Jab’s Reviews: TMNT (Krang)

KRANG:
-Krang is a modification of the Utrom race, and appears in a few later renditions of the canon- mostly those inspired by the Turtles at their most popular. Krang is one of the two Big Bads of the 1987 animated series, and he appears in the concurrent Archie Comics in a similar role. He is quickly exiled to Morbus, the prison world, forming a bad guy group with Slash, Bellybomb, Rocksteady & Bebop. He is revealed to have been behind the destruction of Wingnut & Screwloose’s homeworld, and at one point took over the Shredder by placing himself atop the man’s head.

In the 2012 Nick Toon, the Utroms end up being called “The Kraang” after a Kraang Prime takes over their people, turning most of them into drone copies of himself. He has mutated into gigantic size (his brain-like body is over ten feet tall) and he has psychic powers. His intentions are to terraform the Earth as a suitable habitat for his armies, but he needs April’s unique psionic energies to do this, and the Turtles free her. He gets into a massive android body, but is exiled back to Dimension X. He attempts multiple invasions, and finally takes over New York, only to see it (and Earth) destroyed by the Triceratons, who kill Kraang Prime. He never reappears, despite time changing, as he was killed before the “Heart of Darkness” destroyed the world.

Krang appears in the IDW Comics as one of the few active Utroms- they are a warlike, conquering race, and Krang is the son of their ruler, Quanin. Using deception and cruelty, he finally wins his father’s respect- however, Quanin died trying to expand the empire, and the Utroms were in danger of extinction. Krang decided to save them by terraforming Earth using the Technodrome. He remained on Earth for centuries, biding his time, and allied with the Shredder a few times, but eventually went to war with him. His ally Baxter Stockman turned on him, and he was finally arrested. Feeling guilty, a rival King (who’d engaged in dark actions himself) let him live in exile, but Leatherhead, a former slave, attacked and ate Krang alive. However, the villain reappears in Leatherhead’s stomach (reflecting the Android Body of the ’80s stuff)- Utroms, it turns out, are parasitic.

Krang finally made his movie debut in the Paramount movie sequel, appearing as a disgusting, drooling monster voiced by Brad Garrett. He attempts to build a device to help his army invade Earth, and promptly betrays Shredder soon after allying with him.

KRANG (1980s)

-Among the greatest things about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon was, of course, their choice in villains- none express this more than KRANG. He’s basically a mish-mash of amazing qualities- where ELSE are you going to see a bad guy that is a giant, diaper-wearing android with sunglasses and a LIVING BRAIN in its stomach. Oh, and he’s an interdimensional warlord who pilots a vessel shaped like a giant sphere with tank treads and an eye on top. And the Android Body can grow wings or fight using weapons, and can convert it into a kaiju. And he bickers with his partner in crime like they’re an old married couple.

-The “Utroms” are an alien race of brain-like creatures in the Mirage Comics, but of course the 1987 series took the concept and ran with it, creating an iconic bad guy. Alas, he rarely appears in the other fiction- the other cartoons use the Utroms, and the Nick show includes “The Kraang”, a whole race of guys like this in android bodies. But it’s just not the same. I need this slimy, disgusting, pulsating pile of veiny goo in his glorious diaper-clad Giant Android (which of course mimics Krang’s facial expressions), constantly arguing with Oroku Saki. Pat Fraley and James Avery deliberately performed them as if they were a bickering married couple, and it made the constant grousing hilarious.

-The amazing site X-Entertainment (a massive pop culture-related fansite that was at one point the BEST source to go to for information on Action Figures and obscure trivia- it’s still running today, alongside Dinosaur Dracula, Matt From X-E’s other site) professes that Krang is the writer’s favorite character ever. And that’s where I discovered that they actually MADE A TOY OF THIS THING. TWO, actually! It amazed me, because as a kid, all anyone I knew ever had was that shitty “Krang in a Robot Walker” toy that was the same size as everyone else. “Krang’s Android Body” was like some kind of fictional Holy Grail of toys… except it was REAL. They made TWO of them, actually- a giant-size 11-inch one, and a standard-issue 5-inch figure (oddly, both will go for the same prices on eBay).

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