As Nickelodeon prepares for its upcoming Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, fans can get a first look at John Cena's brand-new villain on the animated TV series.
Giving the popular heroes in a half shell a full overhaul, the fourth animated series for the Turtles has already showcased a redesign for Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello. Also along for the ride is an African-American version of April O'Neil and everyone's favorite rat sensei Splinter. Longtime Turtles foe Shredder is missing from the series for now, but don't worry - Nickelodeon is throwing a new villain into the mix.
Wrestling legend Cena will lend his vocal talents to play new baddie Baron Draxum. Described as an "alchemist warrior mutant from the Hidden City," Draxum will be the Big Bad of Rise, causing problems for the rocking reptiles across their first 26-episode run. Over the years, the Turtles have faced-off against the likes of the Shredder, Baxter Stockman, Tokka and Rahzar, and Krang, but Draxum looks to be their most powerful adversary yet. With his undead color scheme and gargoyle look, Draxum is a million miles away from some of the Turtles' campier enemies like Beebop and Rocksteady. While the villain may look a little similar to the masked Shredder fans have come to love and loathe since he arrived in 1984, he promises to be completely different. You can check out artwork of the character (which was revealed at Nickelodeon's Upfront Presentation), below:
Rise is set to focus more on the mythology of the ninja team while exploring the mystical world of sorcery that lurks beneath New York City. Draxum's plan is to come from the darkness of the Hidden City and transform the surface dwellers into his own army of mutants with his insect-like "Oozesquitoes" (a plan that sounds very Game of Thrones-like). As for voicing the villain in the next iteration of the TMNT franchise, Cena can't wait to sink his claws into playing Draxum:
“I’ve always been a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, so getting the opportunity to voice a character, especially the villain Baron Draxum, is truly special."
Alongside wrestling alumni like Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista, Cena seems to be a star on the rise thanks to his roles in the likes of Rise, Daddy's Home, and an upcoming role in the Bumblebee prequel movie.
Saving New York from a blue-skinned monster isn't the only thing that is new though. The Turtles will be getting some new signature weaponry as Raphael puts down his sais and each member of the team will be based on a different species of turtle. Melding what has been established over the past 34 years with a more mythological take on the series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is showing that it isn't just for kids. The series is certainly aiming to appeal to TMNT fans old and new, but it's a case of wait and see on how Draxum fares among the other memorable villains from the long-running franchise.