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|“||Through your eyes brothers, I finally see the world for what it really is, this city is invested. Eight million parasites scrambling around in their pointless lives spreading disease. Forcing us to live in the shadows like vermin, no more.||„|
|~ Falco to his rat army.|
|“||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. 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 was voiced by Jeffrey Combs, who also voiced Brainiac.
Rat King made his first appearance as Victor Falco in Monkey Brains, where he experimented on his former partner in an attempt to gain psychic powers. In his second appearance, he tried to gain back his psychic powers again but got caught in an accident thus gaining the ability to control rats and thus become the Rat King. Furthermore, he learned how to fight while blind.
|“||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 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 seflish 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.
- Mikey tried to call him Verminator, as a homage to the Archie comics from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character Verminator X.
- 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.
- This version of the Rat King is the first time since the Mirage Comics version that the Rat King had died.