First Appearance: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Konami, NES, 1989)
M.O.: Expert ninja; Leader of Foot Clan
Known crimes: Multiple kidnappings of April O’Neil; Numerous failed attempts to conquer New York City with the combined might of his ninja clan and Technodrome

Profile by Wesley Fenlon? | March 28, 2011

The Shredder has it rough. You wouldn’t think so at first—the warrior once known as Oroku Saki wears a suit of armor brimming with razor-sharp blades that make even his shoulders deadly weapons in any battle. He’s got an endless supply of Foot Clan ninjas outfitted with enough swords, nunchucks, bombs and shurikens to take over a country. The Shredder’s even best pals with Krang, a gross-looking but well-equipped brain dude from Dimension X. Krang supplies a gigantic rolling battle fortress known as the Technodrome, an army of mutant warriors and his own formidable battle suit body.

Yet time and again, The Shredder is defeated by four turtles, a rat, and a guy who likes the violent side of hockey a bit too much. The numbers just don’t add up: the Turtles have two swords, two sai, a pair of nunchucks and a big useless stick between them. The Shredder’s forces have each of those weapons by the hundreds, plus way cooler stuff. The Shredder rides around in the crazy-dangerous Technodrome. What do the Turtles have? That’s right—a van and a blimp. Blimps are made to be shot down.

Yet The Shredder’s forces never seem to be able to slow down the Turtles. Little of that blame can be placed upon his bladed shoulders—perhaps with a few lessons in battle strategy, The Shredder could use his army of thousands to overwhelm his adversaries rather than gradually supplying them with manageable batches of Foot ninjas.

After all, when the time comes to get up close and personal, The Shredder always puts up a good fight. Sometimes it even looks like he’s going to put the Turtles in their place. He’s no pushover with that giant sword and de-mutation gun; if the four Turtles didn’t gang up on The Shredder every single time, he’d beat them without breaking a sweat. No doubt about it.

It’s just his bad luck that the Turtles cheat every time. The Shredder’s entire life is pretty tragic, when you really look at it—he only turned to evil because Splinter’s master eloped with the girl of his dreams, and he can’t even take over a measly city like New York without being thwarted by four overgrown turtles. Can’t a guy ever catch a break?

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