This issue kicks of a new mini-series arc, one that is definitely Krang related. Whilst Baxter Stockman and the Krang joust for control of the Technodrome, it is only Fugitoid that can shift the balance of power in the battle for Earth.
The story opens with a soliloquy by Fugitoid as he realises that not only is he Earth’s hope but he is also its biggest threat. After some self-reflection, this sentient robot takes the task of removing himself from existence into his own hands. But that which is broken can always be fixed. The battle for Fugitoid begins as the Krang and Stockman seek the knowledge that he possesses in order to assist their evil plans.
The first issue offers us an Utrom origin story; the reader is introduced to the ideals of the Utrom Empire and the extents to which mutations have helped them in the past. So you will get an idea of the reasoning behind the Krang and Utrom obsession with the mutagen ooze. But much like the creation of out heroic Turtles, their experiments have ended up resulting in their downfall. This issue shows us that not all Utroms desired war and planetary conquests and that they are not a race that thrives off war and destruction. So where are the remaining, reasonable Utroms? They are all held captive in stasis pods, thanks to the War Lords known as the Krang.
Utrom Empire #1 contains some good art that makes use are dark, thick penciling. The issue, however, is far from being a dark, gritty read. The colouring is balanced containing both light and dark frames to complement the scenes that occur within them. The details on the Utrom and Krang is quite good as readers will see that they do not look alike. Each brain-like creature has a unique face, shape and design. But this art is far from being great, especially if you put it alongside previous issues. The simplicity of Kuhn’s art allows for lots of detail to be lost. Look at the faces of the Dinosaurs and even Donatello; the intricate details that created the characters are lost in this issue. Yes, you do get to see our young green heroes for a total of two pages! As they continue to live it up in the Hamptons, well Northampton that is. They too are presented in a different penciling style, one that incorporates darker line work and less detailed definition.
But our favourite pizza eating heroes are not the focus of this issue, if you are looking for them, in abundance; grab a copy of TMNT animated adventures #7. The focus here is on Fugitoid and his choice of ally. Will he side with the Turtles, Stockman or dare I say it The Utrom? This issue makes and awesome follow up tale, giving the reader a break from the Shredder and Dark Leo saga for the moment. Sure, Shredder is a threat to the city and possibly the nation, but the Krang and Utrom are universal threats. As Donatello begins to unravel the truth behind the current situation, it is up to Fugitoid to become the hero he thought he had become by destroying himself; but this time he will have to fight for what he believes in to prove his worth.