The Rat King is a fictional character from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles multimedia franchise. The character was created by Jim Lawson and first appeared in the comic Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 written by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird and has made various appearances since, in the comic books and other mediums, such as animated series and video games.
The Rat King remains one of the more enigmatic characters in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with various appearances depicting him as either a villain, a neutral character and even an ally of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Rat King has a distinguishable attire, which consists of filthy, tattered rags and, most prominently, various bandages covering his body. As his name implicates, the Rat King has apparent telepathic influence over rat, with his only other consistent power being his immense strength (which varies throughout incarnations of the character).
In the Mirage Studios Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, the Rat King makes his first appearance in Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 as the story's main antagonist. After residing in a swamp for several months, the Rat King (who remains unnamed until the end of the issue) decides to venture into a nearby abandoned industrial park and use it as shelter against the oncoming winter. There, the Rat King happens upon the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their friend Casey Jones, who had come to the industrial park to train. Believing the Turtles and Casey to be other "monsters" who wish to take his territory, the Rat King proceeds to stalk them throughout the park, even capturing Michelangelo and leaving him to be devoured by the rats (Michelangelo later escapes). The Rat King is eventually defeated by Leonardo who, in a duel with the Rat King, flings several shuriken at him, which impale the Rat King and knock him off balance, sending him plummeting into the bowels of a silo.
In the multi-part storyline "City at War", the Rat King appears in a major role. After entering the silo where Leonardo defeated the Rat King, Splinter falls into a pit and injures his leg; left helpless, Splinter is found by the Rat King, who appears before him multiple times throughout the story-arc, often debating philosophically with him and giving him cryptic advice in dreams. Splinter soon has a dream in which the Rat King appears before him as a demonic rat-like entity, and tells him to devour a rat to regain his strength. Rat King also tells Splinter that eating rats has allowed him to "find what he was looking for", and also states that he had been waiting for Splinter to come to him for some time. Two months later, after the Rat King stops appearing to him he gets enough strength and leaves the silo. Splinter finds, much to his surprise, the heavily decayed corpse of the Rat King buried under rubble, its limbs twisted and several shurikens imbedded in it.
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Official Site: Mirage Studios
Links: Profile of the Rat King Rat King Wiki Ninja Turtle Cartoon Webpage