Issue 16 Cover A


Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.

Blood Brothers is the fifth story arc in IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continuity. It comprises issues 15 and 16. In this story the Turtles meet the sixth mutant specimen to escape from StockGen: Slash


Part One - Issue #15

Issue #15 Regular Cover by Andy Kuhn

The issue begins with a flashback to fourteen months prior to the current events in the ongoing series. At StockGen Specimen 6 (a snapping turtle) is being injected with mutagen derived from the contaminated version present in Old Hob's blood. Chet Allen and Lindsey Baker are conducting the experiment. By one month in to the experiment the turtle had more than doubled in size, and he was primed to begin psychological conditioning. By five months in it is strong enough to take on a whole squadron of men. Its physical development has been progressing much faster than its mental development, making controlling it difficult. Two weeks before current series events, it escaped from StockGen. The previous night, Michelangelo was getting pizza from Woody Dirkins. The two talk for a few minutes before Mikey leaves and they agree to meet at the same time the next night. After Mikey leaves, Woody is attacked by the escaped StockGen specimen, trained to hunt down the Turtles. Currently, the Turtles are investigating the scene of an attack. Witnesses report a "big, green lizard" and "deadly force authorized". Leonardo says they need to hurry up and found another underground hideout before they get blamed for the attacks. 

The Turtles make their way to check out a potential hideout found by Donatello and April, and Raphael reminds him they're on a tight schedule because he has to make it to Casey's first ice hockey game on time. On the way the Turtles talk about Splinter's "Destroy Shredder Manifesto", wherein he said while the Shredder lives they will never have peace. Michelangelo says he went by the pizza shop earlier but Woody wasn't there, meaning the Turtles would have to eat Splinter's salty vegetables and rice for dinner.

Back at the Turtle's current hideout (April's parents' old antique shop), Splinter is cooking salty vegetables and rice. He asks Casey to turn the television on so he can watch his stories. But when Casey turns the TV on, the news is reporting the series of attacks going on in the city (including the one on Woody at Rupert's Pizzeria), deemed to be the work of a vandal called "Slash" by the local media. Just then April comes in, telling Casey and Splinter to come look at her van. April's van had been attacked by Slash. April deduces Slash to be the escaped speciment from StockGen.

While the Turtles are on their way to check out the new hideout they stop to interrupt a mugging, and they are twice referred to as "Slash monsters", emphasizing the need for them to find a safer hideout to avoid a case of mistaken identity. As they flee scene after disposing of the thugs, Slash arrives at the scene, hot on their trail. He catches a glimpse of them and tears of part of one of the thugs' shirts, fashioning himself a black bandana like the other Turtles'. The Turtles arrive at the potential hideout, an abandoned church with a nuclear fallout shelter underneath. The Turtles are checking out the dark bunker with flashlights and decide the place is perfect when Slash arrives. Once inside he attacks. He eventually knocks out Donatello and Raphael and is about to take out Leonardo.

Part Two - Issue #16

Issue #16 Regular Cover by Andy Kuhn

Slash has taken out Donatello and Raphael and is about to do the same to Leonardo but Michelangelo is able to stop him. All the Turtles rally against him but Slash is as aggressive as ever, and the fight goes on.

On Burnow Island, Baxter Stockman is on a video-call with Chet Allen back at StockGen. Stockman expresses his extreme displeasure about Slash's escape to Chet, but concedes that if the creature can at least hunt down and kill the Turtles, it will have done what it was meant to. Stockman tells Chet he will be occupied with General Krang's project for a while and won't be back for some time. Elsewhere on Burnow Island, Krang gives a speech to his troops, informing them of the impending full-scale assault their enemy in Smada City.

Back at April's parents' antique shop, the others worry that the Turtles aren't back yet. April decides to go and look for them and says she'll drop Casey off at his ice hockey game on the way, but Casey wants to help her search instead. Splinter decides to wait there in case they return while April and Casey are gone. 

In the church's bunker the Turtles continue fighting Slash. Donatello tells his brothers that Slash was psychologically programmed to hunt down and kill them, and will continue to try to do so until he's dead, meaning they have to kill him. Raphael agrees with Donatello, but Michelangelo and Leonardo want to try and end things peacefully if they can. Leonardo attempts to put Slash in a sleeper hold while the others wear him down. They appear to be near victory when Slash throws them all off, his stamina nowhere near out. Slash tells them to keep it coming. Slash begins to attack again but Leonardo hits him with a shuriken and tells him it has to stop. Outside, April and Casey arrive and enter the church. Inside, Leonardo attempts to talk Slash out of hunting them, to no avail. Slash lunges at Leonardo, who, distracted by April and Casey's arrival, accidentally stabs Slash in the neck with one of his swords. Slash is seemingly mortally injured, and falls into the sewer.

The next day, everyone is helping clean the dirty bunker to make it more suitable to live in. Michelangelo has gone to pick up some pizza and Leonardo meditates downstairs. When Michelangelo arrives at the pizza shop, he finds a note from Woody, saying their friendship has to end due to the baggage that Mikey brings, deeply upsetting him. Downstairs, Leonardo sits staring at the sewer where Slash fell in, preoccupied with guilt from killing him. 

In the epilogue, Slash has washed up on the shore and is awoken by Old Hob. Hob tells him about all the traits they share, and how together they can strike back at Stockman and everyone else at StockGen. 



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