Who’lldoit: Dead Shredder Walking?

November 12th, 2013 by | Tags: ,

Gavok note: This guest article comes from longtime ThWiP contributor MK Stangeland Jr., otherwise known as Space Jawa.

I could open with a bit about how great IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series has been, but I’ll let you read Gavok’s summary on the series if you need a real introduction.

Ready to move on? Good.

Let’s talk about Shredder, shall we? Because for all the things he may be – leader of the Foot Clan, the turtles arch-nemesis, ruthless as can be – he also happens to have some significant flaws.

One of these is a talent for making enemies who want him dead, especially in IDW’s current series. Which is kind of a bad deal since so many of theses people arguably have the ability to pull it off, too. At least, if you ignore his potential immortality. Which is why I can’t help but get the feeling that in spite of how hard it is to kill him, it’s not a question of if someone will snuff him out soon, but who?

So why don’t we take a moment to look at the likely suspects (and a few unlikely ones as well) and see just who might have what it takes to actually pull it off?


Call it a cop-out answer if you want, but the fact is that aside from a gut feeling and having a large list of enemies, there’s really no evidence to suggest that anyone actually will succeed in killing off the Turtles’ most wanted.

Motive: Oroku Saki, AKA The Shredder, was the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles badguy, showing up in issue #1. He also died before the issue was over. Since then, however, he’s done a really good job of sticking around long-term as an ongoing nemesis. The IDW series may very well intend on keeping up that trend.

Alibi: However, the IDW series has also done a good job of being able to have it both ways. Having established that Shredder has a form of immortality, it’s quite possible that they’ll kill him off, then bring him back from the dead later as they see fit – and without anyone being able to cry foul about it, too (“Well, we did say he’s immortal…”)

Odds: 1:2


It’s the feud between Shredder and Splinter that kicked off the Foot Clan and Turtles’ hatred of each other. It would certainly be fitting for the rat once known as Hamato Yoshi to be the one to finish off his arch-nemesis.

Motive: It’s been made clear that Splinter wants Shredder dead. Whether for revenge or simply due to a belief that Shredder is too dangerous to be left alive, it would – again – be perfect symmetry if Splinter were finally able to avenge the past deaths of him and his family by killing off his arch-nemesis.

Alibi: While things may look like they’re about to turn around, Splinter is a rat that has very much been pushed to the brink, thanks to nearly losing first Raphael and now Leonardo. It’s been enough for him to make some choices that he might have otherwise avoided, including a potentially dangerous and ill-advised “anti-human alliance” with Old Hob. Between focusing on getting Leo back and his recent behavior, he may currently be on a path that leads away from him getting a shot at ending his oldest foe.

Odds: 2:1


Shredder’s most dangerous enemy may not even lie outside the Foot Clan, but rather from within. Originally a regular arctic fox, it was Shredders call to experiment on her species due to foxes being “Crafty, so fast, perfect hunters,” – no comment has been issued on whether his girlfriend Kitsune being able to magically transform into a fox had anything to do with it. That said, it may be a decision Shredder comes to regret.

Motive: Since her debut in the Raphael Micro-Series issue, Alopex was a loyal member of the Foot Clan. One of the best, too, and a high ranking member who sits just a couple steps removed from the very top of the leadership chain. Keyword “was“, since as of her own Micro-Series issue, she’s not quite as loyal the soldier she used to be.

See, Shredder thought it would be a good idea to pay a visit to the research center where Alopex was first mutated. Which just so happened to sit next to the forest where she lived in her previous life.

And then he had it all burnt to the ground as part of some plan to cut off her connection to her past life and solidify her connection to the Foot. That backfired in about the worst way possible. Rather than solidifying her connection to the Foot Clan, it gave her the determination and motivation to “kill the bear.”

The bear, of course, being Shredder.

Alibi: If she is going kill Shredder, she’s going to have to be underhanded about it and hit him at the most opportune moment. The same Micro-Series issue that made it clear she wants Shredder dead also made it pretty clear that in a straight-up fight, she’s not on Shredder’s level. It’s also possible that by the time she feels ready to finally kill him, someone else might have done it first, since her plan to “kill the bear” was written to suggest she’s planning his death as much more of a long-term ploy.

Odds: 3:1


The Turtles’ wild card is also their most violent member – probably more than any of them, even Master Splinter, he personally wants Shredder dead the most.

Motive: Better question would be whether he has any reason not to want Shredder dead. The obvious feud between the Turtles and the Foot Clan aside, other reasons Raphael could list for wanting to kill Shredder include brainwashing Leonardo and gutting his best friend Casey Jones (which, while he survived, directly led to Leonardo getting brainwashed). Raphael’s violent side has nearly reached deadly levels on multiple accounts before, with only the interference of his friends and family keeping him from spilling blood. I hardly expect any of them would do the same if he actually got the chance to kill off their nemesis.

Alibi: The primary reason Raph might not be the one to do it is a simple matter of other characters being more likely candidates. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m still open to the idea that Shredder won’t even die in the first place and all the potential that comes from other people doing the deed, he’d be sitting right at the top of the list.

Provided, of course, that the right circumstances present itself. The same situation that put Leo in his present position also provided a serious learning opportunity for Raph, giving him good reason to control his temper in the future. Any chance he gets to kill Shredder might also be countered by forcing him to let Shredder go in the name of a greater good.

Odds: 3:1


Shredder’s “Granddaughter” – certainly related by blood, but due to the whole resurrection and time period thing it’s definite that there’s supposed to be a few dozen “grands” in there – is also the person responsible from bringing Shredder back into the world.

But to paraphrase, “She brought him into this world, she can take him back out of it.”

Motive: It seemed like such a good idea at the time – as part of her quest to return the Foot Clan to what it used to be, Karai brought Shredder back from the dead so he could command it once again. However, Shredder’s former first lieutenant seems to be undergoing a case of buyer’s regret after she herself restored the clan to something she thought it was supposed to be and then seeing what her granddad is doing with it. Long story short, she’s not pleased with Shredder’s idea of what makes for a good ninja clan. As such, she’s already put plans in motion that might allow her to take back command of the Foot Clan once again.

Alibi: She might not actually want Shredder dead.

While it’s fairly clear that she’s not pleased with the direction Shredder is taking the Foot, it’s not quite as clear what her actual intentions might be, whether they include sending him back six feet under or simply disgracing him so she can take his place and leaving him free to go do something else. After all, she didn’t actually kill her father to take his place, but then again she may have known full well that she wouldn’t have to.

Odds: 4:1


While the leader of the Purple Dragons may not want Shredder dead yet, odds are that this will change in the very near future.

Motive: Hun is – much like the Fugitoid – a brilliant example of IDW taking a well know character, introducing them as someone completely different, and then once you’ve gotten to know them, they pull an, “Oh, by the way, you already know who this character is!” and doing it in a way that makes perfect sense.

In this case, Hun was introduced as Casey Jones deadbeat drunk of a dad, having been driven to whatever you call such a wretched state by the death of his wife. This eventually drove Casey Jones away with the help of the Turtles. It looks like he may have finally turned his life around, however, after his son wound up in the hospital himself, showing that as big a jerk as he may be, he does still care about his son deep down inside.

The problem is that the way he’s managed to turn his life around is by taking over the Purple Dragons again and working for the Shredder.

The same Shredder who – unbeknownst to Hun – personally stabbed Casey in the gut in the first place and put him in the hospital. Which Casey is fully aware of, meaning it can’t possibly stay secret for long. And once Hun finds out, he may very well want revenge.

Alibi: Unless he doesn’t.

Hun is both a simple and complicated character. One the one hand, he’s unlikely to ignore Shredder nearly killing Casey Jones. On the other hand, Casey’s near death was a turning point that got his life back on track and made him into a man he’s much happier being.

On the one hand, he might look forward to trying to kill Shredder when he learns the full story about what happened to his son. On the other hand, he may remain loyal to Shredder anyway, either out of thanks for Shredder putting him on a road that got his life back in order or as a means of providing Casey with some means of protection from the Foot Clan in the future. Especially since he’s loving his job right now.

Odds: 10:1


Most recently in the position of Shredder’s top dog as Dark Leonardo, the Foot Clan’s hold on the Turtles’ once and future leader is on the breaking point, and recent events might just be enough to push him over the edge in spite of his reluctance to kill.

Motive: Part of the series of events that kicked off City Fall, Leonardo underwent a magical brainwashing process, though one which seems to have been fragile from the get-go. When he does break free, Leo may yet be able to deceive Shredder long enough to get in close and launch a killing blow, especially if Shredder wants Leonardo as his protege bad enough.

Alibi: One, Leonardo isn’t a fan of killing. That much has been made clear. In their second encounter, Leonardo even had the opportunity to kill Shredder if he wanted to, only to purposefully miss with a ninja star and run off with a snide retort. Two, Leonardo’s opportunity to take advantage of his Dark Leo role may not last long at all, especially since Splinter is very eager to get him away from Shredder’s clutches.

Odds: 10:1

General Krang

While not on the table right at the moment, it’s not inconceivable that Shredder might survive his more terrestrial foes only for his end to arrive in time to herald the return of the Turtles’ other major villain.

Motive: Simply put? Shredder wanting to rule New York City is kind of a problem for a guy who wants to rule the entire planet. Krang wouldn’t even need a personal reason to kill Shredder, he’d simply do it because Shredder’s in his way.

Alibi: Considering all the nods from the 1980’s cartoon this series has taken thus far, it’s not out of the question that Krang and Shredder might form an alliance of some kind, especially if it’s one where they’re both planning on stabbing the other in the back the moment their mutual enemies – the Turtles – are dead. Besides, it would seem kind of a waste of Shredder’s character to have him get offed in the name of making Krang look better. Especially since he’s done such a good job of building his reputation thus far.

Odds: 25:1


It would be unexpected, certainly, but that’s just why he may actually be more likely to pull it off than it first appears.

Motive: Michelangelo has a thing against killing, more than even Leonardo, to the point where he has expressed a great deal of anxiety over the whole “Kill Shredder” plan. He’d be much happier if the Turtles could all disappear and leave the entire feud behind them to make the most of their lives.

Which is exactly the reason why Michelangelo may actually be a greater potential candidate than people higher up on this list – the story potential and following character arc from Michelangelo being forced into a situation where he’s required to kill off Shredder could have huge potential if the writers wanted to go that direction.

Alibi: Of course, it all revolves around whether the writers actually want to go that direction. Because all things being equal, it’s hard to see Mikey willingly taking Shredders life.

Odds: 25:1


He’s certainly not adverse to killing Shredder, but he may not have the oomph to get a shot at it.

Motive: Mostly, it comes down to being part of the family. They’re all in this together, after all, and unlike Michelangelo and Leonardo, Donnie probably wouldn’t have nearly the moral qualms about offing their arch-nemesis for good if he got the opportunity, even if he’s not likely to have the same drive for it as Raphael.

Alibi: So why is he way down here? Specifically because he’s neither as opposed to killing Shredder or driven to it as his brothers, nor does he have any kind of personal, individual vendetta against Shredder the way others on this list do. Sadly, Don’s chances at doing the deed are harmed by a lack of major character development compared to his brothers. He certainly isn’t out of the running, but being the guy to kill of Shredder wouldn’t have nearly the same weight to it.

Odds: 50:1


Wait, what?

Motive: Just hear me out on this.

This isn’t a “Shredder commits suicide” thing. Rather, it’s a “Shredder fakes his death” thing. As deep a hole as he’s digging for himself in enemies who want him dead, there remains a possibility that Shredder will remain alive – but then also consider that the best way to not die for real would be to let his enemies think he’s dead, hide off for a bit to lure them into a false sense of security, and the strike when they least expect it.

Alibi: However, Shredder is also a very arrogant individual, one who’s convinced that New York City is his to rule by fate. Even as his enemies close in on him, he may very well be determined to stick it out to the bitter end no matter what happens.

Odds: 50:1

Bebop & Rocksteady

Have you heard? They’re back, and just as much the loveable knuckleheads they used to be!

Motive: They’re the long-shot entry of the list, but who knows, they might very well surprise us yet. Technically, they don’t have a motive to kill Shredder of their own, especially with their stated loyalty to the Foot Clan. But who knows, maybe they’ll play into Karai’s plans somehow.

And hey, there’s already a Bebop & Rocksteady with a Shredder kill to their name out there, who’s to say that these two won’t pull of the same kind of surprise victory?

Alibi: Again, these two are the long shots on this list. While I’m not counting them out entirely, I still would remain surprised if they actually did managed to do it.

Besides, for the moment they seem pretty intent on becoming Shredder’s pal rather than his killers.

Never change, Bebop & Rocksteady. Never change.

Odds: 1,000,000:1

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3 comments to “Who’lldoit: Dead Shredder Walking?”

  1. Love this! Assuming Shredder goes down at the end of the arc, I don’t think it’ll be by Splinter’s hand, just due to the chaotic number of parties in play here. In this case, my money’s on Raphael or Karai getting the final blow, following a crippling hit from Alopex or Special Bebop & Rocksteady Moment that blindsides Shredder.

  2. My prediction is Leonardo. They’ve spent so much time building up his reluctance to kill and Shredder’s intent to eventually make him kill, plus “Leonardo decapitates the Shredder” is a pretty major part of TMNT lore.

  3. wait you’re forgetting the chance of Mikey’s friend who was attacked by slash… or old hob, or Takeshi Tatsuo revived super pissed that Shedder still exist for all these years and murders and takes over the foot clan under saki’s Name. Takeshi could be a skeleton pump up with mutagen and a bowl full of hate… then gets blasted in the back accidentally by Bebop and Rocksteady killing him and thus ridding any trace of the shredder outside of going back in time or someone taking the mantel like Hun. though what are the odds of that happening?