Here's some of what you will see if you E-Mail me and have me send you the ZIP file of Issue 5.
now we've arrived at Issue 5, and this issue is really the first issue
where the Ninja is the main focus of the story and from this issue on,
that is the case. This issue also signals some other changes.
I make the first attempts at developing the characters and the story line.
First off we start at Justice Incorporated where the Ninja is talking to the Crimson Cape and lets him know that he and Samurai Sam have decided to leave JI and take care of some business regarding other Japanese countrymen of theirs who have been causing some problems in Surf City as well as back in Japan.
The Ninja grabs a cab and heads for the airport. A key point here is that the cab driver, soon to be known as Hack, will make several appearances in the comic books and actually befriends the Ninja. This is one of those "character development" and "plot line" guys and not padding like some of the characters in previous issues.
Space Ninja gets to the airport and to get a seat, he actually pulls his sword out on the ticket guy. Now granted, we would all like to do this especially when they give us that insincere smile and try to explain why our seat was given away, but this was a little out there. Then again, it's a damn comic book. If a dude can fire a laser out of a prehensile tail, then he can carry a sword on a plane.
The flight takes off and shortly thereafter, two jets come alongside the airliner with the obvious intent of hijacking the plane. Now unlike the hijackers from Issue 2, these guys have a plan and my hope was to truly test Space Ninja's skill. I think one of the reasons the stories started to get better was the fact that by this time I had stopped playing Marvel Super heroes and was actually just drawing comics.
Now because I was a big James Bond fan, I love complicated plans. Ironically, most villains plans in comic books are also complicated, and accordingly doomed to failure. This one involves two smaller planes connecting to the airliner and then landing on the wings. They then cut into the cargo hold and steal a very specific type of cargo using a cool device that turns solid stuff into dust. At the same time they hold the passengers hostage and that's when the Ninja springs into action and of course gets his ass zapped, some things never change. But the Ninja recovers and takes out the hijacker that was inside the plane. The Ninja finds out from this dude that his boss is Gold Dragon, only to get sliced like a Halibut at a Benihanna. As always the villain, who we only see the head of, escapes by using some web straps on the Ninja. Of course this is not the main problem. We are talking real problems in the fact that the pilot was taken out by the terrorists (put to sleep early in the hijacking bit).
So we get to take a break from the action with Tilley trying to hawk subscriptions to a comic book that was never printed in any quantity beyond the one issue that I am making the scans from. It is in this one page bit called "Ninja News" that I develop this obsession with the putty knife joke. I can't remember where it started, and looking back on it, I have no idea what I found funny in it, but then again, this was like 1985.
Returning to the story I sink to the level of redoing one of the lamest gimmicks done in the movie and TV regarding aircraft is crisis. Yep, I do the "teach the guy who can't fly a plane how to land" gag. Granted this is a favorite mechanism because of the supposed level of tension that can arise but in my books, it just comes off stupid. There are a few pathetic "I'm confused" bits and a overfly the rural family scenes which culminates in the plane touching down without the landing gear down. But I don't stop there, no I have him running down some small animals that have no place at an airport. Then I have him hit a water tower so that the plane looks like it is surfing the pipeline. This of course leads to an air traffic control tower bit and complementing wipeout. Sad really.
Then I really sink to the bottom of the material barrel when I rip off the gag from the movie Airplane, which was just a flick ripping off gags from other airplane disaster movies. Yes, I go for the plane smashing through the terminal bit. I didn't say that I was being totally creative in my attempts to add plot and character development.
then the bit ends, with little to no reaction from the police or airport
authorities. Meanwhile Samurai Sam is spying on some of the Evil
Kaibab Ninja, Blue and Pink Ninja's to be exact. They spot Sam and
a chase scene ensues that results in Samurai Sam taking a leap off of a
very tall building, but uses his gravity powers to come to a soft landing.
So what's coming up in Issue 6? Lots of ass kicking Ninja training (no joke), meeting the Master and Redwing, new weapons and a friend gets tortured. See all of this in Issue 6 - Going back To School - Part II.