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Mutanimals idw

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutanimals is a four-issue mini-series from IDW Publishing, starring Old Hob and his mutant gang, the Mutanimals. TMNT: Mutanimals debuted in February 2015.

This mini-series takes place immediately following the events of TMNT #43.

Credits

Part One

Released February 25, 2015

TMNT- Mutanimals -1 Regular Cover by Andy Kuhn

Pigeon Pete and Lindsey Baker are pondering why there's no such thing as blueberry cola. Lindsey is frustrated that Pete is writing down everything she says while he accompanies her on the supply run because Old Hob doesn't trust her to go out on her own. Suddenly three armed men grab Lindsey and Pete and attempt to kidnap them. Lindsey manages to place a call to Hob to alert him that they're in danger but is unable to give him any vital information before the call is cut off and she is thrown in the back of a van. Pete almost manages to escape but is captured as well.

The other Mutanimals (Hob, Slash, Mondo Gecko, and Herman the Hermit Crab) arrive back at their headquarters after stealing the Foot Clan's supply of mutagen (see the TMNT ongoing series issue #43, Attack on Technodrome Part Three). Slash is wondering where Lindsey and Pete are but Hob tells him not to worry, Pete probably got distracted on their supply run. Hob then checks his messages and realizes that Lindsey and Pete have been kidnapped and are in danger. Hob orders the Mutanimals to move out, telling the others they can find Pete and Lindsey using the tracking device he planted on Pete. Mondo asks Hob if he planted tracking devices on all of them but Hob tells him not to be paranoid.

Lindsey and Pete are unloaded at a laboratory owned by the Null Group, a large scientific conglomerate that does some of everything. Lindsey and Pete are greeted by Jillian Amante, Lindsey's former co-worker and ex-girlfriend. Jillian pleads with Lindsey not to be mad. Jillian had become aware of Lindsey're unusual employment situation and so wanted to show her the new lab and offer her a job. Lindsey is understandably upset at being kidnapped for a job yet again. Jillian assures Lindsey that her men will return Pete to where they picked him up, no harm done, while she and Lindsey tour the lab. Secretly, however, Jillian orders her men to take Pete to the rail yard. Lindsey asks Jillian how she found herself in her current position; Jillian explains that she got a job with a subsidary of the Null Group, and they managed to successfully create some mutants but are now trying to combine mutant DNA. Lindsey, excited by the prospect of new areas of research, asks to see some of their mutants but Jillian tells her they're not kept on-site. Lindsey asks Jillian where they got their mutagen, since it is in such short supply, with stores no longer at StockGen, only on Burnow Island and with the Foot Clan. Jillian explains that it was in fact the Foot Clan who outsourced their mutant research to the Null Group. Lindsey balks at the thought of working for the Foot Clan, but Jillian points out that she's currently working for mutant terrorists. Jillian goes on, stating that she doesn't concern herself with the politics of her predicament, only her job duties and her salary. Jillian urges Lindsey to accept her job offer but Lindsey explains that their personalities don't really mesh well together, hence their ended relationship.

Meanwhile, Hob and the Mutanimals have tracked down Pete and are tailing him in their van. Herman shoots off the back doors of the van carrying Pete and they urge Pete to jump over to them, but Pete is concerned about the distant. Herman reminds Pete that he's a bird, he can fly rather than jump. Pete lunges from the back of the van, only to discover that he cannot, in fact, fly. Pete bounces off the roof of the Mutanimals' van and lands on the side of the road, injured but alright. Mondo asks if they should stop and pick him up, but Hob wants to catch up with the people who kidnapped him first. Hob runs the other van off the road and the men inside scatter and run. Mondo hops on his skateboard and runs down the van's driver. The Mutanimals question the man but he claims not to know anything. Hob looks through the man's wallet to get his personal information, and asks him if he wants to talk before he rips his throat off. Slash looks concerned by Hob's methods but says nothing.

It's a torture chamber

Hob reacts to Jillian's "lab."

At the Null Group lab, Jillian continues showing Lindsey around, pointing out the mutagenic filter that Lindsey had been developing in her research. All of a sudden the Mutanimals arrive to rescue Lindsey. Hob is disturbed by what he sees in the lab, flashing back to his captivity at StockGen and all the experiments they ran on him before he was freed. Hob immediately demands to know where the mutants are being held in order to free them, but Jillian tells him they're not there. Hob doesn't believe her and orders the Mutanimals to wreck up the place and find any mutants. Lindsey urges Jillian to run for safety. Lindsey throws Mondo off Jillian's trail and then follows her. Jillian is about to call her boss to report that the lab is under attack but Lindsey asks if she can wait a few minutes to give the Mutanimals time to leave, but Jillian doesn't wait. Jillian calls Null Industries, and the secretary informs the CEO of the situation.

You said you're here to save me so save me

Not what they expected to hear.

Hob and the Mutanimals continue searching the lab for any captive mutants, so far having only found empty rooms, until they encounter a locked door. Slash breaks it down and they enter to find a horrible monstrosity, a hybrid of dozens of different animals dubbed the Mutagen Man. The Mutanimals inform him that they're there to rescue him and at first he thinks they mean to mercy kill him, but they tell him to come with them. Hob orders the others to help Mutagen Man into their van while he torches the place, but Mondo points out incoming guards on the security camera feed. The others tell Hob that it would be wise to retreat but he is set on destroying the lab. Slash tells Hob they can burn it down later but right now they have to escape with their rescuee.

The guards watch as the Mutanimals escape, having been ordered not to shoot lest they damage the Mutagen Man. Driving away from the Null Group's lab, Hob declares that the Mutanimals are at war.

Part Two

Released March 18th, 2015

TMNT- Mutanimals -2 Regular Cover by Andy Kuhn

Herman the Hermit Crab (fully decked out in matching pajamas) gets a glass of milk from the fridge. Mondo Gecko, who is in the kitchen eating a snack, notices the despondent look on Herman’s face and asks him what’s wrong. Herman explains that being used to the high-stakes tension of the battlefield all the time, he feels unsure of how to handle downtime. Mondo explains that while he is totally dedicated to Hob and their cause, he does his best to relax when they’re not on missions. Despite trying not to think about their situation, Mondo admits he is disappointed that Lindsey left them and feels bad for Mutagen Man, who was tortured and experimented on by the Null Group. Herman agrees that his plight was terrible, but is confident that if they can help Mutagen Man find a purpose then he will regain the will to live.

Inside the Null Group’s office building, Madame Null speaks to Lindsey and Jillian. Madame Null states that it only takes eight pounds of pressure per square inch to crush a human skull. Null then proceeds to conduct a very enigmatic job interview with Lindsey. Null explains that the nature of the job is all about testing the limits of human ability and pushing them further.

On a rooftop overlooking the Null Group’s lab, Hob eyes the heavily increased security forces through binoculars. He tells Slash that they definitely won’t be able to break in unnoticed. Slash advises that they head back to their base to regroup with the others and formulate a plan. Hob, spotting what he thinks is a weak link in security, says he already has a plan and tells Slash to follow him.

At the Mutanimals’ headquarters, Mutagen Man wakes up and heads into the living room. He apologizes to Herman for leaving his room, but states he was unsure of what to do as up until then there were always scientists around giving him orders. Herman assures him that everything is fun. Mondo encourages Mutagen Man to do whatever he wants and suggests he join him in the video game he is playing. Mutagen Man is unfamiliar with the concept of fun and asks what the purpose of the activity is. Mondo tells Mutagen Man that he needs a real name, so he jokes that he’ll call him Seymour Gutz, as his guts are visible inside his suit. Mutagen Man accepts the name Seymour and laughs for the first time in his life.

In an abandoned warehouse, Hob questions a scientist he saw leave Null’s grounds for a smoke break. The man is tied to a chair while Hob makes him provide information on the Null Group’s operations. The man explains that Madame Null is obsessed with “eliminating human weakness” and that all their work stems from a belief that human workers are fragile, cowardly, and inefficient. The man states that they are working on creating mutant hybrids that transcend the limitations of human laborers, first to replace workers in high-risk jobs, then eventually the entire workforce, in a bid to take over of the world by seizing control of its economy. Hob says he doesn’t want to hear about Null’s business plan and demands to know the location of the other mutant captives. The scientist tells Hob that besides Mutagen Man, most of their experiments so far had been failures, so there were only currently two mutants being held. The man is scared to reveal the location of the mutants as he knows the Null Group will kill him if he does, so Hob threatens to skin him alive. Slash tells Hob that they do not torture their prisoners, but the man breaks down and tells Hob that the mutants are being held at a train yard in northern New Jersey. Before leaving for the train yard, Hob wants to kill the scientist to keep him from talking, but Slash prevents him from doing so. Hob tells Slash to tie him up instead.

At the Mutanimal base, Hob gives everyone orders to prepare for their rescue mission. Slash asks if he plans on killing anyone who gets in their way. Hob tells him that he’ll do whatever it takes to save mutants. Slash urges Hob to consider non-violent means first but Hob isn’t having it. Hob orders the Mutanimals to finish getting ready.

As the Mutanimals finish loading their van, Hob tells Mutagen Man that he doesn’t have to come if he doesn’t feel up to it yet. Mutagen Man explains that he was motivated by Hob’s speech about doing whatever is necessary to save mutants, and also that his name is Seymour Gutz now.

Hob pulls into the rail yard and tells the other Mutanimals the plan. Suddenly their tires are shot out by Null security guards. The Mutanimals jump out of their van and attempt to hide among the train cars but they are quickly surrounded. Madam Null appears and orders her guards to stand down. Null reveals that she orchestrated the trap to recapture Mutagen Man as well as get ahold of the Mutanimals, more mutants she could experiment on. Seymour begins having a panic attack at the thought of returning to being held captive. Hob shoots four rounds into Null’s chest, knocking her backwards, but her security guards hold their ground and don’t move. Hob is confused by the guards’ lack of reaction but it is quickly explained by Null getting back up, completely unharmed. She order the guards to capture all the mutants. The Null guards focus on Herman first, using smoke to blind him and prevent him from providing cover fire, then quickly subdue Hob, Pete, and Seymour. Hob urges Slash and Mondo to flee so that there’s someone left to rescue them.

Inside one of the train cars, a mutant lion and mutant stingray wonder what could be going on outside based on all the noise. The stingray, Man Ray, surmises that it’s probably a fight of some kind. The lion, Sally Pride, is eager to help any way she can, but Man Ray is content to bide their time, as they can’t help from the confines of their cage anyways. Just then, Null guards open the car door and throw in Pete, Herman, Seymour, and Hob.

On a ledge overlooking the rail yard, Slash and Mondo plot their next move. Slash tries to puzzle out the best course of action but Mondo is daunted by their situation, being cut off from the rest of their team and even from their van. Slash rouses Mondo, telling him that no matter what they’ll find a way to be the good guys, as that’s what heroes do.

Part Three

Released April 22nd, 2015

TMNT M 3A

Slash finished the details of his plan to rescue Hob, Pete, and Herman, as well as any other mutants being held by Null. Mondo Gecko finishes hot wiring a truck so that they can follow the train and uncouple the car containing the Mutanimals when the time is right in order to minimize any potential for violence. Inside the train, Hob explains to Sally and Ray that he and the Mutanimals were planning on rescuing them from the Null Group. Sally states that she could have rescued everyone if she could only get to the front car and take control of the train. Hob asks Herman for a status report; Herman tells him that all the Mutanimals are uninjured. Sally tells Hob why Seymour is so scared. She tells him that Seymour is headed back to the lab where the testing is done, most of it extremely traumatic. She and Ray are to be sold to the Foot Clan. Hob, realizing that Slash and Mondo were not captured, retains hope that they will all be rescued.

On a road alongside the train track, Mondo drives the stolen pickup and wonders how they’re going to get from the truck to the train. Slash grabs Mondo, climbs on top of the moving truck, and leaps onto the train. Slash opens the door to the train car and he and Mondo head inside. Hob greets Slash and Mondo thanks them for coming. Ray tells the others that there are footsteps on the roof of the car and two Null guards drop through the roof hatch, followed by ten more through the side door. Mondo tells Slash that they may have to abandon their plan for minimal violence as they are quickly overwhelmed by guards. The Null guards begin to back Slash into a cage, triggering memories of his early life at Stockgen. Slash goes into a berserk rage, reminiscent of his animal nature before he received the psychotropic serum. Slash easily tears the cage apart and knocks aside the guards. “No more pain! No more cage!” cries Slash. He punches guards with so much force that they are thrown through the walls of the train car. Slash tosses the last of the guards from the moving train and then seizes the bars of the others’ cages, tearing them out of the wall and ripping the train car itself apart while the others look on in fear. The force of the train car being torn apart causes the train to derail, crashing and coming to a stop. As the mutants climb out of the wreckage of the train car, Slash calmly tells the others that they have little time to complete their escape. Slash approaches Mondo but Mondo backs away in fear, asking Slash if he remembers hulking out. Slash states that of course he does, and that due to the unstable nature of the psychotropic serum, his animal nature must have temporarily overridden his superior intelligence. He assures the others that he’s fine now.

Null arrives at her office building by helicopter. She is frustrated by the financial hit she is taking as a result of the Mutanimals’ escape, but begrudgingly impressed by their skills which just makes her want them all the more. Lindsey and Jillian, supervised by two guards, wait next to the helicopter landing pad. Null begins telling them that she wants hybrid mutants in production by the next fiscal quarter when Lindsey tells Null that she does not want to work for her. Null attempts to seduce Lindsey to her way of thinking, stating that the unethical acts done by them would only be done by others if they didn’t do them, so they might as well commit the acts themselves and profit from it. Null also reminds Lindsey that they are standing on the edge of a sixty-story building should she continue to refuse. Lindsey doubles down, saying that she isn’t persuaded by Null’s tough act and that she thinks Null’s skin and horns are a facade. Null picks up one of her guards by the neck and holds him above her head, telling Lindsey that despite how smart she is she still doesn’t understand the situation that she’s in. As Null talks, the guard is drained of his life force, becoming a shriveled corpse and then nothing more than a skeleton in a matter of moments. Null tells Lindsey that if she ever decides that Lindsey is no longer useful to her, she’ll kill her. Null tells Lindsey and Jillian to get to work in the lab. In the elevator Lindsey asks Jillian what she’s gotten her into and Jillian tells her to stop the elevator and get out. Jillian pulls Lindsey into a stairwell where there are no security cameras. Lindsey demands to know the truth about what is going on. Jillian admits that she wanted Lindsey to be drawn into the situation too so that she could get help her get away from Null. Some Null guards arrive on the landing and state that they’ve been tasked with escorting the women back to the lab.

Back at Mutanimal headquarters, Slash and Hob catch up with one another. Slash asks why all of the others were now afraid of him. Hob tells him that they were afraid that he was out of control and that they were just as likely to be hurt as their enemies. Slash tells Hob that despite how it appeared, he had still been in control, that he had simply let his rage overtake him. Slash fears that he is just as morally corrupt as their enemies. Hob reassures Slash, telling him that despite their disagreements in tactics, they are both on the same side, the side of right. Upstairs, Pete finishes giving Sally and Ray the tour of the building. Seymour asks Sally and Ray if Null is going to create more mutants who will be subject to the awful things Null put them through. Sally and Ray both agree that until she is no longer able to, Null will create mutants to experiment on. Hob states that getting into the lab to destroy it may be difficult. Ray counters that if they destroy the lab, Null will simply build another one, so if they really want to eliminate the problem they need to eliminate Null. While the others talk strategy, Seymour leaves and heads to his room.

In his bathroom, Seymour examines himself in the mirror. He overhears Pete coming into his room to place a night light, as he himself suffered from nightmares and had benefitted from getting one. Seymour asks Pete what his nightmares are about. Pete tells him trolleys, weddings, or anything with rice. Seymour removes a panel and examines the inside of his suit’s casing and tells Pete that his nightmares are different. Outside, Mondo practices skate tricks while Herman works on the van. Mondo asks Herman if he could make him a sick ass laser to put on his skateboard. Suddenly Mondo and Herman see Seymour leaving the building and running off into the night. They call out to him but he doesn’t answer.

At Null’s lab, a guard escorts Lindsey and Jillian to where Seymour is being held. He explains that Seymour returned, claiming that his suit was damaged and in need of repair to keep him from dying. Lindsey is surprised to see that the subject of the experiments is conscious and not brain-dead as Jillian had lead her to believe. Jillian tells her that she lied to Lindsey so she wouldn’t feel bad for him. Jillian approaches Seymour to ask him what’s wrong and he tells her that he is in great pain. She assures him that no one knows his suit better than her so she will definitely be able to fix it. He tells her that he knows his suit better than her, and informs her that he tampered with the wiring, causing it to begin to overheat and explode in a few minutes time. He tells her that they will never hurt another mutant again.

Part Four

Released May 27th, 2015

TMNT- Mutanimals -4 Regular Cover by Andy Kuhn

Sally cheers as the Mutanimals’ van gets airborne over a hill. She tells Ray that he owes her twenty bucks and he points out that they are mutants without any money to their names. Hob tells Sally to take the next left, to the Null Corporation’s lab as that’s where he thinks Seymour went.

Inside Null’s lab, Lindsey attempts to reason with Seymour, pointing out that there will be at least some innocent lives lost if the building explodes. Seymour tells her that he knows the building and its operations much better than her and he still deems it fit to be destroyed. He tells her that he knows it so well he can send it into lockdown to be sure no one gets out. Seymour shoots a tank of hazardous chemicals, triggering security protocols. As security shields slide down over the windows outside, Hob manages to slide underneath and through a garage door. Lindsey tells the guards not to shoot as Hob is their best chance at reasoning with Seymour. Hob tells Seymour that if he does this, then he’s let them turn him into a monster, and he gets to decide who he wants to be. Hob finally understands the point Slash was trying to make earlier. Suddenly a spasm of energy emits from Seymour’s suit. Lindsey explains that that was just a precursor to the full explosion that’s coming.

The other mutanimals rush in, having breached the building’s security. The Null scientists and guards flee to safety. Ray keeps Jillian from running off with them. Lindsey asks Jillian to help her fix Seymour’s suit but Jillian is paralyzed by the fear of blowing up. Lindsey hopes for the best and rips out the wiring from Seymour’s suit. Seymour is alright and no longer in danger of blowing up. Lindsey tells Seymour that with time his suit will be good as new and Seymour himself will be okay.

Outside, Lindsey greets Hob but Hob tells her not to get emotional. Lindsey says she understands where they stand, and while they’re not family they can continue to work together to their mutual benefit. Hob tells Lindsey he has a job for her.

Null greets Hob inside her office. She states that she’s glad to see him, as now she can finally stop them from being a thorn in her side. She asks Hob if he really thought his scrappy gang of mutants could defeat her, the head of a multiple-dimension spanning evil corporation. Hob tells her that if was able to request a one-on-one meeting with her he must be doing something right.

Upon on the rooftop, Sally uses Null’s helicopter’s radio to listen in on Hob and Null’s conversation. She listens for the confirmation that he and Null are alone. With the rooftop guards tied up, the Mutanimals head inside the building. They make it down the stairs and most of the way to Null’s office when Herman wonders about the lack of any apparent security measures. Slash says that they likely have a little more time until the guards mount a response when a wall blows up, knocking the Mutanimals down.

Back in the lab, Jillian speaks with Null over the phone, telling her about what went down with Seymour, a.k.a. Mutagen Man. Jillian hangs up and tells Lindsey that they only have a few more minutes until a fresh team of guards arrives to secure the area. Jillian says that she’s already erased Null’s research on mutants, setting her back years, but she doesn’t know if they should proceed with the rest of the plan. Lindsey tells Jillian that this is her chance to stop running and take control of her life, and that if she wants to be free of Null and continue her research with the Mutanimals then this is what she has to do. Jillian retrieves the hard drive with all the recordings of the Null Corporation’s experiments on animals, evidence of their crimes. Jillian gives it to Lindsey and Lindsey punches Jillian in the mouth. Jillian is knocked down and in shock when Lindsey ties her hands together and to a pole. Lindsey states that she lied to Jillian about her chance for redemption, that she owed her a lie for all the lies Jillian told her.

Roadkill Rodneys (IDW)

Null's Roadkill Rodneys.

Mutanimals shootout

Shootout.

Upstairs, the Mutanimals hide behind Herman’s dumpster from cover fire laid down by Roadkill Rodneys—Null security robots. Pete attempts to pop off some shots from above the dumpster but is shot. Inside Null’s office, she tells Hob that it sounds like his backup has arrived. She tells him that she’d guessed at his plan and prepared for it, evacuating the building of everyone but herself and her Null bots. She tells Hob that there will be no next battle, at this is the end for him and the Mutanimals. Suddenly Null’s helicopter bursts through the wall, piloted by Sally. She leaps free as it crashes and takes out several robots. She grabs a gun and a makeshift helicopter blade sword and leads a charge against the remaining robots. Slash hulks out and takes out several of them while Herman guns down the rest. The others look on as Slash regains composure while in his berserker state.

In her office Null sends Hob crashing into her desk. She tells him that they are done and wonders why he hasn’t yet tried to flee, knowing he can’t kill her. Hob tells her that it’s because he can still hurt her and slashes her in the eye with his claws. Null tells Hob that she was merely distracted. Hob tells Seymour to shoot her with a rocket launcher and see if that hurts her. Null lies in the wreckage, temporarily subdued. She tells Hob that they still can’t win. Hob tells her that he knows, but they can make business not worth the trouble. Hob tells Null about deleting their research and sending the video of their animal abuse to the press. Hob tells Null that she can keep doing business, as long as she doesn’t mess with mutants.

At Mutanimal headquarters, Sally finishes first aid on Mondo and calls Lindsey for her turn next. Lindsey tells Sally that there’s no need as she wasn’t even in the fight but Sally points out Lindsey’s hand, injured from touching Seymour’s overheated suit and then fighting Jillian. Sally tells Lindsey that it’s okay to accept help and it won’t make her feel vulnerable if she can learn to trust. Outside, Hob and Ray debrief after the mission. Ray tells Hob that they are monitoring all the scientists who were assigned to the mutagen research at Null to keep an eye on their activities and whereabouts so that if they are ever found to be working on mutants again, they can kill them in order to send a message to those who would research on mutants. The two agree not to tell Slash about this part of their plan. Hob and Ray head inside where the rest of the Mutanimals have gathered and prepared a feast. Ray exclaims how grateful he is to have been able to help the Mutanimals and Hob says they’re will be plenty more to come.

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