Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.
When Dreadmon was a child, a faction in the Second Congo Wars burned down his village and forcibly conscripted him to become a child soldier, prematurely ending his innocence. After the war, he became homeless, living on the streets, until someone from Null Group offered him money to become a scientific test subject. As part of this new employment, Dreadmon agreed to be injected with mutagen which turned him into a mutant jackal. But when it became clear that Null also wanted to turn Dreadmon into a soldier, he defected, fleeing into the New Jersey wilderness.
He encountered Man Ray and Sally Pride when they nearly hit him with their car, and was astonished to see that they were mutants. He spoke about his personal history with Ray, who became disgusted by him when he learned that Dreadmon had originally been a human.
When a gang of four Null-employed mutants showed up, Dreadmon escaped with Sally. Dreadmon was disinclined to go back for Ray, but accompanied Sally as she turned around and fought the other mutants. Colonel Fist explained that they were there to recruit him, and demonstrated his ability to shift between human and mutant forms. Dreadmon agreed to go back with them, but was horrified when Fist ordered him to kill Sally.
Sally and Dreadmon managed to escape with Ray, and Ray and Sally both asked Dreadmon to join the Mutanimals. However, he wanted to "run free," so he thanked them and left.
- Dreadmon's binational heritage is a nod to his older Archie version's country-hopping history. But whereas IDW's Dreadmon was born in the Congo to a Jamaican father, Archie's Dreadmon was born in South Africa and relocated to Jamaica. Though both characters have Jamaica in common, IDW's Dreadmon only has Jamaican ancestry and Jamaica itself is not directly involved in his own story.
- Additionally, the two characters' mutations are of different species, with Archie's Dreadmon being a mutant red wolf, while IDW's Dreadmon is a mutant jackal.
- Although the issue itself does not state which country called "Congo" Dreadmon is from, writer Rich Douek confirmed it was Democratic Republic of Congo: "Dreadmon is from the DRC. He would have been inducted as a child soldier at some point during the Second Congo War."