Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Villain Microseries: Old Hob
Old Hob has made a lot of enemies since his ooze-induced transformation. His once comfortable life as a lazy cat was abruptly stripped away from him, forcing Hob to learn how to survive, the hard way! After Baxter’s deadly betrayal, Hob’s through being a lackey. Now he’s ready to branch out and start calling the shots!
Number three in IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series looking at the Turtle’s foes rolls on this month. The baddie getting the spotlight this time is Old Hob. The villainous, one-eyed cat’s origin is re-examined by writer Jason Ciaramella and artist Dave Wachter. Shawn Lee rounds out the cast with his lettering. So does Old Hob have some new tricks, or should this villain have been left out of the Micro-Series lineup?
The story opens with Hob narrating his life. It seems like he’s directly telling us, the readers, the story of his life. We learn about his time as a house cat and how it was easy when he was the pet of a little boy named Billy…or Danny, whatever he can’t really remember. Things were going well until the boy forgot to clean out the litter box. It was one time too many for his hateful mother and see threw Hob out into the mean, cold streets. Hob learns very quickly that you have to fight to survive. After some quick lessons in the school of hard knocks, Hob runs across some turtles covered in a green ooze. It’s not the best meal he can think of, but he’ll take it. As he goes to eat the turtle he’s attacked by a rat. The rat takes his eye. Covered in ooze himself, Hob can’t do much but lay around thinking he’s going to die. The four little turtles and the rat scurries off. You know how the story goes. Hob undergoes some changes. He hears, and understands for the first time ever, two humans talking about the rat. He offers his assistance in finding it, but asks if it has to be alive when he brings it to them. One of those humans is Baxter. He takes Hob to the lab and runs tests on him for at least a month. With no escape in sight, Hob uses his cunning to get Baxter to let him go and hunt down the rat. Hob sets about using the lessons he learned in his old life to start gaining power and henchmen as he starts his search for the rat that took his eye. The rest, as they say, is history. We see Hob betrayed by Baxter after he outgrows his usefulness. We see when Hob reaches the end of his story that he’s actually talking to another Turtles’ villain. The Turtles drop in to break it up, but Hob reveals something that may just cause the Turtles and Splinter to hold off on the fighting for now.
Hob is a character that appeared with the start of IDW’s Turtles run. Jason Ciaramella does a great job of touching on some of his origins while offering up something new for longtime Turtle readers. Hob’s story is actually only part of the story being told. We’re getting insight into what makes him tick and why he does what he does. We’re also seeing something much larger being set up. This story will continue over into to the next issue of the Turtles ongoing, so it’s kind of a taste for what’s coming next with City Fall. Even without the setup for other things, it’s a solid story and one of the strongest entries in the Micro-Series. Dave Wachter’s art is fantastic. He does a great job of bringing the big emotions and the action this issue offers. The whole thing is great, but there is one panel where Hob is thinking about Splinter ripping out his eye that is absolutely stunning. We see a little blood splatter extending beyond the panel.
Bottom Line: This is an easy bottom line to write. Whether you’re a new or longtime TMNT reader, this one is a can’t miss 4.5/5