Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.
Old Hob is a one-eyed cat mutant, and the first major enemy of the Turtles in the IDW continuity. He was created by IDW's editor-in-chief, Chris Ryall. At first, Hob had a gang of humans that worked for him, but later co-founded the Mutanimals along with Slash, which became called the Mighty Mutanimals as its membership grew.
Old Hob was originally the pet cat of a young boy, until the boy's angry mother threw him out in the street to punish her son for not cleaning up after him. Hob lived a miserable life as a stray, until he came across the Turtles and Splinter after they were dropped by the pair of ninja that had stolen them from StockGen. The mutagen that was also stolen spilled, and Hob came into contact with it, causing him to mutate. He tried to scurry off with a pre-mutated Raphael, but Splinter attacked, clawing out one of Hob's eyes. Hob would later mutate and team up with Baxter Stockman to get revenge on Splinter and the Turtles. Since the mutagen Hob came into contact was contaminated, he was sent to bring in the other mutants dead or alive in order to get mutagen samples from their blood. He used hard cash supplied by Stockman to pay and organize a street gang and tried multiple times to take down Splinter and the Turtles.
A while later, Hob and his thugs come across Casey Jones and Raphael. Hob nearly killed them until the rest of the Turtles come to Casey and Raph's rescue. Upon remembering his past, Raphael went into a rage and almost beat him to death, but his brothers stopped him before he could kill Hob.
Stockman was unhappy with his failure, but Hob claimed the money he was supplied wasn't enough to pay for forces strong enough to subdue the mutants, and that he would need an army to take them down. So to aid Hob, Stockman gave him control of his M.O.U.S.E.R.S. robots. Hob used the M.O.U.S.E.R.S. to attack the Turtles, destroy their home and kidnap Splinter. He then brought Splinter to StockGen and was waiting for Stockman and General Krang when the lab was attacked by the Foot Clan. Stockman believed that Hob's usefulness had run its course, so he shot him and left him for dead.
Though thought dead, Old Hob appeared alive and well at the end of issue 16, where he encounters Slash on the shore of the water. He had survived the gunshot by keeping a vial of ooze in his pocket, healing him immediately. The two team-up and vow revenge on Stockman and everyone else at StockGen.
Hob had obtained a large canister of ooze and samples of Splinter's blood (containing the missing psychotropic compound). At some point after this, Hob mutated a pigeon named Pete, but was disappointed by Pete's lack of intelligence. As a result, he and Slash kidnapped former StockGen scientist Lindsey Baker outside her house, and offered her money to help them make a mutant army. Despite Hob's reservations, Slash willingly injected himself with some of Splinter's blood, and the compound within it made Slash much more intelligent in moments, proving Lindsey's theory correct. Hob and Lindsey then used a gecko and hermit crab to create Mondo Gecko and Herman the Hermit Crab, having successfully combined the compound with the mutagen.
Hob's Mutanimals later raided the Null Group and brought Mutagen Man, Man Ray and Sally Pride into his group. Around the same time, Slash came to disapprove of some of Hob's less ethical tactics, and made Hob promise not to resort to the tactics of villains. But Hob never intended to keep his promise, and instead recruited the help of Ray and Herman to conduct a series of a black operations without the knowledge or consent of Slash or the other Mutanimals.
First, Hob and Herman abducted Hun from police custody. Then, Hob and Ray directed the rest of the Mutanimals to a series of operations seizing heavy weaponry from criminals, promising that they would all be taken off the streets and destroyed. But instead, Hob stored them in a secret warehouse to defend against future possible battles, and had Hun manage the warehouse and sell off surplus weapons for profit to reinvest in the Mutanimals' costs.
After Splinter became head of the Foot Clan, Hob welcomed Michelangelo into the group, which he now called the Mighty Mutanimals. But Mikey's inclusion in the team set in motion a sequence of events that would throw Hob's plan into disarray. Mikey participated in one of Hob's weapons seizure operations, but doubted Hob's official explanation of what would happen to the weapons. Soon after the first operation, Mikey stealthily trailed Hob and discovered Hob's secret warehouse. Hob quickly lost control of the situation as Hun was enraged to see one of his archenemies and immediately incapacitated Hob and started fighting Mikey. Mondo told the other Mutanimals, and Sally talked the group into following Mikey and Hob to their whereabouts, discovering both the warehouse and the fight in progress.
Slash attacked Hun to defend Mikey, and Hob learnt upon regaining consciousness that the entire plan was falling apart. Slash beat Hun into unconsciousness, but Hob was forced to explain to the team what he had been doing, and Slash, Sally, Mondo and Seymour were all deeply disturbed by the revelation. Slash still considered Hob a friend, but he decided to quit the Mutanimals along with Mikey. Sally furiously censured Hob and had lost much faith in him, but she and the rest of the Mutanimals chose to remain part of the team. Hob proved completely unrepentant of his actions; as soon as he and Michelangelo were alone, he assaulted the Turtle, blamed him for everything that had just happened, and vowed he would never forgive or forget it.
The following Christmas, Hob was angered by Hun starting a dog-fighting ring in the warehouse without his permission. Hob also attempted to befriend Leatherhead, but was unsuccessful.
A greater blow to the Mutanimals came when a mind-controlled Slash was used to attack them, leading to a raid by Darkwater mercenaries who took them captive for the Earth Protection Force. Hob was the only one to escape the raid, and he went to the Turtles for help. When Darkwater attacked the Turtles, Hob used a Null Corporation stun-gun to knock out the mercenaries, but was unable to stop Slash from almost killing them. Fortunately, they were rescued by Sally Pride, who managed to drive them to safety.
Upon obtaining Darkwater and E.P.F. personnel information, Hob went after Pam Knight and Agent Bishop's father Wayne Bishop. Taking them both hostage, he threatened to kill them if the Mutanimals were not released, which Darkwater eventually capitulated to. However, Bishop was not so willing to negotiate, and used Slash against the Mutanimals once Darkwater had left. Hob used Bishop's father as a hostage once again, only to be horrified when Bishop murdered the old man. He attempted to speak to Slash, but the larger mutant was insensate, forcing Hob to abandon his old friend as the rest of the Mutanimals fled.
An opportunity to find Slash again arose when the Turtles brought news of Bishop's impending invasion of Burnow Island to the Mutanimals, and Old Hob easily agreed to accompany them to the island.
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- Like Scratch before him, Old Hob's name stems from a colloquial name for the Devil.
- Hob's design, personality, motivation and skill set strongly resemble Caesar, a character first appearing in Caesar's Weasels, a scenario published in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness, a tabletop role-playing game book published in 1985 by Palladium Books. This similarity increased after Hob founded the Mutanimals, which, like Caesar's group, seeks freedom for his group of mutants and to protect them from human threats. Both characters also have an extreme dark streak, committing unethical criminal acts to get what they want. But the similarities between Hob and a character designed 26 years prior before him became most noteworthy in late 2019 when Old Hob's weasels, new characters solicited for issue #103 and debuting in issue #102, were quickly compared to Caesar's weasels from the original TMNT&OS scenario, which in turn also made it more readily apparent just how similar Hob and Caesar had always been.
- Another character from the 2012 TV series, Tiger Claw, visually resembles Old Hob in their similar felid species, eye patch and weaponry, but they otherwise share even fewer similarities of personality and motivation than Hob shares with Caesar, with Tiger Claw being even less similar to Caesar than Hob is. However, Tiger Claw, like Caesar, also has roots in TMNT&OS, having originally been designed by 2012 TV series co-creator Brandon Auman for use with the RPG.
- Hob reveals in issue #90 that he does not believe in an afterlife.
I will find you. I will hurt you. And I swear, I will kill you. Even if I have to put you on a rocket and shoot you straight into the sun.
Ya know what our problem is? Humans.
You think I care what you want, turtle? Do you?! I let you on my team after all that rat's been puttin' you through and you thank me by tryin' to wreck everything I built! Slash was right—I invited a snake into the mix, but it wasn't Hun. It was you! Well, little snake, just remember this—I never forget... ...and I never forgive.
Yo! New York! Listen up! My name is Old Hob. I'm a mutant. What's a mutant? Good question. We're the dirty little secret your government' been keepin' from you—the cops and the EPF... your slick new mayor even. We're the scary things you imagine hidin' in the shadows, keepin' you awake at night, blankets over your faces. You fear us without realizin' you humans are the real monsters! But no more. We're gonna show you what's what. We're done hidin', done being abused, done pretendin' we don't exist. Done not fightin' back. Don't worry, though. After all you scum have put me and my friends through, my heart used to tell me you should all die. But I've changed my mind about that. No... death's too easy. You need to feel what we feel first—the pain and the terror. But I can read, and all your little signs say you prefer action instead of words, so I'll keep this short and sweet. We're not here tonight to only change hearts and minds. We're here to change everything.