He can control you mind, he can make you see that which is not there. He can also speak in riddles and rhymes. He is the Rat King and he makes his debut in TMNT Ongoing #36. Since Leonardo is still recovering from Shredder’s mental manipulations, will the Rat King be prove too much for Splinter and The Turtles?
Splinter and Leonardo are not seeing eye to eye. Whilst Splinter believes that defeating Shredder is the number one priority on their checklist, Leonardo cannot help but feel that the Kraang Technodrome is the larger threat. Whilst Splinter’s first bet is to dismantle the Foot Clan, he asks his son to take a walk with him in order to explore the options they have. As this father and son duo address their problems the reader gets to jump into the life of Casey Jones as he recovers from a meeting with his father. This father and son duo tend to address their issues with violence. For a brief moment, in his rather complicated life, Casey is given a break as he bumps into April’s parents. Following the event in Northampton, the O’ Neils have had to move in with April, but their support turns out to be something Casey needs.
As we return to the main focus of the issue, that being the relationship between Splinter and Leonardo, the protagonists walk into the lair of The Rat King. Unlike the current Nickolodeon rendition of this character, this Rat King can control any weak min. He is not limited to controlling rats. He is also no ordinary man; this incarnation seems to be an entity that has survived through time with an origin that is shrouded in mystery. Will this villain be able to break the bond and force Leo down the wrong path or will he force Splinter to fight his protégé to the death?
The art in this issue is far darker and grittier; all the backgrounds are highly detailed even though they are dark. The characters look great and the way they are presented suits the tone of the story. It is no longer the bright days of Northampton. Those days are long gone. The turtles are in the dirty sewers, with an evil that is bound to make the sewers darker than they have ever been.
This issue is a great read, one that contains no humour and silver linings. Here we see the darkness that hides within two main characters, will they overcome the mind games or fall victim to this new terror? And just when you think things could not get worse, more terror might follow…soon.