Issue 4: It Strikes Like Thunderball

    Here's some of what you will see if you E-Mail me and have me send you the ZIP file of Issue 4.

    Okay, to start off, the title I lifted directly from that Tom Jones song for the James Bond movie of the same name as the Hero.  In fact I make a slight reference to this little joke in this issue.  As I have said in the past, most of the heroes and villains in the earlier part of the series were cheap knock-offs of other characters Thunderball(with the exception of Space Ninja, Samurai Sam and the Crimson Cape). This is the first issue where I break from that trend and from this point on, there are no more knock offs (except those already developed).

    We start in a bank being robbed by some ordinary punks, and as has been the norm in the past issues, Space Ninja is not the main character in the issue.  In fact, we don't even see the Ninja until 2 pages later.  In enters Thunderball and he kicks some criminal ass.  We see that he has super speed and this energy blast he calls a Thunderball, get it?  Thunderball. A Stimulating ConversationA ball of thunder . . . philistines.  Knowing they are going to get their asses beat, the run away and only a few seconds later the cops arrive.  Here's the catch, they think he did the crime because all of the cameras were disabled.  Being a man who respects the law, he allows himself to be taken into custody.  At frame 18, Space Ninja sees the arrest and is glad his day hasn't been ruined.

    At the police station, we have the typical booking session with the criminal hamming it up for the camera.  Then we cut back to the headquarters of Justice Incorporated which was trashed in the previous issue by Doctor Octagon and his lackeys, including Coilman. Colonel Riley of the New National Guard Helps RebuildYork National Guard and his men are helping JI rebuild.  As would later be known, Justice Incorporated was actually a hero group, hired by the city to aid the police force.  Of course being a hired entity put them at the will of the city and Colonel Riley was the liaison officer between the two parties.  The Colonel is well aware that with the departure of Coilman and Aerobic Woman, things are tough.

    I'm going to bring up a couple of side notes here.  First, like the Space Ninja Annual #1, the two At Least He's Not Positor's Bitchissues I did of Justice Incorporated are lost to me, but in those two issues, I really got into the story of a group of "mercenary" super heroes working for the man.  In reality, those two issues were better than the early Space Ninja comics themselves.

Speaking Of Positor Anyway, we cut back to the jail where Thunderball is having a conversation with a villain named Positor who is in there for blowing up the Denton building.  Obvious plot weakness here is that the villain thinks Thunderball to be a bad guy too and spills some information to him. Outside, we see Beetlemania with a hand grenade.  Explosions ensue and many police officers are zapped by the villain.  He breaks open Positor and Thunderball's cell. Beetlemania Attacks A Cop

    As I have also said before, The Crimson Cape was designed primarily for purposes of comic relief, and in this issue he does not fail to be typecast into this role.  I did the "can of paint on the Yeah, Pretty Shamefulseesaw board which gets knocked into the air and onto our heroes head" gag.  Even I'll say that is is pretty damn weak, but I'll be the first person to say I'll go for the cheesy laugh.  But I will also say that the fact that I made a Mexican dude the brunt of a lot of degrading gags is pretty embarrassing, but I was young and not a very sensitive person.  Back at the police station, Beetlemania has freed Positor and recovered his Magno-Gloves.  They then offer to let Thunderball join them and instead of doing the smart thing like get into their good graces so he can reveal them later, he threatens to kick their butts and gets zapped for his stupidity.  The bad guys haul ass but not before Positor uses his Magno-Gloves to remove every metal object from a police officer giving us the old "heart printed boxers" bit. Thunderball Gets Hit

    At least this time Thunderball decides not to stay around and get arrested again and runs away from the trashed police station.  Space Ninja and Lightning Bolt happen to be nearby and go to see if they can be any help.  Apparently they have head of Thunderball before (how, I don't know). The Ninja Gets Hit (Notice A Trend).Space Ninja tried to catch the guy but gets a Thunderball blast for his efforts.  Lightning bolt tries to take a shot at Thunderball, but Thunderball outruns it.  This is one of those comic book discrepancies that really pisses off comic book purists.  Thunderball is fast, but since thunder is an integral part of his name one can only assume that he runs at the speed of sound (741.1 miles per hour).  Lightning bolt flies and shoots lightning, therefore the speed of light (186,282 miles per second).  Therefore, Lightning Bolt's blast should have hit Thunderball before Thunderball's brain could have sent the signal to his mutates muscles to start running.  Of course that doesn't really matter because if Lightning Bolt or Thunderball actually ran/flew at their rates they would die from the G-Forces pushing their blood to their backs, away from their brain.  But who really cares, it's just a comic book, and a bad one at that. Hey! It's Lightning Bolt!

    Later at the headquarters of JI, Space Ninja is doing some research on the JI Super-Human Access Computer on Thunderball.  At the same time, TB is tracking Positor with a compass due to the magnetic disturbances that the bad guys Magno-Gloves cause.  As he is doing this, we jump cut The Doctor Talking To His Lackeyto the bad guys hideout and find that they all work for Doctor Octagon (imagine that).  Back at JI HQ, the Ninja has found enough clues to figure out the identity of Thunderball (Always put your faith in an Alta-Vista search).

    Thunderball What The Hell?decides that it is time to strike and does so by knocking on the villains door saying he's from Avon.  Doctor Octagon is about to open the door when he remembers that Avon ladies use the doorbell and that the Ninja had tried that trick before, so he sends Positor to take care of the person at the door.  Of course the inept villain gets his tail kicked by the good guy using a garbage can, come cable and then electrifying it with a Thunderball, countering Positor's magnetic force and immobilizing him.

    But Beetlemania shoots our hero in the back, knocking him to the floor. Here we learn that Thunderball has the ability to speed his molecules up so that he can pass through solid objects. JI On The WayYes plot-convenience character design does it again.  TB runs in into Doctor Octagon but just as he is about to blast him, he gets caught by the old "trap door in the floor" bit.  Meanwhile back at JI, the Trouble Alert goes off and the Cape and Ace Archer are told of some explosions in the warehouse district.  Explosions always mean the villains hideout, right?  So they head out.

It's A Gas At least Doctor Octagon has a decent trap set up.  The pit that Thunderball fell into starts filling up with radioactive gas, but our heroes from Justice Incorporated arrive in time.  Ace Archer shoots a freeze arrow at Octagon, but the lead villain, as always, throws down a smoke bomb and escapes.  The Cape pulls Thunderball out of the pit and so wraps up the hero/villain conflict for this issue.  But it is not over with.  Back at JI headquarters, Space Ninja lets Thunderball know that he knows who Thunderball is (sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine).  No for reasons unexplained, Thunderball know the identity of Space Ninja.  The agree not to let anyone else know.  The issue ends with Thunderball becoming a member of Justice Incorporated.

    So what's coming up in issue 5?  A trip to Japan!  Gold stealing hijackers!  Saying good bye to friends!  Hack the cab driver, and ninja assassins.  There will be plenty of Samurai Sam and another rip-off of a classic movie gag.

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