Baxter Stockman's Fly Form by David Rapoza
|First appearance||Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2
|Created by||Kevin Eastman
|Team affiliations||Foot Clan|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
Dr. Baxter Stockman is a fictional scientist who has appeared in several versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and all related media. In each version, he is depicted as the creator of the Mousers, machines meant to seek out and destroy sewer rats (not mice, in spite of their name). Nevertheless, there are several differences among his various appearances.
In Volume 1 of the comic series, Dr. Stockman was a sociopathic African American scientist "off in his own world" with no relation to the comic Oroku Saki, also known as the Shredder. He developed the Mousers with the help of his computer programmer April O'Neil. Around the time of the Mousers' invention, strange bank robberies were being held, with small tunnels leading into the vaults. When April questioned Stockman, he led April to an underground factory where hundreds of Mousers were being made. Stockman revealed he had been using the Mousers to rob banks, not because of the money (he could use his invention to make millions legally), but because "it was FUN!" April tried to escape through the elevator, but the scientist sent the elevator to sewer level. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles saved her from the Mousers that Stockman had sent to kill April. They then successfully infiltrated Stockman's lab, and managed to stop him. He was taken into custody. Later, he reappeared in Volume 2 of the comics as a major villain who had used technology from DARPA to place his brain in a robot body, making him a cyborg. Stockman tried to get revenge on the TMNT, but his new body was electrocuted and assumed to be destroyed; only the glasses he had retrieved earlier remained.
In Volume 4 of the comics, however, it is revealed that Donatello kept the remnants of Stockman's cyborg body and mind hidden from his brothers for years. It was discovered that Stockman had, in Volume 2, injected April with nanobots in her shoulder during an encounter. These nanobots eventually activated and began to destroy her body; they were destroyed but are suspected to have made her sterile (although whether or not she will remain sterile after their destruction has not been explored). Donatello finally destroyed the remnants of Stockman to avenge April, including his mind; however it is possible that Baxter Stockman's entity still somehow exists and is capable of manipulating electronics and devices.
TMNT Animated Series: 1987
In the original TMNT animated series, a more lighthearted show, and the Archie comics, Stockman was a misguided Caucasian inventor (as opposed to an African American, as he was portrayed in the Mirage comics) who tried to bill his Mousers to the Ajax Pest Control company. They did not like his suggestion, saying it would put them out of business (the Mouser was too effective and there would soon be no more rats to kill), and threw him out of the building.
The Shredder had watched this via his cameras, and offered Stockman a job. The scientist promptly accepted, and Shredder ordered him to create a "master control device" for the Mousers. The Shredder, not being able to wait, used a replication device at the Technodrome to assemble twelve Mousers. He then programmed the Mousers to find and destroy Splinter, the mutant rat who was the Turtles' master. The Mousers were destroyed by the TMNT, and they found Stockman's name on the devices. The Turtles and Splinter found Stockman with April O'Neil's help, and he told them his part of the story. They then proceeded to take Stockman's van, later to become the Turtle Van.
After a failed Mouser attack led to his arrest, Stockman's tales of a giant talking rat and talking ninja turtles landed him in an insane asylum. The Shredder soon returned to break him out and Stockman, now a lot more evil-minded and insane than he had been before his incarceration, became his sidekick and lackey, helping him to get the "Three Fragments of the Eye of Sarnath," an alien artifact that would grant the owner virtually limitless power.
Ultimately Stockman, tired of being abused by the Shredder during their numerous attempts to gather the fragments, would betray the Foot leader and take the "Eye of Sarnath" for himself, once the Shredder acquired the three segments of the powerful artifact. The Shredder ultimately puts Stockman in his place and regains the powerful artifact, only moments before Donatello's Sarnathometer destroyed the Eye via a massive explosion. Stockman would crawl back to Shredder's side, but the damage would be done, as the Shredder began conspiring to rid himself of the turncoat scientist.
The final full episode with Stockman as a human would be "Case Of The Killer Pizzas" where he helps the Shredder unleash killer monsters from Dimension X to attack the city.
Stockman's big change occurred in the second season episode, "Enter: The Fly", in which, after a failed attempt to generate a force field between the towers of the World Trade Center, the Shredder decided he required brawn to replace Stockman's brains. Instructing Krang to send his mutant flunkies Bebop and Rocksteady through a dimensional portal to Earth, the Shredder was warned that the dimensional interface was unstable, and required that someone be sent back through the portal to maintain the balance. Stockman was elected, and much to the scientist's horror, was hurled through the portal to Dimension X. Krang had no use for Stockman's scientific talents, and simply chose to kill him, tossing him in a disintegrator unit. However, in a reference to the 1986 movie The Fly, a common housefly that had been on Stockman's clothes when he was tossed through the portal was also trapped in the chamber with him, and their molecules wound up being intermingled, cross-mutating Stockman into a giant, humanoid fly-creature. Immediately determined to get revenge for his mutation, Stockman fled Dimension X and attacked both the Turtles and the Shredder, but his addled, not-entirely-sane mind was open to suggestion, and the Shredder managed to talk him down by convincing him that the Turtles were responsible for his condition (ironically, the Turtles never recognized Stockman in his new state). Stockman then aided the Shredder in a plot to trap the Turtles a micro-second forward in time, forever out of phase with the rest of reality. During the battle that ensued, however, Stockman wound up accidentally flying between the two pylons of the device, and disappeared in a flash of energy.
Stockman returned in the third season episode "Return of the Fly", beginning a series of episode titles that referenced and homaged those of typical horror B movies. Having been shunted out of phase with our dimension, the invisible, intangible Stockman could still observe the world around him, and spent months searching the sewers as a wraith, eventually locating the Turtles' lair and forming a plan to get revenge on both them and the Shredder at the same time. Realigning his molecules with the rest of reality by allowing himself to be struck by a lightning bolt, Stockman kidnapped April O'Neil in order to lure the Turtles into his trap, but once again, the Shredder was able to smooth-talk the addle-brained fly into teaming up with him again. Unfortunately for Stockman, an accident with a freeze ray foiled his scheme and entombed in a block of ice. Sent tumbling into the Technodrome, Stockman burst free from his icy prison just as the Shredder and Krang were mocking his ineptitude, and flew out of the base in a rage.
Later in the third season, Stockman reappeared in "Bye, Bye, Fly," eking out a miserable living in the catacombs beneath the city, feeding off trash. As the episode began, he stumbled across a group of archaeologists, who had unearthed what appeared to be an ancient temple beneath the city. Enraged that his catacombs had been invaded, Stockman chased the archaeologists out and investigated the temple, which, in actuality, turned out to be an interdimensional space ship that had crashed on Earth centuries ago. The ship's sentient computer was happy to have some company at last and befriended Stockman, providing him with a trans-mutation gun that allowed him to have his revenge on Shredder by transforming him into an ordinary housefly. Stockman also used the gun on Michaelangelo, turning the Ninja Turtle into a pet gerbil, but Mikey's brothers managed to save the day and return him to his regular reptilian state. The Turtles escaped the ship just before it took off for Dimension X, taking with them a key component of the ship's warp drive, without which the ship disintegrated in mid-flight, stranding Stockman in interdimensional limbo, with a giant alien spider bearing down on him.
Stockman had managed to escape the spider by the time he appeared the next year, in season four's "Son of Return of the Fly II." Although he still had the ship's computer for company, the exile evidently didn't do Baxter's mind any good, as he steadily began to act more and more like a fly, being fascinated by bright lights, craving sugar, being unable to focus on complicated tasks, and not even being able to remember exactly who it was he wanted revenge on, or why. With the computer's help and guidance, he was able to return to Earth through a small rift in the fabric of space-time, and captured the Turtles in order to lure Shredder into combat. Unable to bear the thought of anyone other than him destroying the Turtles, the Shredder answered Stockman's challenge, but in the battle that ensued, the computer was destroyed, leaving only a circuit board that housed its intelligence behind. Shredder fled back to Dimension X, but when Baxter attempted to pursue him, Krang shut the portal down before Stockman emerged, again stranding the fly in interdimensional space.
Stockman's next appearance, in season five's "Landlord of the Flies," was a distinctly anomalous one. Without the computer at his side or any explanation for how he escaped his interdimensional banishment, Stockman was already back on Earth when the episode began, with a new ability: his continually devolving fly-like mentality had given him the ability to communicate with other flies, and he assembled the insects into an army in a plot to get revenge on Shredder. By this time, however, the Technodrome was stranded in the polar wastes of the arctic, and the frigid air proved distinctly inhospitable to Stockman and his fly family, stopping his scheme before it even got started. Krang was intrigued by his new ability, however, and struck a deal with Stockman, promising to transform him back into a human again if he helped them. Stockman proceeded to terrorize the city with his family army, but was one again shot off into another dimension at the episode's conclusion by Donatello's portable portal generator.
In his final appearance, in season seven's "Revenge of the Fly," it was as if "Landlord of the Flies" had never happened: Baxter was in limbo, with the computer's remains, and with Krang credited for trapping him there. It was, ironically, Krang who was responsible for releasing Stockman, when he attempted to open a portal between Earth and Dimension X, and the malfuncioning device wound up opening a gateway to Stockman's prison. Quickly escaping, Stockman plugged his computer friend into the Technodrome's databanks, giving him complete control over the fortress, allowing him to lock up the Shredder and his cohorts. Seeking revenge against the entire world, Stockman stole a sample of Krang's mutagen, and combined it with the genetic material of various insects stolen from a research lab, using the resultant concoction to transform humans into mutant insects, including the crew at Channel 6. The computer reminded him that he had forgotten about the Turtles, and he used his insect minions to capture them, but when questioned about what, exactly, they had ever actually done to him, Stockman admitted he could not even remember. Eventually, the Turtles were able to overpower Stockman, and forced him to lead them back to the Technodrome so that they could steal the Shredder's retro-mutagen ray and return the mutated humans to normal. In the chaos that ensued, the computer was destroyed, and once the retro-mutagen ray had been found, Stockman snatched it up and flew off through a dimensional portal, intending to use it to return himself to normal. While the Turtles gave chase, the Shredder attempted to close the portal of the group before they could re-emerge, but the Turtles beat the clock, reclaiming the ray and making it back through in time, Stockman, however, was not so lucky, and was once again lost in limbo, never to appear again.
Stockman was voiced by Pat Fraley in the show. He also had a twin brother named Barney Stockman, also a mad scientist and with the same voice, who threw fits whenever the Turtles confused him with Baxter. Barney appeared in the episode "Raphael Knocks 'Em Dead".
Since the first issues of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Archie Comics follow the 1987 cartoon, the first stories are almost identical (from "Turtle Tracks" until "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles"). He is never mutated into a fly, and after the first issues he is only seen in a short flackback in the Future Shark trilogy.
TMNT Animated Series: 2003
In the 2003 series, Baxter Stockman (voiced by Scott Williams) is portrayed as he was in the original Mirage comic series, except that he now has connections to the Shredder. Throughout the first season, he is subjected to various punishments by the Shredder involving the mutilation and removal of parts of his body. Later in the series, Stockman returns in various forms as his numerous bodies are continuously replaced.
At the series' premiere, Stockman is working for the Foot, having developed the Mousers to steal and loot from banks for his own benefit as well. However, the efforts of his defecting employee April O'Neil and the Turtles destroys his Stocktronics lab, earning him a brutal punishment from the Shredder carried out by Hun . After many encounters with the Turtles ended in failure, these vicious punishments continued. Developing a hatred for the Shredder and Hun, Stockman secretly plotted to destroy them. When the Turtles are apparently destroyed with April's gift shop, the Shredder demands physical proof of their demise. Stockman offers to search the ruins for their remains, in exchange for an Utrom exo-suit that was retrieved from the Hudson River. However, when Stockman finds no proof that the Turtles and their allies died in the destruction, he makes his own proof and is able to convince the Shredder of their demise. Stockman receives the exo-suit as promised, and builds an enormous robotic battle armor with it by the time the Turtles storm the Foot headquarters. Just as the Turtles face off with the Shredder and Hun, Stockman arrives and attempts to kill them all. It is only through the combined efforts of the Turtles and the Foot that Stockman is defeated, albeit after several false victories.
By the time of the second season, Stockman was recovered and forced back into the Shredder's service, though now the Shredder has the power to torture him whenever he steps out of line. Stockman is able to trap the Turtles inside the Utroms' virtual reality, and when they do emerge, confronts them with the rest of the Foot. Professor Honeycutt later frees Stockman from the Shredder's control, and Stockman gleefully turns on his master and subdues him, leaving the Foot. After the Shredder's defeat, Stockman allied himself with Leatherhead, helping him to build a transmat to journey to the Utroms' homeworld. Stockman's deception is unveiled by the Turtles, and the scientist flees, but not before causing Leatherhead to become trapped in a cave-in. Stockman later allies himself with the mafia during the crime war in the wake of the power vacuum left by the Shredder's defeat.
Hun eventually found Stockman and brought him back to the Foot, albeit the scientist is now merely an eyeball, a spinal cord, and his brain in a jar. Stockman creates the Foot Mech soldiers, and survives the sinking of the Shredder's freighter ship. In the third season, Saki keeps Stockman around due to his scientific expertise, but Stockman feels threatened by the arrival of newcomer Dr. Chaplin, who impresses Saki with his own expertise. Stockman covertly sabotages some of Chaplin's efforts in order to not only keep his place in the Foot, but to simply stay alive. Stockman's attempts to sabotage Chaplin mostly fail and only backfire on himself. Stockman also enters an uneasy mutual understanding with Hun, who is enduring a period of humiliation and failure in the Shredder's eyes. The younger scientist idolizes Stockman and creates a new robotic body for him, earning some grudging respect and gratitude from the older scientist. However, Stockman nevertheless becomes a double agent for Agent Bishop and the Earth Protection Force. When the Shredder is finally defeated - killed with the Turtles, as far as they know - Stockman joins the EPF full-time as Bishop's second-in-command and head scientist.
Stockman becomes one of the main antagonists of the fourth season, with Bishop, Hun, and Karai. Stockman helps engineer a faux alien invasion to convince the White House to continue funding the EPF, but this backfires disastrously when left-over fluids from the deceased cloned aliens begins to mutate the animals and people of New York, sparking an outbreak. After transferring Bishop into a new body, Stockman briefs Bishop on the situation and is deployed to New York to try to contain it. The outbreak proves too much for both the EPF and the Turtles to handle, however.
Stockman takes center stage in the unaired Insane in the Membrane. Stockman is revealed to have had a relatively happy childhood until the death of his loving mother, who encouraged him to follow his dreams and that "the sky's the limit". Having cloned a new human body for himself, Stockman happily enjoys being human again, indulging in things he's missed since becoming a cyborg. However, after experiencing a hallucination of his late mother, Stockman realizes his body is deteriorating. When efforts to save himself fail, Stockman eventually comes to believe April is the cause of all his suffering. Having lost his sanity, Stockman kidnaps April and attempts to kill her, but the Turtles intervene and the chase takes all parties to a gondola. Stockman nearly kills April before hallucinating that April is his mother, who despairs over Stockman's descent into villainy and madness. Stockman helps April out of the gondola, which crashes into the river below, killing Stockman. However, Leonardo observes that he has survived worse fates.
Sure enough, Bishop has Stockman's remains recovered from the river, and the scientist is brought back to life. Stockman is enraged, however, deeply bemoaning the chance to finally rest in peace being taken away from him. Stockman resumes work on finding a cure for the mutant outbreak, but it is only during an alliance with the Turtles that a cure is developed - specifically, it is Leatherhead who develops the cure, much to Stockman's ire. Stockman later watches a relic Bishop had the Turtles retrieve from Karai be destroyed, though neither of the two are able to comprehend what they have done: destroying the relic freed the Foot Mystics, who set out to revive the Tengu Shredder. In the fifth season, Stockman revives the nano-bot the Turtles had previously encountered, and after its' escape, Bishop admits he understands why Stockman was subjected to numerous punishments by the Shredder. When the Tengu Shredder conquers New York, the EPF's base is attacked by his Tengu legions. Bishop and Stockman are contacted by the Turtles, who convince them to ally with the Purple Dragons, the Justice Force, Karai's Foot, and the Turtles' other allies against the demon threat. Stockman takes part in the massive battle, and later when charged with defending Karai alongside Chaplin (much to his displeasure), he is damaged by the Tengu Shredder's dragon form, but ultimately survives the battle and is retrieved by Bishop.
Stockman served the EPF for the next fifty years, but during an effort to clone an army of organic Mousers, Stockman is trapped and seemingly killed in the wreckage of the destroyed lab. Stockman survives this, but develops a vendetta for his former employer when he never returns to search for him, since he believed him to be deceased. Stockman engineers a new batch of organic Mousers who bring Bishop to him in the year 2105, and attempts to take his body for his own, but the Turtles are able to convince him to let go and reform, since Bishop has mended his ways in the years since the laboratory's destruction. Stockman enters a new partnership with Bishop, and is promised to get a new human body in the near future.
In the final season, set a year after the fifth season, Stockman is not shown to be explicitly working with Bishop, instead offering his services to Hun. However, the Cyber Shredder hacks into Stockman's robotic body, forcing him into an alliance with the Turtles to evict the Shredder from his body. In his final appearance in the series, Stockman clones an army of mutant dinosaurs to wreak havoc on New York for no apparent reason, but the Turtles turn the dinosaurs docile.
TMNT Animated Series: 2012
Stockman appears in the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series voiced by Phil LaMarr. Again an African American inventor, this time he has a pronounced Afro hair, and a running gag is that the Turtles seem to mispronounce his name.
Stockman's first appearance is in "I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman," where the Turtles defeat him as he tries to break into his former employers at TCRI with a rudimentary battle armor. Stockman later upgrades the armor using a Donatello invention, and is only stopped as all Turtles make an organized attack on him.
He returns in "Mousers Attack," where Leonardo and Raphael find Stockman's underground hideout as the Mousers (now an acronym, Mobile Offensive Underground Excavation Search and Retrieval Sentries) were stealing from the Purple Dragons' hideout. The Purple Dragons send him to Dogpound, who order Stockman to decrypt April O'Neil's phone, as its GPS tracking would help find the Turtles hideout and Splinter. While the Mousers end up causing the plan to get ruined, Shredder decides to hire Stockman into his forces, thinking his scientific intelligence could be useful. Stockman then creates a water-breathing rig and mechanical legs for Fishface, but is forced to run away from the Foot Clan after his attempt to destroy the Turtles alongside Dogpound and Fishface with a robot fails.
It has been confirmed that in season 2, Stockman mutated into a fly-hybrid, nicknamed "Stockman Fly." This occurs after the Foot capture the rogue Stockman to service their robotic ninja soldiers, and fit him with a collar containing vials of mutagen to insure that he fails to escape. Unfortunately for Stockman, his proposed mutations fail to impress the Shredder, who activates the collar and shatters the vials, which transform Stockman into his fly form. Gaining increased strength, speed, flight, and the ability to spit up acid, he sets out to either return to human form or-by mutating himself together with a pure human specimen-become a superior human specimen. He finds a chance after discovering that the Turtles have developed a retro-mutagen with which they intend to cure Kirby O'Neil, who had previously been mutated into a giant bat. He captures April and demands that the retro-mutagen be delivered to him, but then decides to use April in his other solution to his affliction. He is thwarted in both instances and recaptured by the Foot, with the Shredder giving him a final chance to redeem himself by creating a superior mutant.
- In the original TMNT arcade game, the Turtles face the human version of Baxter on the third level (The Sewer). He flies around the screen in a flying contraption throwing Mousers to attack the Turtles. When the game was released on the NES, the rematch with Rocksteady and Bebop on the parking garage level was replaced with a second battle with Baxter Stockman in his mutated fly form.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan for the Game Boy, Baxter the Fly is fought on the third level (The Highway). He swoops back and forth across the screen and shoots fireballs.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers for Game Boy, Baxter is the mid-boss in Stage 5.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Missions, human Baxter can be seen in his lab while you fight Usub Gerstalk.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, Baxter once again returns in fly form on the first level (the construction site). He first appears on screen and says, "Terminate the turtles!" He attacks from the air and walks around and shoots at you with an Uzi. First he attacks with his Uzi, but after being damaged enough to lose the Uzi, he pulls out a weapon he used in the original cartoon (which bears similarity to a revolver), which fires 'solid energy' fists and feet to strike at the turtles, snickering whenever he lands a hit with it.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist for Mega Drive/Genesis, Baxter appears in human form as the fourth boss. He flies around in a machine while dropping Mousers on the player (much like the first arcade game).
- The fly version of Baxter appears in the background of "Metalworks" stage in the SNES version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters.
- In addition to cutscenes, he was a boss in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003 video game) which was based on the 2003 animated series.
- He appeared in the cut scenes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Game Boy Advance) which was based on the 2003 animated series.
- He appeared as a boss in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus for the Game Boy Advance as the penultimate boss bout.
- He appeared as a boss in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Arcade Attack he uses his Back to the Sewer design.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Peter David (2003); Dreamwave Productions; ISBN 0-9732786-8-4.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Attack of the Mousers by Peter David, LeSean Thomas (2007); Titan Books Limited; ISBN 1-84576-092-1.
- Playing with Power in Movies, Television, and Video Games: From Muppet Babies to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Marsha Kinder (1991), University of California Press; ISBN 0-520-07776-8.