Jab’s Reviews: TMNT (The Archie-Exclusive Characters… yes including Cudley the Cowlick)

JAGWAR:

-Jagwar is the de facto leader of the Mighty Mutanimals, a spin-off attempt from the TMNT Adventures Archie Comics series. Like I said earlier, they were short-lived (a three-issue mini-series followed by an ongoing that was cancelled after only 9 issues), and were killed after a six-part back-up storyline in the main “TMNT” book- a SHOCKING move at the time. The Archie comics were kind of messed-up in general… Jaggy here is the son of a BLAZING hot jungle-girl MILF named “Juntarra” (who is South American, and looks pretty much like the whitest-looking people from that region), and the “Jaguar Spirit”. She had Jagwar while on a massive spirit quest, but abandoned him after he turned twelve to continue her journey. She ended up captured by Death (?), and the Mutanimals had Jagwar’s back as he fought to save her life. This was the opening portion of the Mutanimals series, and was interesting, but ultimately kind of faltered (that kind of Uncle Scrooge/Barksian Ducks” kind of story really hasn’t sold well in the States in a LONG time), and the book didn’t last long. Notably, Jagwar got a “Pin-Up” in one issue where he looked CRAZY vicious, way outside of the cutesy art designs they used for the actual comics.

Jagwar was Stephen Murphy’s creation intially- he wanted him to be a part of a spin-off toyline that was eventually shelved. The character reappears in IDW Comics as a female Jaguar Goddess- when the Turtles accidentally spied on a Pantheon “family reunion”, Jagwar attempted to kill them and was fended off by Raphael.

DREADMON:

Dreadmon was kind of annoying in the issues I have. He never did much of note beyond running at super-speed, punching guys, and saying “Mon!” at the end of every sentence. Apparently he’s a street rat (I don’t buy that) thief who had been sent from his native South Africa because his father was an outspoken opponent of Apartheid and feared for his safety. Living on the streets, Dreadmon stole a magical talisman that turned him into a Jamaican Wolf-man.

Shockingly, the character has popped up in IDW Comics, where he is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (though his father is Jamaican)- he was forced to become a child soldier, and after the war, became a homeless kid. He was offered money to be a test subject by the Null Group, and was transformed into a mutant jackal. When he realised that Null wanted him to become a soldier again, Dreadmon defected, ending up in New Jersey. He briefly allied with Man-Ray and a human girl named Sally, but chose to live life on his own after helping them out.

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CUDLEY THE COWLICK:

Easily the weirdest, and oddly most iconic, aspect of the Archie TMNT comic is Cudley the Cowlick, a flying COW’S HEAD that flies the Ninja Turtles and other characters across interstellar distances. He is encountered on Earth and kidnaps the Turtles & Leatherhead to Sling & Stump’s “Intergalactic Wrestling” asteroid. He is used in the Mighty Mutanimals arc as a way for the Turtles to traverse space when dealing with the Malignoid invasion. He is described as a “Cosmic Monster” by Fugitoid in the 2012 Nick Toon, but doesn’t play into the plot.

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THE MALIGNOIDS:

Scul and Bean are the two most powerful, named Mooks of the Malignoids, able to use a bit of free will. They actually successfully defeated the Turtles, Splinter, April & Mondo Gecko, but Raphael escaped- Raph and the Mighty Mutantimals (who debuted as a team in this arc) banded together to stop the Malignoid invasion. They returned later, but Slash attacked them alongside the Turtles- it’s unknown what happened during the fight between Slash and these two, but all three (plus Queen Maligna) were killed when their Hive-Ship crashed into the sun.

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NULL:

-Okay, so I missed the early appearances of Null- I just remember this bald, horn-headed Evil 1980s Businessman hanging out with aliens in the Archie Comic’s Mighty Mutanimals debut arc. It turns out he’s a guy who sold the Earth to the alien Malignoids, and later he both allies with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and hires a bunch of cyborgs to kill the Mutanimals. Along the way he grows more and more demonic, finally turning into a flying demon- he may in fact be the devil.

IDW has introduced a “Madame Null” in a Mutanimals mini-arc, and she seems to take a similar role- a horn-headed bald demon in a suit who manipulates things.

In the comics I own, Null is a generic nasty guy- probably kinda tough, he takes Mondo Gecko’s skateboard to the face and slugs him back, calling him “You little twerp!”. Like, the shot HURT him, but he fired right back.


BELLYBOMB:

Bellybomb is a one-off weirdo alien design from the Archie Comics TMNT. On the prison world of Morbus, Krang recruits Slash to his employ, and the two witness Bellybomb arriving with a couple of guards. The guards do the mandatory rattling off of his crimes, including extortion, armed robbery, man-eating, brain poaching, soul thievery, and impersonating a deity named Bob. Bellybomb adds “You neglected to mention my unpaid parking tickets”, which is when Krang immediately decides he LIKES this guy. Slash attacks and kills the guards, and the trio abscond with the guards’ ship (that is some REALLY bad security), recruiting Rocksteady & Bebop as well. Bellybomb grafts Krang to the Shredder’s body, but the Turtles free Shred-head and send Krang & Bellybomb back where they belong. A perfectly fine, tolerable one-off character with a unique look.

Amazingly, even BELLYBOMB shows up in the 2012 Nick Toon, as “Vrax Belebome”- an agent of Lord Dregg’s. He swipes some money from Fugitoid but is captured and forced to give up some information.

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ARMAGGON:

Another bizarre selection for the SNES version of TMNT: Tournament Fighters, Armaggon, like War, hails from the Archie Comics TMNT series, where he is a strange humanoid shark with scrawny arms. He was created by Peter Laird, who saw a misspelling of “Armageddon” on a piece of paper and liked the look of it, choosing it for a shark character they were working on. A cybernetic bounty hunter from the future (REALLY? He had to be from the FUTURE, too? In a world this strange, they couldn’t just make him an alien or Earth shark that was mutated?), he first fights Man-Ray and Merdude in the Mighty Mutanimals book. Later, he teams up with the Shredder and someone named Verminator-X to fight the Turtles in their own book, but fails.

The 2012 Nick Toon series actually used him as one of their “Deep Cut” character selections, making him a Space Bounty Hunter who faces down Raphael and the new “Mona Lisa”, a Space Soldier character. He learns that Raph is in love with Mona Lisa, and so he & Lord Dregg (who hired him) conspire to force her to fight Raphael. He beats a demoralized Raph with glee until the Turtles attack in force, and Armaggon is thrown into the maw of a huge Scorpinoid, being devoured.

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