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Villain Overview

Through your eyes, brothers, I finally see the world for what it really is. This city is infested. Scrambling around in their pointless lives, spreading disease, forcing us to live in the shadows, like vermin. No more. They are the true plague. Together, we shall rid this city of humanity and reclaim it for ourselves. And no one, not even those vile turtles, shall stand in our way.
~ Falco to his rat army, announcing his human genocide.
I am The Rat King!
~ Falco taking on his new identity.

Dr. Victor Falco, better known as the Rat King, is a recurring antagonist in the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, serving as a recurring antagonist in Season 1 (appearing as the main antagonist of both the episodes "Monkey Brains" and "I, Monster"), a minor antagonist in Season 2 (serving as the main antagonist the episode "Of Rats ad Men") and the posthumous secondary antagonist of the Season 4 episode "The Darkest Plight".

This version of the character has a more malnourished and corpse-like appearance, wearing a plague doctor-inspired costume of a black cloak and a wide-brimmed hat. He is one of the Turtles and Splinter's greatest foes.

He was voiced by Jeffrey Combs, who also voiced Brainiac in Injustice 2 and Scarecrow in The New Batman Adventures.

Biography

Past

Dr. Victor Falco was a renowned scientist, and was a colleague of Dr. Tyler Rockwell. They both were working on an experiment with mutagen, a neurochemical and monkey DNA when they were approached by the Kraang. Falco, driven by greed for power, then modified the mutagen to develop a psycho-neurochemical and mutated Rockwell into a mutant monkey to it from him to use on himself and develop psychic abilities. Due to the poor treatment, Rockwell ran away. Falco announced that Rockwell mysteriously disappeared and alluded that he wasn't a part of this.

Monkey Brains

Falco makes his debut in "Monkey Brains", seen talking about Rockwell's disappearance in April O' Neil's laptop. April and Donatello then sneaks into Falco's lab. When they see a mutagen cannister in Falco's table, he attempts to attack them, April warns Donnie who pins him down. April turns on the lights and see that is Falco and Donnie lets him go. Falco then tells him that he and Falco were approached by the Kraang to experiment on the mutagen. When they witness the cage he kept Rockwell in, Falco lies by telling that Rockwell used a monkey on his experiments and didn't treat it well and left.

Eventually, April and Donnie finding Rockwell, who was a mutant monkey and bring it to Falco. Falco feigns to be sympathetic to Rockwell and tells that he will try to give him a semblance to normal life before the mutation. When Donnie reaches the lair, he grew suspicious due to ow what all he told don't line up with the fact that Rockwell is a mutant monkey. He then tells his brothers that he deduced that Falco lied the entire time. They then break into his lab, to which Falco puts a syringe into Rockwell's brain to extract the neurochemical and inject it on himself and gain psychic powers temporarily. The Turtles confront him to which Falco tells about his grand plan. The Turtles try attacking him but Falco manages to defeat Leonardo and Raphael by figuring out what all the Turtles were thinking. When Donnie tells Michelangelo how he fought without thinking, Mickey freaks out on how he was able to as he doesn't know know and Falco defeats him also. Donnie then tries attacking him but Falco dodges every one of his moves and then taunts him about how he won't win over April. Donnie then decides to just attack without thinking, which baffles Falco and he manages to be kicked into the cage he imprisoned Rockwell. The other Turtles soon recover but before they can ask on what all Falco knows about the Kraang, he has already escaped.

I, Monster

Following the events of "Monkey Brains", Falco was living in hiding after the Kraang pulled off funding his experiments as they were displeased with his work and no longer needed, was experimenting on rats, mutagen and chemicals to get psychic powers permanently. However, a rat chewed on a wire and started a fire on the lab, to which he was injured by the flames, and blinded, and the neurochemical splattered all over him. He gains psychic powers and begs the rats for their help, to which they save him. Falco realizes he has the ability to control rats and went in hiding in the sewers, now proclaiming himself as The Rat King, mustering up a rat army for him to use. He uses a white albino rat called Aristotle, named after the Greek philosopher, to be his eyes and plans to wipe out all humans from the planet with his rat army and take over the world.

He then launches a full-scale assault on New York city. Through telepathy, the Rat King is aware of the existence of Hamato Yoshi/Splinter, a former human who was mutated into a rat. He then used psychological warfare to try brainwashing Splinter, but he refuses to join him. Splinter then tells who the perpetrator of the attacks were and warns the turtles and his plan to take over New York. The Turtles head off to be near his lair and leave April behind to take care of Splinter. The Turtles find his lairs, but were chased away by his rat army but they managed to escape. However, Falco exploits Leo punching Splinter to manipulate Splinter into accepting his control and successfully brainwashes him and arrives at the Rat King's lair. However, he has Splinter reveal himself to which he sadistically laughs. The turtles try reaching to him, to which the Rat King removes his makes and uses his creepy eyes to strengthen his control of Splinter. He then has him attack the Turtles to which he defeats them. However, Leo used a picture of Splinter a human with his wife and daughter, to which he snaps out of it. Splinter then defeats the Rat King, who escapes using his rat army.

Of Rats and Men

The Rat King makes his return. Ever since his previous defeat, he has been trying to perfect his mutagen for his plans. He then has mutates some rats into being giants and have been spy and kidnap some humans (like Irma) for his plans.

For his work, the Rat King flashes through Splinter's mind to weaken him, then attempts to take control of Splinter while he was meditating and psychological torture him to gain information on how turned into a humanoid rat and leaves him. Splinter then tries to remedy himself out of fear and then takes control of Splinter have him cause chaos in the lair kitchen while announcing his grand plan before leaving him again. Splinter then notifies the Turtles, April and Casey Jones about the Rat King's return and they go and try stopping him. In the rooftops, the Rat King ponders just on what he should do in the human race, and then the world, with his rat army. He then has his giant rats doze the city and kidnap humans, including Casey, for him to imprison and experiment. He then climbs on top of one of the giant rats and orders the rest to retreat back into his secret lab as he has the amount of humans he need. He then peers back into Splinter's mind, trying to break him by showing the chaos he orchestrated throughout the city and that Splinter will be a part of his new world. Splinter resists, but it causes him to refuse to join the Turtles and April on attacking the Rat King as he fears he will take control of him and force him to kill them due to being more powerful than ever.

In his lair, he has all the humans imprisoned in numerous cages suspending from the ceiling. The Rat king reassures he won't hurt them and gives a speech on how he changed some ordinary rats into becoming giants and explains his grand plans to perfect the mutagen to mutate them into human-rat hybrids and bite other humans and spread the mutation so everyone will be in control as the giant rats weren't the soldier of his army he was looking for. He examines the serum to which Aristotle warns him how the previous serum wasn't perfected, to which he is shocked and shows him a grotesque creature to prove it, to which he coldly brushes it off that not every experiment is a success and reassures that this serum will work. Aristotle points at Irma as the perfect test subject, to which he agrees, causing her to faint.

His enemies come to free his prisoners and thwart his plan. Unexpectedly, even Splinter came, claiming the Rat King must be defeated once and for all. April was then sent to free the humans while Leo attempts to throw a blade at the Rat King, but he manages to take control of Splinter to stop him while laughing evilly. Splinter resists for a second but then, Splinter was brainwashed for good and orders him to kill his adoptive sons one by one, starting with Leo. Mickey then throws Ice Cream Kitty at the Rat King's face, resulting him on losing control over Splinter. Now no longer in control, the Rat King then orders his rats to destroy them all while he goes down and retreats with Splinter following him.

In the sewer tunnels, Splinter chases the Rat King, who is riding in one of giant rats, mocking how he runs like a coward when he isn't in control. The Rat King taunted back as he orders a swarm of rats to overpower him. They reach the undercity, to which he jumps from platform to platforms to try escaping, sacrificing many of his rats to make sure he reaches to another platform and to make sure Splinter falls down to his death. However, Splinter, determined to not let him escape again jumps towards the platform eh is in and tries fighting him, but Aristotle tells the Rat King all of Splinter's moves and he defeats him easily. The Rat King then told him to bow down and that he has the upper hand, to which Splinter mocks him and tosses Aristotle to his death to give him a disadvantage, angering him for the loss of one way to see. But he remarks that he can still see through his eyes. But however it is revealed Splinter has the Rat King's blindfold and puts it on him, and fights the Rat King and utterly humiliates him, mocking him with wisdom. The Rat King, enraged, attempted to punch Splinter to topple him of the platform, but Splinter dodges and he falls to his presumed death.

Darkest Plight

The Rat King makes one final appearance in this episode. Splinter was stuck on the lowest part of the city following a recent battle with the Shredder who mutated himself to regain his strength. While he was stuck down there, the Rat King's voice echoes, telling that rats must be alert at all times. The voice made Splinter scared, afraid that his greatest enemy that is not the Shredder has returned to torment him. The Rat King announces his return and laughs evilly. Splinter is in disbelief, telling he sent him to his death, to which the Rat King remarks that he did. Splinter asks why he didn't escape, to which the Rat King says there is no escape. Splinter tries to move away, but Rat King taunts him, claiming he can never run away with his feverish body and stamps his feet and tries to take control of him and accept his rule. Splinter refuses, to which he has a swarm of rats cover him to form a giant rat, laughing creepily as it happens. He then has the rat to try devouring Splinter. He then taunts him on how he is his teacher, and that he is is his master. The Rat King then pops out and holds Splinter's head and tells him to be one with him, that it will only cost him his soul. And he succeeds in breaking Splinter, turning him insane and into an animalistic rat, much to his joy. However, Splinter receives a flashback to the premier when they are celebrating their mutation day to which his late wife, Tang Shen appears with his infant daughter, Hamato Miwa. Splinter turns back to normal and defeats the Rat King and has a brief fall down a column. Apparently, the Rat King really died from his fall in the end of "Of Rats and Men" and what all happened was the Rat King's influence posthumously, happening due to Splinter's fever. Splinter then remarks to the Rat King's skeleton that he may have been his teacher, but never his master and comes to terms with his new mutated self.

Personality

Rat King: Once upon a time, you were a man, and then you became a beast, and now you are nothing! a void, a shadow embrace the darkness, Hamato Yoshi!
Splinter: To embrace it is to become a monster such as YOU, LEAVE ME!
~ Splinter to Rat King

Unlike other incarnation of the Rat King, who either want to take over New York for their rats or just want to do it for his purpose. He then mutated some rats into becoming giants and names them after many Roman Emperors. Unlike other incarnations who wants to be left alone and only attack the turtles when they invade his territory, the 2012 Rat King is a completely heinous sociopath who cruelly causes others harm for his own selfish reasons. When he first appeared, he acted as though concerned about his colleague, but he was the one who mutated him to create the neuro-chemical that would make him psychic. After becoming the Rat King, he renounced humanity and became devoted to overthrowing them to the point that he was willing to commit genocide. During this, he takes over Splinter and watches in sadistic and horrific glee when the turtles are forced to fend for their lives against their master. Another difference between him and past Rat King character is that he's a hypocrite with his "brothers". He goes on about rat's being preferable to humans and how much he cares for them, yet he doesn't bat an eye when he experiments on them (one of them became a grotesque blob that was incapable of movement and crying out in pain, yet that didn't bother him) or sacrificing them in battle.

What makes Falco stand out, however, is his lack of regard for life. On top of conducting several unethical experiments, he betrayed a co-worker of his despite knowing the consequences of him getting injected by the neuro-chemical. He is also cruel; taking sadistic delight at mind-controlling Splinter and making him attack his sons.

Overall, this version of the Rat King is a hypocritical, sadistic monster who attempted genocide several times to gain power over the human race.

​​Trivia

  • Mikey tried to call him Verminator, as a homage to the Archie comics from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character Verminator X, who even makes an appearance in the Mutant Apolcalypse arc as the central antagonist.
  • Michelangelo was extremely annoyed that the Rat King nicknamed himself, as he's the one who usually comes up with the nicknames. He tried numerous alternatives, such as Lord Rattington, Count Ratula, Verminator, etc. Until he begrudgingly accepts it.
  • Rat King is the name of a phenomena in which many rats get stuck together by their tails.
  • Victor Falco is extremely similar to the H.P. Lovecraft character Herbert West, who was portrayed by Falco's voice actor, Jeffrey Combs, in the "Re-Animator" film series. West was a scientist who experimented with a green substance similar in appearance (but not in effect) to the Ooze. As the Rat King, his appearance somewhat resembles the appearance of Scarecrow from The New Batman Adventures (1997), who Combs also voiced.
  • The Rat King's outfit (long black coat and black wide-brimmed hat) is nearly identical to the standard outfit worn by medieval plague doctors. This is noteworthy in that the Bubonic plague was spread by fleas being carried by rats.
  • Several of the Rat King's giant mutant rats from "Of Rats and Men" were named after Roman emperors as Caligula, Claudius, Nero and Commodus.
  • The Rat King represents Splinter's inner demon, his fear of losing himself to his animal side. He is one the first one to use Splinter's animalistic side to hurt him as he made him directly attack the Turtles when he mind-controlled him. Because of this, his actions haunt Splinter even after his death, which is fitting considering that Splinter fully comes to terms with his new mutant form and life after he defeated the Rat King in his vision while trapped in the deepest point of the city.
  • He is the first major villain in the show to die. And considering he is the show's first truly heinous villain, it is very fitting.
  • This version of the Rat King is the first time since the Mirage Comics version that the Rat King had died.

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1987 TV series: Shredder | Bebop & Rocksteady | Baxter Stockman | Krang | Rat King | Lord Dregg | Antrax | Barney Stockman | Don Turtelli | General Tragg | Groundchuck & Dirtbag | Krangazoids
1997 TV series: Foot Clan (Shredder) | The Rank (Dragon Lord | Wick | Dr. Quease | Good Dragon | Rank Lieutenant | Clone Turtles) | Simon Bonesteel | Silver | Monkey Thief Mick and Monkey Thief Dick | VamMi | Bing | Chi Chu | Heavy Duke
2003 TV series: Utrom Shredder (Future Self, Tengu Shredder & Cyber Shredder) | Karai | Baxter Stockman | Rat King | Drako | Ultimate Ninja | Hun | Darius Dun | Sh'Okanabo | Dark Turtles | Viral | Torbin Zixx | Agent Bishop | General Blanque | Zanramon | Commander Mozar | Lonae | Mr. Touch and Mr. Go | Abigail Finn | Parker | Harry Parker | Kluh | Ammag | Levram Wizard | Dragon Face | Johnny | Two Ton | Yukio Mashimi | Moriah | Weasel | Master Sliver | Savanti Romero | Skonk | Triple Threat | Nano | Mephos | Boss Zukko | High Mage | Lord Hebi | The Brotherhood (Councilor) | Garbageman
2012 TV series: Foot Clan (Shredder, Karai, Tiger Claw, Rahzar, Fishface, Bebop, Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman, Antrax, Shredder Mutants/Mega Shredder, Hattori Tatsu, Chrome Dome & Koga Takuza) | The Kraang (Kraang Prime & Kraang Subprime) | Triceraton Empire (Emperor Zanmoran & Captain Mozar) | Lord Dregg | Armaggon | Savanti Romero | Newtralizer | Slash | Kavaxas | Rat King | Purple Dragons (Hun & Fong) | Visiozo's Mob (Don Vizioso, Fulci Twins & The Hammer) | Snakeweed | Spider Bytez | Overmind | Za-Naron | Dracula | Justin | Mutagen Man | Pizza Face | Dream Beavers | Speed Demon | Squirrelanoids | Chimera | Spy-Roach | Maximus Kong | Verminator Rex | Jei
Rise of the TMNT: Baron Draxum | Albearto | Baxter Stockboy | Big Mama | Meat Sweats | Hypno-Potamus | Foot Brute | Foot Lieutenant | Warren Stone | Repo Mantis | Evil League of Mutants | Shredder

Movies
TMNT 1 & 2: Foot Clan (Shredder, Danny Tatsu, Tokka and Rahzar)
TMNT 3: Walker | Lord Norinaga
TMNT (2007): Stone Generals (Aguila, Gato, Mono & Serpiente) | Foot Clan (Karai)
TMNT (2014): Foot Clan (Shredder, Eric Sacks, Karai & Baxter Stockman)
TMNT: Out of the Shadows: Krang | Foot Clan (Shredder, Karai, Baxter Stockman, Bebop and Rocksteady)
Batman vs. TMNT: Foot Clan (Shredder & Baxter Stockman) | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul, Ubu & Talia al Ghul) | Joker | Harley Quinn | Scarecrow | Mr. Freeze | Poison Ivy | Bane | Two-Face | Penguin

Video Games
NES Platformer: Shredder | Mechaturtle
TMNT II: The Arcade Game: Shogun | Tora
TMNT: Mutants in Manhatten: Shredder

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