Originally published in: TMNT New Animated Adventures #21
Publication date: March 25, 2015
Story: Paul Allor
Art: Dario Brizuela
Colors: Heather Breckel
Letters: Shawn Lee
Edits: Bobby Curnow
“Natural Enemies, Part 1”
Down in the lair, the Turtles catch a news report from Carlos Chiang O’Brien *click* Gambe about how a bank was recently robbed by a man in a fly costume. They put two and two together and head to the bank to apprehend Baxter Stockman.
Stockman’s stealing cash to pay for his experiments, since the Shredder won’t fund any of his side projects. The Turtles try to catch him, but he’s too fast. Leo realizes that they’re close to the hideout of someone who could inadvertently help them and comes up with a plan. The Turtles all loudly mispronounce Stockman’s name until he gets mad and chases after them. They then lead him into a dead end alley that just happens to be where Spider Bytez makes his home.
Spider Bytez is ticked that the Turtles led one of their friends to his hideout, but Stockman explains that he’s an enemy of the Turtles. Furthermore, there’s no reason for he and Spider Bytez to be enemies since they were both humans before they became a spider and a fly. Stockman then tells Spider Bytez that if they work together, they can split the cash between themselves.
Down in the lair, the Turtles tell Splinter about how they returned the cash to the bank after setting Stockman and Spider Bytez against each other. Splinter isn’t so sure that such enemies won’t be willing to work together if they have a common interest.
At the docks, Stockman and Spider Bytez track down several shipping containers full of gold. Stockman then tells his ally to call the police so the word will get back to the Turtles and set their ambush into motion.
And in Donnie’s lab, he picks up a conversation on the police dispatch about a crank call involving giant insects at the docks. The Turtles head there in the Turtle Sub and as soon as they arrive, they find Stockman. They give chase, only to be attacked by Spider Bytez, who sprays acid at them, corralling them into his webs…
*The story continues in “Natural Enemies, Part 2”.
*Spider Bytez last appeared in TMNT New Animated Adventures #10.
Huh. Spider Bytez and Baxter Stockman teaming up. It seems so obvious in retrospect.
I’ve gone on record as saying that Spider Bytez isn’t one of my favorite mutant villains from the Nickelodeon cartoon. In fact, most of the original mutant bad guys from that first season were pretty lousy. That being said, where one villain might be lame, there’s always the potential to elevate them by teaming them up with another bad guy. Spider Bytez might not have what it takes to carry a story on his own, but as Stockman’s lackey he seems to hold up much better.
And I liked how as soon as Stockman and Spider Bytez are pitted against each other, they come to the conclusion of “meh”. The Turtles rather cartoonishly assumed that because one was a spider and one was a fly, they’d hate each other, completely forgetting that they were originally humans. I think the cartoon did the same gag in one of the season 2 episodes, where Rahzar and Tiger Claw turn out to be good friends and discuss how it’s stupid to assume they’d hate each other just because one’s a cat and one’s a dog. So now that I think about it, I guess that gag’s been done already. Hm.
Overall, it was sort of eh. I’ll have a more fully formed opinion on the story after the second part is published next month. One thing DID bother me, though. Spider Bytez consistently refers to the Turtles as, uh, "the Turtles". In the show, and even in the previous issues of this comic, he always calls them “the frogs”. It’s sort of his gimmick.
Looks like somebody forgot about that.
Grade: C+ (as in, “‘Cause if a character’s so lame not even a voice over from Lewis Black can save them, you know there’s a problem”.)