Some TMNT stuff was always meant for grownups.
In the Mirage TMNT continuity, Professor Obligado is an Utrom academic, scientist, explorer, baker, commando, archaeologist and mentawave addict who is featured in a series of short backup stories written by Stephen Murphy published in issues of Tales of the TMNT Volume 2. The tales of Professor Obligado remain unfinished; Murphy has promised to finish them eventually, but as of 2018 no new stories have been released.
In The Grape, Professor Obligado (who is not yet named in this story) has hit rock bottom in his life, spending his time in an illegal New York City den for Utrom mentawave addicts, some of which are dead or dying from malnutrition from prolonged use of the psychic enhancement device without bothering to eat. With the device Obligado wears, he sees a strange vision of a single grape lying on a city sidewalk. Realizing that a raid by the New York Police Department is imminent, Obligado removes his headset and walks towards the den's bathroom and jumps out the window. But he realizes too late that the drop is too high and he plummets to the sidewalk below, bouncing off a fruit stand awning before violently ricocheting off a taxicab and rolling onto the sidewalk. The very last thing he sees is a grape on the sidewalk that had been knocked from the fruit stand. And with that final memory, Professor Obligado's long life comes to an end.
In The Raisin', Obligado's corpse lies in the morgue of Kurtzburg Memorial Hospital. An alien creature called the Morto Mollucos enters the morgue in the night, reviving dead Utroms to feed off their memories. Obligado comes to life, still remembering the grape. The morgue is quickly raided by the NYPD Xenosquad seeking to catch the Mollucos in the act, but the creature speaks an alien language as it violently pushes back police officers. During the scuffle, a portal opens along the morgue's ceiling, and members of the outlawed Utrom Preservi arrive to seize both the Mollucos and Obligado as they hold back the police with blaster fire. One of the blasts ruins Sergeant Xitor's shirt revealing her to be an Utrom in an exo-suit—not that this was a secret to her fellow officers. Xitor threatens to kill the Preservi if they leave with Obligado and the Mollucos, but they remind her that Utroms do not kill other Utroms.
In The Risen, the Utrom Preserver Nemoiku stands over the barely alive Obligado, reassuring him that the process of memory preservation is not only painless, but often enjoyable. Nemoiku allows Obligado to experience a memory he would never have otherwise remembered—the moment of his own birth. It is during this moment of re-experiencing parent-child bonding, happiness and familial love that Nemoiku successfully extracts Obligado's memories. This process is usually fatal, but Obligado still has the power to hold on for moments longer much to Nemoiku's amazement. Obligado's last words are to say that he can see his own body. Nemoiku logs Obligado's memories to file and respectfully closes the professor's now lifeless eyes. It is then that Nemoiku is interrupted by the arrival of Sergeant Xitor, who is too late to stop the memory extraction process and thus too late to save Obligado's life. Xitor feels great remorse for being unable to save the professor. Soon after, Xitor is shown the video log of Obligado's final moments alive, and she is touched by how happy the professor was. Before she leaves, Xitor asks Nemoiku to preserve Obligado's memories well—she has chosen to let the Preservi continue their work.
The Question is a story from when Professor Obligado was still alive. On another planet, he visits a classroom of diverse alien schoolchildren who are allowed to ask him questions. One student, Aevyon, asks the professor what happens if someone falls off the universe. Though this question sounds absurd, Obligado is intrigued; he does not know the answer, but intends to find out for himself. First, Obligado visits the edge of the known universe, past which there is nothing; but then realizes that his very existence there effectively extends the edge of the universe because he himself is not nothing. Next, Obligado visits the orbit of a black hole, theorized to be an entrance or exit to somewhere else in the universe, and fires a space probe inside it; the probe's signals indicate the function of known quantum laws, meaning that there is still something there rather than nothing. Third up, Obligado visits the orbit of Solaris Maximus, the largest known star; the heat at its core is hypothesized to be near infinite, but nearly infinite is still finite. Obligado ponders whether falling off the universe necessarily involves falling off oneself; inside a sensory deprivation tank, even the sensation of nothingness becomes something rather than nothing. Back in Obligado's lab, the professor tinkers away at theoretical formulas, but reaches a point of frustration that he cannot find the answer to Aevyon's question; but then he realizes that in itself is still an interesting observation. Weeks after his last visit, Obligado returns to the classroom to give his answer: "I don't know." Aevyon finds it scary that there are things even the most advanced science still cannot answer. Obligado agrees.
In First Mud, Professor Obligado secretly purchases black market information—a set of planetary coordinates. To ensure no paper trail, the information is bought in hard cash, and the coordinates are printed on a cookie, which Obligado reads then eats. He hopes the planet is the fabled lost world of Magonia, hypothesized to be the true original Utrom Homeworld that had seeded the more familiar homeworld. As rumors confirm, Magonia exists, but it has been veiled in a massive cloak to hide its existence from the outside universe. Obligado descends his spacecraft to the planet surface; it is a rainy world covered in mud and there are no positive life scans, even on the microbial level. Dressed in a bandanna and armed with a gun, he continues examining the surface. Suddenly, a massive many-tentacled lifeform emerges from the mud. Obligado attempts communication with the entity, announcing he has come in peace in the interests of science. But when it tries to bodyslam him, he fires some shots in self-defense before retreating to inside his parked spacecraft. As the creature shlubs over the outside of the craft, Obligado is inside with an emergency plan of diplomacy. He emerges from his craft wearing oven mitts and holding a pan of freshly baked cookies. The entity takes the tray and eats the cookies one by one as the professor observes and takes notes.
In Apocalypse Vow, Professor Obligado continues to examine his new friend on the planet of Magonia, wondering if this entity may be the progenitor of the Utrom race and why the planet has been cloaked to prevent its discovery. Another spacecraft descends from the cloud layer and a powerful blast annihilates the professor's parked spacecraft, with the resulting shockwave knocking both him and the entity aside. Realizing that someone is trying to kill him, Obligado takes refuge in the mud to hide his presence. Out of the other craft come a team of Utromi Obscura Secreti—an Utrom team of black ops warriors working for the Utrom government. Judging by their behavior, they seem to think an Utrom scientist will be an easy kill. But Obligado ambushes the team from the mud, swiftly and skillfully killing them all—the professor proves to also be a cunning warrior in his own right. He stealthily prowls aboard the parked craft and incapacitates its remaining crew, tossing them into the mud below before he commandeers the craft for himself. As Obligado flees the planet's vicinity in the stolen spacecraft, he reads files from the ship's database, but now wishes he had his pipe and tobacco.
In Altered Fates,
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