even heard of TMNT.
The artwork is dark and gritty and reminiscent of the original comics (even to the point of giving all the Turtles the original red masks), so I thought that was pretty neat. I would definitely recommend this to any fans of any TMNT era, as it helps to understand some of the most important villains better. I would also recommend it to anyone who has let their love for TMNT lay by the wayside for a while and wants to get back into everything. The stories are short but pack a nice punch, and definitely made me want to read more. 4/5!