Physically, an Utrom is a short and light creature. They are hairless and are usually a uniform pink in color, but there are also yellow, orange, purple, violet, and reddish variants. Their appearance is similar to that of a human brain. They have two eyes, a mouth with sharp teeth, no visible nose, and a number of short tentacles underneath them. These tentacles serve as both hands and feet, as the Utrom can walk on them or use them to manipulate objects. However, most Utroms dislike walking on their tentacles, preferring to use some form of mechanical transport, such as a human-shaped exo-suit or a hover pad. Unless injured or diseased, Utroms have a long lifespan, lasting centuries or millennia in Earth years. Utroms are highly intelligent and well-versed in many technical and scientific fields. They have created extremely advanced technology, though how they accomplished this given their physical forms lack almost any form of appendage remains a mystery. Utroms are usually extremely peaceful and non-interfering.
In the 2003 animated series, the Utroms also have an extremely long life that allows them to survive the centuries virtually unchanged.
History within TMNT
The Utroms are present in the original TMNT comic, the 2003 cartoon, related video games, and IDW comics, where they are responsible for creating and losing the Ooze which mutated the turtles and Splinter. Though they do not appear in the 1987 cartoon it does feature Krang, a villain who is very similar to an Utrom in appearance. However, Krang is actually a disembodied brain and has a completely different personality and backstory.
Mirage ComicsThe Utroms were stranded on Earth and interacted with humans through a front company, T.C.R.I. (Techno-Cosmic Research Institute). They are responsible for creating and losing the canister of mutagen that transformed Splinter and the Turtles. Eventually, they were forced to leave Earth by teleporting themselves to another world.
The Turtles met the Utroms the first time shortly after their first clash with April O'Neil, Baxter Stockman and his Mouser robots. Splinter had been attacked by the Mousers and was badly bruised, he was found by aliens tucked into human-looking robot exoskeletons (TMNT Vol.1 # 3). In their search for Splinter, the Turtles stumbled across the TCRI building, and as the initials of the company were the same as those on the canister of the mutagen, which had turned them into mutants, in agreement, they decided to investigate the building in more detail. They also met the aliens, which developed into a massive brawl that ended with the Turtles being catapulted to another galaxy by a strange machine where they had some clashes with the Fugitoid, the Triceratons and the Army of the Human Federation, before the Utroms could get them back again with their teleporter (TMNT Vol.1 # 4-6).
It turned out that the Utroms are peace-loving in nature and had brought the injured Splinter into their base to help him. They also revealed the secret of the mutagen: Twenty years ago, the Utroms had crashed on Earth. Using the technology, they were able to save from the wreck, mainly their exoskeletons to move freely among men, they eventually founded the company TCRI as a base. The canister with the mutagen that transformed the Turtles, was lost in an accident, as 15 years and 1/2 years ago the Utroms were moving the last salvage from their ship into the city by truck when a blind man strode into the path of the truck. When dodging, the man a canister was jarred loose from the back of the truck. When the stranded Utroms were finally able to communicate with their homeworld, they were ordered by their leader to stay and continue observation of Earth.
But activating the teleporter had alerted the police and the National Guard, and the TCRI building was finally stormed. The Utroms immediately initiated a forced evacuation and escapeed just by using the teleporter, and the Turtles and Splinter escaped - right into April's bath - before the building was destroyed by a self-destruct mechanism (TMNT Vol.1 # 7). Later, however the Utroms returned to establish a base on Earth and open official relations with humanity and with other alien cultures (in Volume 4 of the comic).
However, not all Utroms one and all peaceful. Initially portrayed as a uniformly peace-loving race, there are also some splinter groups that are considered criminal with radical ideas, recent comic books have shown several elements of their culture, some unsavory.
- Utrom Preservi: Described as a secret and illegal society of Utrom memory preservers, they steal the bodies of dead Utroms and extract their memories for archival. They appear in Tales of the TMNT vol. 2.
- Utromi Obscura Secreti: A black-ops group on the payroll of the Utrom government, carrying out jobs it does not want made public. Little is known about the group, although it has been confirmed that they were responsible for covering up the existence of the original Utrom homeworld, Magonia. It is also speculated by other races that they secretly work to prevent other races from developing teleportation technology.
- The Illuminated: A group of rogue and fanatical Utroms who believe that peace through the galaxy can only be achieved through the total annihilation of violent species. To that purpose, they kidnapped Leatherhead with the intention of using him as a template for a clone army. They were stopped thanks to the efforts of the turtles and Emissary Rikby.
It has also been revealed that the Utrom were responsible for the extinction of the J'Gel, a race of shape-shifting aliens, which, thanks to the Utroms, had spread through the galaxy, consuming entire planets.
When the T.C.R.I. building had self-destructed, one of the Utroms, Dr. X, did not make it to the Transmat Device in time and was left behind in the wreckage of the building. Leatherhead found Dr. X and looked after him in the following years. Dr. X met Leonardo and Michelangelo prior to the testing of Leatherhead's second Transmat Device that led to a second Triceraton invasion (TMNT Vol. 3, #19). Dr. X presumably helped Leatherhead construct his two Transmat devices, though was not seen when Leatherhead recruited members of the Foot and the turtles to finish up the first Transmat Device he created (TMNT Vol. 1, #45), (TMNT Vol. 3, #19). Dr. X, with Donatello's help, constructed an android exoskeleton for himself (TMNT Vol. 3, #23).
In the IDW Comics Krang is an Utrom from the planet Utrominon in Dimension X. Unlike their Mirage models the Utroms here are more warlike and have even built an intergalactic empire. Krang's father, Quanin, was a feared warlord and the last ruler of this kingdom before the imperialist efforts, their most important resource Utrominon (the basic material of the mutagen, which also transformed Splinter and the Turtles) was almost completely consumed and thereby almost the entire Utrom race had been extinguished.
Utroms were not present in the 1987 cartoon series. Krang is based on them in appearance from the original TMNT comic book, and in the use of a robotic exoskeleton, but he is really just a disembodied brain. However, in the 1987 cartoon, Krang is not stated to be an Utrom. There are several important differences:
- The Utroms are stated to come from another planet in the Milky Way galaxy, while in the 1987 cartoon Krang says he comes from Dimension X.
- The Utroms are naturally brain-like aliens, while in the first animated series Krang claims to be an alien who has been stripped of his body and left with only his brain.
- Krang never refers to himself as an Utrom, nor does anyone else, in the 1987 cartoon.
In the 1987 animated series, Krang's natural physical shape may not be brain-like:
- However when he cloned himself in Invasion of the Krangazoids, his clones, though initially brain-creatures like himself, continued developing until they had complete bodies, leading to the thought that Krang's true form is a large reptilian creature.
- However in one of the episodes Four Musketurtles, members of Krang's species appeared in a flashback looking just like him without the body, using bubble-walkers like his own to move.
- Some consider this to be one of multiple mistakes within the series, and has been contradicted by other episodes. If the clones' reptilian mutation were a mistake and not his true body, it could be that the brain-like Utrom form is Krang's real body and that he was lying about having a real body to get Shredder to build him an exo-suit.
Unable to repair their ship, the Utroms decided to take advantage of their long lifespans (which allowed them to live for centuries, even millennia, of human time) and hide and peacefully wait for Humanity to advance and develop the technology they needed to go back home. In order To hide among the Humans, they developed human-shaped exosuits, however, one exosuit was captured by Ch'rell. They revealed themselves to a select few trustworthy humans who they named their Guardians. Centuries later, Hamato Yoshi, Splinter’s master, would become an Utrom guardian. Ch'rell now "The Shredder" hunted him down and killed him in an attempt to find the Utroms location.
In the present day, the Utroms operate through T.C.R.I.. Though the company's official business is never revealed, unofficially it serves as a place to hide their advanced technology, such as the Transmat (a teleporter that can reach across the galaxy) and the Oracle Pod (a virtual reality chamber that replays historical records). T.C.R.I. is also responsible for the mutagen that transformed the Turtles, Splinter, and Leatherhead which was the fuel for their Transmat.
In the 2003 series, when the Utroms were leaving Earth, one of the Utroms called another one who was whining "Krang", as a reference to the 1987 series' character.
The Utroms later return to help the Turtles in their battle against The Utrom Shredder. Thirty seconds before the The Shredder's ship blew up, they put the ship in a stasis field and used the Transmat to transport everyone out. On their homeworld, The Utrom Shredder--now identified as the Utrom Ch'rell--stood trial and was sent to exile on an icy asteroid prison, Mor Gal Tal.
In the dystopian future seen in Same As It Never Was, amongst The Utrom Shredder's soldiers are enslaved, and apparently somewhat zombified utroms. Some of these zombie Utroms are fitted into giant, winged, mechanic-like exo-suits, and are known as Utrominators.
2012 SeriesWhile the Utroms aren't present in the new 2012 cartoon series, a new evil race called the Kraang are shown that are an amalgam of both the Utroms (Body and exoskeletons) and Krang (name, hostile attitude, Origin) from the 1987 animated series.
In the second film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Professor Jordan Perry was originally going to be presented as a Utrom. Since at the time the Utroms were not well known outside the comics and could be confused with Krang from the 1987 cartoon series, this idea was dropped.
Utrom are a basic enemy in many levels of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus. They appear both on hover discs, and in their exo-suits. One of the main opponents, Slashuur, a Utrom bounty hunter, appears as a reoccurring boss, and later, unlock-able character.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up includes an Utrominator amongst its selectable roster. This Utronimator's exo-suit is similar to the one seen in Same As It Never Was, with small differences such as a lack of wings. The Utrom in the exo-suit is also pink, unlike the "Same As It Never Was" version, which is an "unhealthy" pale color. The Utrominator in Smash-Up still retains its back-story of being an Utrom enslaved and controlled by The Shredder
- Brother Ildak
- Bydex: An Utrom appearing in in the issue Soul Survivor.
- Emissary Rikby: The Utrom driving the TCRI truck which carried the ooze that mutated the turtles and Splinter. Wishing to see his “children”, whom he felt responsible for, he recruited the turtles to save Leatherhead, who had been kidnapped by The Illuminated. In order to save the mutants, he implanted a bomb into himself, which he used to destroy the Illuminated’s base.
- Dr. Klynor
- Dr. Xeinos: A female Utrom scientist which first appeared in the non-canon (by Mirage standards) Volume 3 of the series. She was left behind on Earth after the Utroms left to their homeplanet, and found and befriended Leatherhead who nursed him back to health. She also played chess with Splinter. Dr. X later began making appearances in Tales of the TMNT vol. 2, where she is often seeing accompanying Leatherhead. In the short story Threads, he was revealed to be the one who Leatherhead in the sewer when he was still a normal alligator.
- Captain Glonar
- Korobon: Korobon is an Utrom who declared himself ambassador to Earth from the Utrom Confederation. He addressed the U.N. on live television and explained what the Utroms had planned to do on Earth. He appeared in Volume 4 of the comic.
- Glurin: Glurin is a young Utrom scientist who was stationed on their Earth base. When April O'Neil was infected by nanobots placed in her body by Dr. Baxter Stockman, he came up with the idea of using other nanobots to combat them. He designed the new nanobots after the Turtles and called them the nanoturtlebots. He appeared in Volume 4 of the comic.
- Glyminal: Member of a seven-member Utrom group that attempted incorporation of a charge in mutagen stranded in an inaccessible part of the South American jungle and had adapted to their new living conditions there.
- Navigator Thurak
- Sister Grum
- Professor Obligado: Obligado was a brilliant Utrom scientist whose life and death is shown in the back pages of the new Tales of the TMNT vol. 2.
- Dr. Oolric:
- Klag: Klag is an Utrom who helped Michelangelo in Michelangelo: The Third Kind mini-series. During the first contact with the Utroms he helps the prevent the escalation of violence within xenophobic hate groups through fighting them alongside Michelangelo and eventually using Utrom technology to kidnap and impersonate their leader and deliver an anti-hate speech.
- Rogro: Appears in the comic "The Curious Case of Mr. Jones"
- Sargeant Xitor: An Utrom who serves as a police officer on Earth, under the guise of a female human. In her appearances, she unsuccessfully tries to prevent the Utrom Preservi from taking the late Professor Obligado's memories.
- Security Officer Yat: An Utrom from the story Terror by Transmat!.
- Science Advisor Shuthan
- Radical Utroms
- Utrom Preservi: A group of Utroms that specializes in the preservation of memories that are downloaded and archived directly from the brains of dead Utroms.
- Utromi Secreti Obscura:A kind of secret troop of Utroms, which is mainly used for concealment and monitoring tasks, particularly in the area of teleporter technology.
- The Enlightened Ones (The Illuminated): A group of Utrom fanatics that used a clone army (with Leatherhead (Mirage) as their source of DNA) in an attempt to wipe out all violent species in the galaxy ).
- Mortu: Mortu was the captain of the Utrom ship that crashed on Earth. After the crash, he remained the field-leader of the marooned Utroms, and worked as their liaison to the Humans. In the modern day, this makes him CEO of the front company TCRI. His name is "Utrom" backwards.
- Council of Three: These three otherwise unnamed Utroms are the highest leaders of the Utroms on Earth. Although it is not explicitly stated, it is strongly implied that these are the same brain-navigators that Captain Mortu took orders from one thousand years ago aboard their ill-fated star ship.
- Ch’rell: The most ruthless criminal the universe has known. Ch'rell dreams of galactic domination, and wants vengeance against the Utroms for imprisoning him and denying him his dreams by building an army and attacking their homeworld. This is the true identity of The Utrom Shredder in the 2003 TV series. Prior to his arrival on Earth, he was responsible for the deaths of millions of people in his attempts at universal domination.
- Krang: A Utrom by the same name as the villain from the 1987 cartoon makes a brief cameo appearance in the episode Secret Origins, Part 2. He mentions how he hates walking on his tentacles.
- Abraham Lincoln: The 16th president of the United States is seen to secretly be an Utrom in an interstitial.
- Utrom High Council: The Utrom High Council is a collective body on the Utrom homeworld who appear to be the governing body of the planet and the navigators on the stranded ship. The judgements of Utrom criminals such as Ch'rell are carried out on the Utrom homeworld by the Utrom High Council. Not much is known, but they are responsible for the Utrom Shredder's banishment to a frozen asteroid.
- Utrominators: The Utrominator exo-suit is what was given to the Utroms when Ch'rell enslaved them in "Same as it Never Was".
2003 Video Game Series
- Slashuur: Originally, the Turtles fought this samurai-esque warrior, as he is a bounty hunter, and was hired to attack them. However, after a couple of encounters, the Turtles learn that he is actually an Utrom whose family was attacked and killed by The Shredder/Ch'rell. He then assists the Turtles in attacking The Kuraiyama. His name is reminiscent of The Shredder's, with the two "u's" possible to emulate the double "d" in The Shredder's name. He appeared only in the video game TMNT 2: Battle Nexus.
- General Krang
- Lorqa: Senior Member of the High Council.
- Quanin: Krang's father and an Utrom warlord
- Yoom: Utrom who took a DNA sample from a triceratops.