The evil turtle from dimension x
Released in 1990
Every now and then, there is a bad guy that everyone loves. Whether it’s the Joker (even though it should be Bane) or Lord Zedd, there are just bad guys that surpass the whole “love to hate” angle. For the Turtles, it’s Slash; the seriously beefed up evil turtle has the skills, muscle and wherewithal to take out the Turtles.
Slash’s origin is a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes he’s an alien that was brought to Earth by Shredder to terminate the Turtles, other times he was a pet Turtle that was mutated, again by Shredder, to kill the Turtles. At this point in the Turtles continuity, figures, comics, or animated series, it didn’t really matter what you subscribed to, all that counted was that you knew that this guy was a serious threat to our heroic teens, and a truly opposite number to them, all at once.
There are a lot of villains out there that are created to be the polar opposite of our hero. Personally, I always thought that this narrative device was a little redundant. Why does there need to be another mutant turtle running around out there? We’ve already got four of them, and they even have a robot-turtle, just in case. But, as with most things involving the TMNT, Slash took a common storytelling trope and took it to its nth degree; which is hilarious.
Not only does Slash look like a menacing snapping turtle instead of the much more inviting box turtle, he also hates pizza, wears a black bandana (the absence of all color), he wears armor similar to the Shredder, he hates fun and loves dishing out pain and torment; giving our heroes a truly terrifying villain that is to be feared and not to be trifled with.
Keeping the whole opposite number of the Turtles angle going; Slash’s figure also come equipped with villainous versions of the Turtles signature weapons. There’s a mace, spiked nunchucks, a bent sai and a friggin’ buoy knife, showing that this guy truly is a force to reckoned with.
My only real complaint with this figure is the fact that he’s so small. This is a guy that is (literally) shown to tower over the Turtles in virtually every form he’s taken in the Turtles cannon. But where his presence counts most, he’s figuratively cut off at his spiked knees. Sure, his sickly blue skin, sharp teeth and dead eye set him apart from every turtle-type figure, and most of the villains for that matter, in the line. But I can’t help but look at this guy and think that he’s someone trying to be a Ninja Turtle, as opposed to someone that can take them out in one fell swoop.
With that one complaint out of the way, Slash is a figure that has stood the test of time and it’s easy to why he’s such a fan favorite. In my opinion, it goes beyond the twisted, mirror-image of the hero plot device. Slash is a monster that has the singular goal of putting the Turtles in the ground. While there are other versions of Slash out there (IDW’s version is a particular favorite of mine), this figure represents him the best despite his vertical challenges. He is a dark turtle that shows just how dangerous the lives of Turtles can be. Everyone thinks that the villains of the story presented are always cartoony, over the top and laughable. But with Slash, you know that there is something bad in store for our heroes when this guy shows up. Because at the end of the day, Slash proves that, sometimes, a death ray or Technodrome is unnecessary. Sometimes, all you need is muscle and a “positive” attitude to accomplish your goals of world domination.
Turtle Trivia: In the 2012 animated series, Slash is voiced by actor Corey Feldman, who voiced Donatello in the 1990 live-action film.