Review: IDW TMNT Micro Baxter Stockman

In the second issue of Mirage’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles we were introduced to a man who would become an iconic character in TMNT History, Baxter Stockman. Creator of the Mousers, boss of April O’Neil, and a totally evil mad scientist.  Baxter was taken in for the original cartoon character first they change the color of his skin, then they turn him into a fly.  Mirage brought him back in Volume 2, turning him into a robot.  4Kids TMNT brought Baxter in much like he was in the Mirage comics and he went through many different changes with robot bodies.  Now IDW has taken on the character of Baxter Stockman, having him working for Krang.  The man behind the Turtles Mutation, April’s boss at work, and now the one in charge of the Technodrome.  A lead character for the IDW Comic Series.  Today the Micro series issue came out based around Baxter, with a bit more about his history.  Check out my review here.

On Burnow island Baxter is working for Krang. His job is to help finish the Technodrome, though Baxter is learning that Krang is planning to change the Earth to make it better for the Utroms Needs.  This does not suit Baxter’s needs, as he could live with a Dictator, but not this.  This is a problem, though his father taught him that all problems have a solution.  During all of these thoughts, Baxter is working on something a table in front of him.  We do not see what he’s working on, but mousers are his helpers.

It’s to see that Baxter is realizing that Krang has to be stopped.  I like where this is leading, as we get to see Baxter at work trying to stop Krang. Written by Erik Burnham, with art from Andy Kuhn this is turning out to be a good issue.  As I mentioned before, I really like Kuhn’s artwork for people, which makes me excited to see him brought back for a non turtle issue.

We go into a flashback of Baxter at the park with his father playing chess. He’s not winning and finds the game to be dumb.  When he says his dad just got lucky his dad blows up at him that Luck is not real.  He wants Baxter to believe in only the power of his mind.  He tells him to reset the game.

This is cool to see Baxter and his father together.  Getting to hear how science was kind of forced on him.  Seeing him as only a child with a father who wanted his son to be smart.  This is the third back ground story we’re getting for Baxter.  The first being in Dreamwave which was based on the 4Kids series, where Baxter was bullied in school which lead him to the Foot.  The second was in the 4Kids series episode “Insane in the Membranes” where Baxter was interested in science growing up, and how he lost his mother.  So this is a different version, showing him with a father over him.

Krang calls Baxter wanting a progress report.  Baxter makes up an excuse as he does not really want to talk to Krang.  He points out that the Technodrome is on schedule, just as it was the last time Krang checked on him.  Krang is tired of waiting which causes Krang to get a bit snippy with Baxter, as he accuses Baxter of working on a side project.  At this, Baxter replies that what he is making is for the Technodrome.   He explains that this is half robot and half mutant fly, it’s strong enough and fast enough to get work done that other workers could not do.  Krang approves and asks Baxter to keep him informed.

Interesting design for Krang here by Kuhn.  I like seeing Krang and Baxter interact with each other.  As Baxter has so much knowledge of what he’s up too.  Krang is very smart and is not going to be an easy one for Baxter to fool.  In the original cartoon series, Krang found Baxter useless because they already had him, which is when he went to destroy him and by mistake turned him into a mutant fly.  So we did not see these two work well together before.  I also really like the fact that Baxter is working here with a mutant fly.  A cool nod to us fans of the original cartoon series.  is this any hint of what is to come for Baxter himself?

Here we get another flashback with Baxter and his father.  Baxter now looks like a teenager.  His dad is taunting him to make a move, when Baxter does, he messes up because he made the move out of anger.  Baxter asks for a do over, as his father explains why he can not have one.

So now we see that we’re not just going through one small part of his history, we’re going through a span of his life time with his dad.  With this game.  And his father’s lessons in life.  We also see that Baxter was an angry child with his father.  He did not seem to enjoy this one on one time, but found it annoying and upsetting.

Baxter is going through the Technodrome with his new mutant fly.  He admires the Technodrome for what it is, but does not like what it will become.  As he thinks about his options on how to take Krang down, so many sore moves that could cause him to lose.  Just as some Rock Soldiers come at them wondering what the fly is and why it is here.  The fly has a voice and is not happy.  Baxter is surprise that it’s talking and tries to use his collar to control it, zapping it, the fly rips the collar off.  The Rock Soldiers threaten the fly, as Baxter tries to stop them, he admits that he can not shut it down without the collar.  The Flyborg gets into a fight with the Rock Soldiers and Baxter flees the scene.  The Rock Soldiers are beaten and the Flyborg goes after Baxter.

What an interesting change of events.  While Baxter wants to take the Technodrome down, I’m sure he wants to live through whatever he is up too.  His Flyborg seems to be full of surprises and dangerous.  I really do like Kuhn’s art is through this full fight with the Flyborg, it flows nicely and keeps the story moving.  I also like that Baxter’s thoughts explain why the Flyborg is this strong.

Baxter realizes he can not get away from the Flyborg on his own and calls Krang for help.  Krang is not pleased about the mess that is happening.  He sees the video footage of what happened and decides that Baxter does need his help.  Krang is amused by Baxter’s issues though agrees to help get him to safety.  Baxter is able to make it to a control room and close the door before the Flyborg can get in.

Baxter is lucky that Krang decided that he was worth more alive.  It was good to see Krang having some fun with Baxter’s problem instead of just being pissy about the mess.  Baxter seems happy with where his safety is going to be.  Though how will he get out of this mess?  Will there be any progress for his goal on taking down the Technodrome?  And what happened with Baxter and his father?  To find out the answer to these questions pick up the issue at your local comic shop!  See the great art, read the fun story and so much more.

Also today in Comic Shops is an amazing TMNT book!  It’s called “The Works” and is a hardcover graphic novel of the Classic Color TMNT comics.  The packaging for this book is outstanding.  I feel IDW has went all out for us fans to have a cool Mirage book on our shelves. Even if you have collected the Ultimate Collection books, you may want to look into this new book!

Have you read IDW TMNT Micro Series “Baxter Stockman”?  If so what are your thoughts on the issue?  Please share reviews, comments and questions below!

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Comments

It's Great to see Baxter having such an important role in this comic series. I hope he gets more big roles in the future.