Review: TMNT "I think his name is Baxter Stockman"

Every version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a handful of amazing characters that keep coming back.  One of which was the second villain the Turtles ever faced, Baxter Stockman.  He originally appeared in issue 2 of Mirage Volume 1 as April’s crazy boss who created an army of Mousers.  The Turtles then fought him in the original cartoon series episode “A Thing About Rats” when Baxter is hired by the Shredder.  Which brings him into Archie, 4Kids and even the Dreamwave comics.  He was even used in the original version of the Coming Out of Their Shells tour.  The only two medias that did not use Baxter Stockman was the Movies and the Next Mutations, two areas which brought in their own scientists for their stories.  Now Nickelodeon takes a crack at bringing Baxter Stockman to their series in the episode “I think his name is Baxter Stockman” here is a brief layout and my thoughts on their take of Baxter Stockman.

In this episode the Turtles get in trouble from Splinter at the beginning of the show, for skateboarding in the lair.  Their punishment is being grounded.  To pass time, Donatello makes an new music player which Michelangelo claims right away as he named it the T Pod.  Much like the 4Kids Turtles, they take off in the middle of the night to go off and have fun.  Though on their outing they see a man in an armor suit trying to break into somewhere and attack him.  The Turtles win this fight with no problem, though once the police is coming they clean up their mess by tossing their new enemy into the dumpster right there.  The Turtles got away with sneaking out, though Splinter did realize how tired they were.

Michelangelo dropped the T Pod during the fight, which is found by the man in the strange armor.  He attaches it to his suit which grows to be a much better battle suit.  The Turtles see this on the news and realize that it’s the T Pod powering the suit.  Learning the man they’re fighting, is named Baxter Stockman.  They go out to try and fix their mistake, only to get their shells kicked.  Once they return Splinter picks on them for how bad off they are, and sends them off to fight Baxter again for the final battle.

This episode was fun, as we get to see the Turtles trying to have fun.  We see Leonardo’s space show again.  We see Mike getting used as bait for bad guys to chase down.  And a lot of fun action scenes.  We also get the new look at Baxter Stockman.  One which changes who Baxter is, from the other medias that we’ve seen him in.  Usually his first invention we meet is the Mousers, he’s a scientist trying to make a name for himself.  Though in this we see a mouser type costume, he is the mouser.  As he’s breaking into that first building.  We also see many hints from the Mousers through the full episode as even when a part attaches to Leo’s head in the second fight scene.  Though unlike before where Baxter created these on his own, the only reason that mouser was there, was because of the chip in the T Pod.

So while he’s still somewhat of an inventor, I am hoping that they did not lower his IQ to much.  his greatest threat to the Turtles is his inventions.  One thing they did pick up on that I thought was interesting, was the bullied feature and looking for revenge.  In the short lived Dreamwave Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Comic books, the history we see of Baxter is that he was bullied and did want revenge upon those who upset him.  So in away I felt this was a nod to the Dreamwave comic.  Baxter was the only character in the 4Kids universe that sort of had two background stories between Dreamwave and “Insane in the Membrane” so it was cool to see them pick up on the Dreamwave version giving that a good nod.  I think the voice of Baxter was really well done and fit the character.  And of course I’m hoping to see more of him in the series.

In this episode I love the first mention of TCRI, and find it interesting that Baxter use to work for them.  The real question is, will TCRI be back and if so what row will it play in the Turtle’s lives?  I’m totally curious where they’re going with this, since TCRI is normally connected to alien tech.  Just another window opens that may mean something to the series.

One of the things I’ve seen mentioned is the Turtles being bullies for throwing Baxter into the trash can, the first time they did it I would not see as a bully move.  They were getting rid of the signs of the fight, and really saved Baxter from being caught by the Police.  Though the second time it was revenge for Baxter doing it.  It’s a shame that they do go that far, but they’re teenagers who are just learning about being around people. They’re not being taught to be nice to the people they fight either.

One thing that I miss with this series that I liked with the last series is when Police arrived, they’re just people who don't mean anything to the fans. In the 4Kids series we had the police officers who looked like Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, we called them the Eastman and Laird cops. They were not titled this at all in the show, but they had the attention of the fans who caught into this inside joke.  This is one thing I will miss with a new series.

Another issue I have with this show is how they skip over the work of finding the bad guys.  In episode 3 we saw the Turtles trying to find the Kraang, with word that April was the intel who got them where they were.  Instead of showing how April got this information.  And now, the Turtles find Baxter Stockman in a building in New York City.  How?  We don’t know.  If it was this easy to find him, why has the cops not found him yet, he was on the news earlier.  The Police know that much too, what his name is and that he’s located in New York.  So we’re losing some of the growth in how the Turtles do what they do.  And speaking of the Kraang, did the Turtles forget about this mission in helping April save her dad?  There has not even been a hint towards it in the last two episodes.

Now what I really like about “I think his name is Baxter Stockman” is the interactions between some of the Turtle scenes.  I love how Raph and Leo play so well off of each other.  Raph’s always got a remark to whatever Leo is doing.  His reaction to Leo and his show is fun.  I love when they’re skateboarding on the roof, how Don goes to see what’s going on with the T Pod.  It doesn’t phaze Mikey at all.  Just showing off his awesome skills.  I like the brother interaction and hope to see more of it, where they are taking interest in what each other are doing.

This was a fun episode, while not one of my favorites in the series, it’s one that people can enjoy for some great battle scenes and an introduction to a character we are all thrilled to see.  I do hope to see the series grow to where the brothers are respecting each other more and showing more interest into what each other are up too.  While they wouldn’t share everything, it would be nice to see them relaxing together sharing common interests.

Have you seen “I think his name is Baxter Stockman”?  If so what are your thoughts?  Please share reviews, comments and questions below!

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