Jab’s Reviews: TMNT (Hothead, King Lionheart, Tokka & Rahzar)

While battlin’ a blaze, a fireman in Old Town broke an enchanted dragon-shaped flask. Suddenly, a mystical cloud covered the sky and the fireman disappeared. Out of the scorchin’ heat arose the super-Samurai spirit of a dragon-genie. Known as Hothead to his Turtle friends because of his blazin’ breath and quick temper, this scaly-skinned Samurai serpent can put out any fire, except his own. His fiery features include the classic, long lethal Samurai sword. And Hothead’s no defenseless dragon with his dim sum staff and pagoda helmet. The Foot Clan better watch out – Hothead’s got a hankerin’ for barbecued Shredder-kebab!


Hothead was a 1992 toy release who never showed up in the cartoon, but shows up in the Archie Comics as a GIGANTIC yellow dragon, as opposed to the red one seen in the toys. There, he’s actually a love interest for April O’Neil, making him the only non-Casey Jones character to be so, and one of very few Asian male love interests for a white woman in comics (or just about anywhere, really). The only other appearance of the character is in the bizarre NES version of TMNT: Tournament Fighters, where he is such a massive sprite he gives the game slowdown (a fighting game for the NES, mind you), and can’t be put into a vs. battle against himself without a cheat code. His original toy now goes for a fair bit on the secondary market- not Scratch/Hot Spot numbers but $80 owing to being a 1992 release with good size and a lot of detail, I think.

A massive “Demodragon” named Kavaxas is nicknamed “Hot Head” by Michelangelo and serves as the Big Bad of the fifth season of the 2012 Nick Toon series. Kavaxas is summoned by Tiger Claw to resurrect Shredder, but he manipulates the undead villain and tries to take over the world himself- Shredder now hoping to redeem himself in death, willingly helps bring Kavaxas back to the netherworld.

Good knight, Foot Clan, wherever you are. King Lionheart is on the prowl and taking no prisoners. This royal robed roughcat is the result of Shredder’s dirty work. Formerly a Shakespearean actor, Shredder tried turning this cat into “king of the mutants.” But the Turtle dudes busted loose this beast before Shredder could give him the ol’ whammy. Forever grateful, this King Arthur of the city sewers has joined the Turtles’ crusade to wipe out the Foot Clan. He’s the master of the slap ’em silly sceptre – and no defense can stop the penetrating power of his extra-cool Excalibur. So join allegiance with King Lionheart – ruler of righteousness and pizza-lovin’ lion.


Another Toy-Only character. King Lionheart is apparently NOT a king at all, but a Shakespearean actor who was turned into a lion by Shredder. Exactly what kind of a nefarious plot involves making an ACTOR into a Mutant is beyond me, but that would only be like #20 in the Silliest Shredder Schemes list. He basically combines a bunch of Arthurian stuff together into one character- Noble Lion, King, Sceptre, Shield & Excalibur itself. Which makes you wonder where they got the SHAKESPEAREAN ACTOR bit from. The toy isn’t… BAD, but kind of has a weird face (looking more wide-eyed and manic than angry). And the “one uncovered leg” thing is CLASSIC Ninja Turtles toyline- they LOVE leaving the “animal bits” exposed, even if somebody’s wearing full clothes.

TOKKA & RAHZAR (1980s Cartoon Versions):

Tokka & Rahzar have an unusual role in the 1987 series- coming on the tails of the second TMNT movie, they naturally make an appearance, but it’s so completely out of character as to basically make them two entirely different creatures! Instead of being brain-dead infants, they’re standard-issue Talking Mutants, going on their merry way! They appear in the beginning of Dirk Savage: Mutant Hunter, which sees the aforementioned hunter capture Tokka, in addition to numerous other mutants. This was in 1993, WAAAYYYYYYYY after the show’s peak (six years is much longer than most cartoons last), but I still remember watching this one and having my first “WTF? The show changed something!” moments with the show altering the source material (Mirage fans of course had this reaction WAY earlier).

Rahzar in particular is rather eloquent, to a bizarre degree. He speaks in a low-pitched, upper-class accent, moaning about how “you are my ONLY FRIEND…” to Tokka, then pledging vengeance upon Dirk Savage for capturing his terrapin ally. The two characters are basically on-model from the show & toys (Tokka actually uses a repurposed Slash mold, something I noticed even as a kid- his cloth bits and weapons are identical).

Tokka & Rahzar in Other Continuities:
-Tokka is based off of a Mirage Comics one-off- Terrorpin- the largest alligator snapping turtle on record, which lives in the New York sewer system and nearly kills Leonardo when he stumbles upon it while searching for a new home for his family. In Turtles Forever, members of Ch’rell’s army got mutated, a few turning into variants of Tokka & Rahzar. Rahzar’s name got re-used for the Nickelodeon series, as “Dogpound” soon got turned into an undead-looking giant dog-monster, and was renamed “Rahzar” by Michelangelo- Tokka’s name was given to some giant monster: a titanic turtle-monster with magma pouring out of it- the Triceratons finally defeat the female creature by causing a star to go supernova and teleporting out. However, she returns in a later episode and attacks- the Turtles are able to convince her to back off after giving her the creature she’d adopted and had taken away from her. When she realizes the critter, now adopted as a pet of Raphael’s, was being well cared for, she backed off and allowed him to stay. In the IDW Comics, Tokka & Rahzar appear as backgrounders in Old Hob’s army of mutants.

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