Issue 9: Tag

    Here's some of what you will see if you E-Mail me and have me send you the ZIP file of Issue 9.

The issue starts with a new character (a villain) named Jetstream, flying over the city looking for the friend of a mutant who has caused him a lot of trouble.  The mutant is Thunderball and the trouble has to do with events that went on in the Space Ninja Annual # 1.  Now as I have already mentioned (or maybe not), I have lost that issue, but I remember that Thunderball and some other mutants had some action in it and I dismantled Justice Incorporated.
Meanwhile, the Ninja has repaired his battle pole which was damaged in the previous issue.  He has also made the decision that he must not kill unless it is for honor, not anger.  Of course, this moral position fits the comic book paradigm, but ninja are supposed to be killers.  What are you gonna do.  While the Ninja is cruising the city on patrol, Thunderball, out of costume is talking to his sister.  She tells him that Jetstream was around the mall and he suddenly has to leave.  At this point she is unaware that Matt Stanton (Thunderball's real name and the name of an old friend of mine), is Thunderball.  TB feels he has to get Jetstream if he is to be taken seriously as an independent hero.  Also during this bit, I again rip off the Daily Bugle angle.
Jetstream finally finds TB's sisters home and breaks in, attacking some security lackeys.  The Ninja spots the trouble, and TB seems to sense danger coming from his sisters home.  Jetstream has got TB's sister and is demanding that she tell him where her brother Thunderball is.  She has no idea what the villain is talking about and gets slapped around.  But before the bad guy can beat her any more, Space Ninja busts in through the window.  Here I do the "more than one person says the same thing and some responds saying is there an echo" bit.  Like normal, the Ninja gets beat around. Thunderball finally arrives and starts whooping up on Jetstream but eventually gets zapped by a laser.  He then kidnaps TB's sister.  Couldn't see that one coming, could you.
    Afterwards, the Ninja and TB decide what to do, the Ninja finally is informed that the funding for JI had been cut off and they disbanded.  Now I could have done more work on these frames, like telling where the Crimson Cape and Ace Archer and the others went, but I apparently didn't want to.  I could say that I felt it wasn't integral to the plot (which it is).  The fact of the matter was that I just wasn't very good.
    So we cut to Jetstream's hideout where he is really roughing up TB's sister who's name is Errica.  I have to give myself a little pat on the back in the fact that I really could not draw women, and had to continually draw a woman in this issue. Hooray for me.  During these scenes, I conveniently mention that the two are twins and they can feel each others pain.  This will not be the first time I do the twin/brother-sister deal in these comics.  Stay tuned there.  Eventually Thunderball finds the bad guys hide out and wouldn't you know it, a good old fashioned "surrender or I'll hurt the one you care for" gimmick initiates.  Needless to say, TB swaps himself out and the villain gloats over his victory.  As always, the bad guy decides he is going to kill them both anyway.  But before he can zap TB's sister, I cut away to the EBC Excitement page (of crap).  To be brief, it's just another episode where Neilson Killer attacks the gAy Team (who's that for dating of material).
Back to the action, suddenly Space Ninja busts in and I really made an effort to show the Ninja as an action kind of guy with some real fighting skills.  With the Battle Pole as his device, we get a nice series of combat close-ups that end in Jetstream getting tagged (literally if you read the sound effect) and his visor being cracked, forcing him to remove his helmet.  Of course, as is still the case with the first half of the series, the Ninja doesn't get off so easy, and Jetstream uses his own pole against him.  But the Ninja uses some real ninja tricks to defend himself. As Jetstream realizes that he is getting beat, he grabs TB's sister as a shield, causing her brother to react.  In the course of doing so, he gets hurt pretty bad.  His sister has come to terms with her brother being a mutant and runs to aid him.  Ahhhhh.  While the heroes are helping TB, Jetstream takes a cheap shot at the Ninja, knocking him out.  The result of this action is that TB puts the hit on Jetstream and proceeds to put him in the hurt locker, including some good old fashioned knee-to-the-balls action.  The Ninja decides to leave and let TB take the credit for the action (which is true since the Ninja wasn't the major factor).
    As they brother and sister are getting things straightened out, the Ninja has checked out the water tower on his apartment complex mentioned in issue 8.  Turns out it is empty, so he builds his secret training lair.  The frame I drew for this one is pretty good (considering my art skills). As a side note, we cut to Rykers Island Prison and we get a look at the next issue with some scenes of Positor escaping.  I mention this because this scene does not show up in issue 10.
    So what do you have to look forward to in issue 10 other than what I just mentioned?  First off, 18 pages of full color action.  Improving art (on my part) and guest art by Mark Colvin, an old friend of mine from a while back who I have lost touch with.  You also get destruction of public utilities, Taxi Cab crushing, WWF Wrestling moves, faces being crushed into brick walls and lots of mayhem.  It's must see TV (sort of).
 

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