ROB'S NOTE: May has become the go-to month of the Comic’s Industry (even though National Superhero Day is late April, but whatever… Congress… pshaw). It is when Marvel drops their big movie of the year. May also sees the annual Free Comic Book Day celebration take place on the first Saturday of the Month, so I hope you all got to check that out. May also has 31 days of the month so what better way to celebrate the wonderful world of sequential art with the 31 Days of Comics?
Seth Hahne, who runs the blog GoodOkBad, has put together the 31 Days of Comics challenge. A daily challenge in which you are given a category and you have to fill it with a comic that you think fits it the best. You’re all on the internet, I shouldn’t have to explain it to you. For the rest of the month I will be taking this challenge. It is my hope it encourages others to make and share their own lists either in the comments here or on their own websites. The sharing not only might turn comic fans on to works they have yet to sample but maybe catch the eye of a few non-comic fans and highlight the diversity of the form.
Our prompt for Day 26 “A Guilty Pleasure Comic”
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
Written by Chris Hastings
Pencils and Inks by Kent Archer, Christopher Hastings
Colors by Carly Monardo, Anthony "Nedroird" Clark
I have issues with this category. A guilty pleasure, I guess, is supposed to be something that you shouldn’t like for various reasons but still have a fondness for. To me guilty pleasures make sense only when talking about food, which can actually be objectively bad for you. When it comes to entertainment however I think I’ve grown out of this concept. Guilty pleasure, as applied to comic books, I think comes from that period of time in your life when you combine the general feeling of people telling you “you’re too old for comics” and actually giving a fuck about what other people think. Guilty pleasures suggest you should be ashamed of what you are enjoying, and I no longer have that shame. You’re talking to a guy who not only religiously watches Pretty Little Liars, but listens to a podcast about it.
That being said, the entry needs an answer. I decided to approach it from the following perspective.
“If somebody saw me reading this in public it would probably produce the weirdest faces when I explain what it is about and why I like it.”
And for that, we have Dr. McNinja.
Dr. McNinja is, as the name implies, a ninja who also happens to be a doctor. As awesome as that sounds it creates some internal conflicts as he is driven by the twin desires to heal and to kill. In fact he is often criticized by his parents who are disappointed that their ninja son also became a doctor. Oh, and his medical school advisor was a clone of Benjamin Franklin.
To say this comic is based around the highest of high concepts is an understatement.
Dr. McNinja is joined by his sidekick Gordito Delgado, a 12 year-old boy who grew a full mustache through sheer force of will in desire to become a man. He wields two revolvers that were given to him by his circus performer father who was killed by assassins from P.E.T.A.. He also rides a pet dinosaur named Yoshi. McNinja also has a receptionist Judy, who is a gorilla who understands English and speaks in sign language, which Dr. McNinja does not know.
Probably Dr. McNinja’s “best” enemy is King Radical, who before becoming royalty was known as Sir Sicknasty of Spades. King Radical is a crime boss whose illegal actions don’t appear to be malicious and often end up helping Dr. McNinja through roundabout ways. It is later revealed that he is a time-traveler from an alternate universe who, in his time, invented pizza, basketball, skateboarding, jet skis, and tennis.
His most deadly enemy is Frans Rayner, who is basically what happens if you mix Jean-Claude Van Damme with Michael Dudikoff (from the American Ninja movies). He was a former member of the Guild of American Ninja who decided to commit genocide against all ninjas. He has the ability to manipulate his body so that only one part of his body has a weakness. In his first storyline this was in the middle of his butt cheeks.
I can see the face you are making, don’t worry it gets weirder.
In order to explain EVERY NINJA MOVIE EVER, in Dr. Ninja’s world there is the Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu. The law explains that one ninja is an unstoppable fighting force while a horde of ninjas become cannon fodder for one heroic person. Frans Rayner, in my favorite story line, takes advantage of this by creating clones of Dr. McNinja to weaken his power. Dr. McNinja decides then to form an alliance with an unwilling Rayner to kill all of his clones so that he once again becomes an unstoppable fighting force.
Not insane enough for you yet?
How about this. The personification of Death in the McNinjaverse is a skeleton with a pencil thing mustache who is a dressed as a maître d’. He takes those that die to Purgatory. Which is an extremely large restaurant with the worst service ever.
The fact is I can go on and on about all of the batshit crazy aspects of Dr. McNinja. It is almost 100% purely plot driven. It contains an evil mime based on Ronald McDonald.
And I love it.
It’s just very hard to explain to others why I do and I guess the looks on their faces makes me think I should consider this a guilty pleasure.
Only I don’t. At all. It’s awesome and if you don’t like it you are not awesome.
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