[Author’s note: this is Part II, to follow up on my previous post (Part I) in order to share a new development. It is recommended you read Part I first, if you have not already done so.]
Back in July 2016, I explored the question of the 1st appearance of Krang in comics. There has just been a new development on this front that I need to share with you! First, a few key facts to recap:
- The villain we know as Krang (or Kraang as it was originally spelled), is a character created not by Eastman & Laird, but rather by David Wise, specifically for the TV cartoon.
“While the comics were dark, gritty, and bloody, that’s not the type of TV series Wise wanted to make. The 1987 cartoon was going to be a kids show, so going full steam ahead with Japanese-style fighting wasn’t an option — which is why Wise opted to create the supervillain Krang as a way to alleviate the violence.”
- There was a “precursor” to Krang in the Eastman & Laird comics, which inspired Wise when creating Krang, who ended up looking very similar (if not near-identical) visually, to the precursor — Mirage describes the relationship between the character Krang and the “precursor” alien creatures known as “Utroms” as follows:
“At the hi-tech facilities, Splinter discovers that the humans that work there are actually small alien creatures that utilize humanoid robotic bodies to disguise themselves. These aliens, known as the Utroms, are the precursors to what would become Krang on the television cartoon.”
- Created by Wise for the television cartoon, and appearing for the first time on TV, the specific character we know as Krang would therefore logically first appear in comics in the comic book adaptation of the television cartoon — which happened in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (in 1988, published by Archie Comics), where we see Krang for the first time in issue #1 of that mini-series.
- At the time of my previous post, from an examination of the CGC Key Comments notes for every early Mirage comic — including the ones where we knew Utroms to appear — we observed that a 1st appearance credit for Krang was nowhere to be found (at that time).
And now for the update: a 1st appearance of Krang credit now exists at CGC, as of this week!
I’m pleased to report that CGC has reviewed the Krang 1st appearance credits situation, to consider whether a Key Comments change was warranted, and that they decided to change their previously-blank label note for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1. I looked it up on their census today and discovered their change has indeed been made there. And in fact, the credit they added covers Bebop and Rocksteady as well. Here’s how the issue now looks on a census lookup (note the Key Comments field):
And just to double-verify, here below is the output of a certification lookup of the very same example copy I had screen-captured back in my July post (recall that at that time, there was no key comments field present):
Indeed, a key comments note appears (matching what we saw on the online census lookup), where it previously was absent for this example graded copy. So as you can see, Krang’s 1st comic book appearance (along with Bebop & Rocksteady) is now recognized by CGC.
Let’s see that Krang appearance!
Inside the pages of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (8/1988)…
Inside the TECHNODROME…
Krang: “SAKI, THIS IS KRANG — REPORT TO ME AT ONCE!”
Shredder: “WHAT NOW?”
Shredder: “WELL, WHAT IS IT?”
Krang: “SAKI, MY OLD FRIEND…”
Shredder: “I TOLD YOU TO CALL ME THE SHREDDER!”
Krang: “I’VE GIVEN YOU VAST TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE. YOU HAVE NOT FILLED YOUR PART OF THE BARGAIN!”
Krang: “YOU HAVE NOT PROVIDED ME WITH A BODY!”
Shredder: “NONE OF US ARE SAFE WITH THOSE TURTLES HOUNDING US!”
Krang: “THEN STOP THEM! YOU ARE THE ONE WHO TRIED TO DESTROY YOSHI WITH THAT MUTOGEN. BUT INSTEAD HE GAINED THE POWERS OF THE RATS!”
Krang: “WHAT IF HE HAD BEEN NEAR A MORE POWERFUL ANIMAL?”
Shredder: “HA! THAT’S IT–I’LL MUTATE MY OWN PEOPLE. ALL I NEED ARE KILLER ANIMALS!”
Shredder: “THAT’S QUITE A BRAIN YOU’VE GOT, KRANG!”
Krang: “OF COURSE, IT IS–IT’S ALL I’VE GOT!”
Indicia Page of $1.25 Cover Price Variant
As touched upon in my Part I post, there exists a $1.25 variant cover price out there for copies of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1, with likely rarity on the order of 1:10, and CGC denotes copies with this higher cover price as “Canadian Edition” on their census, because $1.25 was the price charged for the issue in Canada. In case anyone might get a false impression by this variant naming convention that the variant was published in Canada, below is a picture of the indicia page of my $1.25 variant copy, to show you that it was indeed published in the USA:
As you can see (and here’s a zoomed in look), the indicia of $1.25 copies reads “Published and printed in the United States of America by Archie Comics Publications” and in fact, beyond the cover price difference these copies are identical on the inside to the rest of the print run. In other words, you could snip out the $1.25 price from a variant and render it completely indistinguishable from a regular copy. The US birthplace and identical interior of the variants makes them true Type 1A Price Variants under the definition put forward by Jon McClure (of 35 cent variant fame).
I find this to be an exciting (and highly collectible) situation: The now-CGC-credited first comic book appearances of Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady, with the existence of a US-published first print cover price variant, with likely rarity of 1:10 based on population disparity of the geographical area where they were sold!
Happy Collecting! 🙂