some of what you will see if you E-Mail
me and have me send you the ZIP file of Issue 8.
Okay cats and kittens, this issue is what I refer to as the second generation of Space Ninja. I have divested myself of most of my knock-off villains and am trying to make the stories better. Additionally, The Ninja is actually the main character in the issues. Having said that, I will note that I take advantage of some of Marvel Comics existing story line infrastructure.
We start with a cover story of Space Ninja being cleared of all charges stemming from the previous three issues, ahh American justice. Sushi, having found a new place to live is now looking for a job and wouldn't you know, there is a job for a freelance reporter for the Daily Bugle. Was I begging for a lawsuit or what. He also states his need to check out the water tower on the roof. He runs into that chick Candy, who I still can't draw to save my ass. This is the reason there are so few women in my comics . . . it's not a sexist thing. Sushi gets a ride from the cool cab driver who we have already seen and will see again. At the Bugle, he talks to Robbie Robinson and then Mr. Jameson, who hates Space Ninja almost as much as Spiderman. Needless to say, Sushi doesn't like his boss too much. This Daily Bugle bit doesn't last very long due to the fact that I realized how cheesy it was.
After getting this job, without a resume or any previous writing experience may I add, he changes into his new suit that premiered in Issue 7, and I give the readers a nice profile shot. This is a twofold gimmick. First is because I was trying to show them that my art was improving (not much). The seconds reason was due to the fact that I am not very good at angled perspective. Boom, he runs into the cab driver, Hack again who takes him to the police station. He meets up with Lieutenant Hextler, head of the homicide department in an effort to pick up the dead masters body. Hextler informs the Ninja that the body has disappeared. Needless to say The Ninja isn't very happy and is about to throw down on the cop. Hextler tells him that the body just vanished form the morgue and an 8 pointed throwing star was in its place. The Ninja calls it the Morning Star and states that the master has passed to another plane. He informs Hextler that he will be leaving for the Land of the Rising Sun.
I will note here that I never much bothered with fiscal realities in my stories. Apparently the Ninja has enough money to quickly move to a new apartment as well as make two round trip flights to Japan in a two week period. Was he stealing cash from bad guys? How cares. I never get into the topic and it's too late now to fix it, so lets continue.
The Ninja has an uneventful flight to Japan this time, with no terrorists or villains. He lands at the airport and I slapped in a shot that is about as inaccurately stereotypical of Japanese people as you can get. I lived in Japan for two years and with the exception of the customs officer, I never saw any of the characters depicted in the frame. Here's a tip, if you want to get a quick idea of how Japan really is, don't rent Shogun, go rent Mr. Baseball. It's a dead lock.
Sushi is met by an Orange Ninja (not one of the Evil ones) who is from Kaibab Temple (have I mentioned that the temples name comes from a brand of garden mulch) to pick Sushi up. Just before they leave the airport, there is a page for Space Ninja (BY NAME) on a courtesy phone. When he picks up the handset, all he hears is a gong. After he leaves, a laughing spirit rises from the handset like smoke. I tried for some sort of mystic metaphor here, though I don't actually recall what it was supposed to be.
When the two Ninja arrive at the temple, they find the place has been attacked and burned to the ground. The Ninja orders the Orange Ninja to round up the remaining Ninja for a talk. Yes, it is time to kick major ass. While he is waiting for the roundup, that bird Redwing from the previous issue shows up. Just then, another Kaibab ninja shows up, injured and dying and informs them that it was the evil beings from the golden temple that were responsible for the attack. The Ninja takes action.
The ninja and three others head for this temple. Now I am really proud of these next few pages, because I really had Space Ninja doing some real Ninja stuff, like scaling sheer vertical surfaces with no gear, cutting peoples throats with wire, beating up on people with nunchucks, and even practicing the ninja arts of deception and stealth. This is not to say that I wasn't going to revert to the easy material, I just felt like pointing this out. During this time we find out that Gold Dragon, the villain from issue 5 is the leader of these people. By the way, the Kaibab ninja are calling Space Ninja master.
Next we go through a sequence of fights involving the Ninja and Gold Dragons major lackeys, all of whom wear dragon-like suits. The normal lackeys just wear gray jumpsuits and have normal weapons. The major lackeys have special weapons and powers. Green Dragon has these Wolverine-like claws and Red Dragon shoots flames. However, they all get their asses kicked (well, one actually gets his head cut off), at the expense of Blue Ninja. We soon discover that Pink (?) Ninja, one of the ninja with Sushi, is a plant for Gold Dragon and kills the Green Ninja with them. The Pink Ninja tries to lead Space Ninja into a trap, but Sushi shows some actual brains, figures out the deal and uses Pink Ninja as a shield against Gold Dragon's finger ray which has the ability to turn things into gold. This may sound like a cheesy power, but what happens if you turn organic life into minerals. Huh? Pretty devious, huh?
Gold Dragon is your typical arrogant villain, and this guy is especially arrogant due to the fact that he has a British accent (he's actually from Hong Kong). He considers himself a criminal genius, mostly due to the fact that he controls one tenth of the worlds gold supply. For some reason he reveals that his power doesn't do much good because the things he changes to gold turn to salt after eight hours. That'll give you high blood pressure. Turns out Gold Dragon attacked the temple because it blocked his view of Mount Fuji. Your typical Space Ninja fight ensues, however I really do make an effort to give the fight some life. On the down side, I used the word "pud" in two frames. Now I think I have used that word about one time in the nineties, but in the eighties, man was it big. As the fight comes to a climax, the Ninja reflects Dragons finger ray back at him, turning his arm into solid gold. Gold Dragon, realizing it's better to leave, sets the place on fire and bails. A few frames later, the whole place explodes.
Now we get to the wrap up. The Kaibab ninja have been vindicated and they have a midnight meeting, a time to speak one last time with departed spirits. Sushi throws the Morning Star into the fire and the spirit of the master rises. Being told that the evil ninja have been purged. He asks Space Ninja if he has learned the lesson of killing if only for honor and that his battle for good must continue in America. He makes Orange Ninja the master of the temple in Sushi's absence. Oh by the way, he gets another suit. I end it with the statement "Space Ninja has seen how he must act, and no longer will he use the sword." This does not last.
What will you see in issue 9? The return of Thunderball and his hot sister (who is not drawn that way). The introduction of my first well designed villain. Plus bitch slapping, the Combat Pole and a new training hall.