Comic Review – Utrom Empire #1

Originally written for Flickering Myth

“Intrigue and betrayal abound on Burnow Island! This mini-series takes us to the Technodrome where Krang’s plans to destroy the Earth are ramping up. Little does he know that Baxter Stockman plans to harness its power for himself! As the two villains scheme, one imprisoned robots hold the key to success—the Fugitoid! Will he be able to reach out to the Turtles in time? All this plus the long awaited story of the alien Utrom race!”


I really feel for Fugitoid. A genius and hero; not only did he watch his family die after sacrificing himself to save them but he keeps finding himself in dangerous situations. The knowledge he possesses is extremely powerful and he lives in constant fear of being used for evil purposes.

So how does he choose to deal with his predicament? By taking that knowledge away. But being the unlucky so and so the former Professor Honeycutt is he soon finds himself once again in a predicament. This time it’s Baxter Stockman who seems intent on involving the ‘Fugitive Android’ in his nefarious schemes. 

The focus of this mini-series isn’t just Fugitoid though. It also tells us the tale of the Utroms, the remnants of which are being held in stasis by Krang. He’s looking to turn Earth into a new home for his race, but how did they get into this position? We know that the Utroms had a vast empire, and that there plenty of planets none too happy about their scope and presence. But Paul Allor gives us more detail here, as we spy the genesis of a classic set of characters and the steps taken by the Utrom Empire that will ultimately lead to their destruction.

Having previously only seen Krang and a handful of other Utroms it would be easy to assume that they are all war mongers. We soon find out that we would be wrong to tar them all with the same brush however, with my favourite panel of the book (by the returning Andy Kuhn) depicting an Utrom family outing. Much like us they are mainly just living their lives, with little idea as to the machinations fuelling their prosperity. 

I don’t envy this team. The last TMNT mini-series to be released was the astoundingly good Secret History of the Foot Clan, so they have a lot to live up to. Though I’m not as big of aliens as I am ninjas, I’m happy to say that this is an entertaining read that has my interest. Kuhn’s artwork may not be to everyone’s taste, but previous experience tells me that once you’re accustomed it makes for a rather nice alternative to the detail of Santolouco or softness of Campbell. Allor is clearly enjoying the responsibility of having his own tale to tell, and continues TMNT’s knack of introducing old characters in ways that make sense. 

Here’s hoping this is a sign of things to come and we have another great series to further bolster my claims that IDW’s TMNT is one of the strongest stories on the stands. The signs are good so far.

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