Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Night Powers

Written by Christopher Hastings and Benito Cereno
Art by Christopher Hastings, Kent Archer, and Les McClaine

I'm thankful for Dark Horse's program of publishing webcomics in print form.  I'm not likely to read a webcomic very regularly, and find I don't enjoy reading anything lengthy on my computer, so Dark Horse's efforts in publishing titles like Achewood and Wondermark have been appreciated.  Really, I don't think I would have ever stumbled on the genius of Dr. McNinja otherwise.

Dr. McNinja is exactly what he sounds like.  A medical doctor who happens to be a ninja.  He likes helping people, and using his ninja abilities for good.  The doctoring is done just to pay the bills.  This is a pretty crazy comic.  There are three stories from the webcomic reprinted here, and a short story by Cereno and McClaine.

The first story involves the good doctor helping an old college buddy, who is basically a purple Hulk and owner of a successful chain of grocery stores, who is having problems wit two gangs - one run by a Lobster Person, and the other by King Radical, the major villain of this series.

In the second story, Dr. McNinja is hired to infiltrate an ancient Inocktek temple where a tennis champion has to best an ancient machine in tennis combat or the world will end.  The current champ has an injured ankle, and so requires a doctor, but only a ninja doctor could possibly get past all the boobytraps.

The third story has Dr. McNinja begin to fixate on defeating King Radical, who looks a lot like the Burger King king, were he more Exxtreme! (the extra x is there for emphasis).  He acquires a white motorcycle with rainbows painted on it, and this becomes the tool he hopes will help him vanquish his enemy (although there is the possibility that the bike is really a unicorn, with questionable motives.

This book is a lot of fun.  Hastings's work reminds me of Atomic Robo, and does not seem to have any limit in terms of madcapness.  The Dr. is assisted by a mustachioed twelve-year-old who rides a dinosaur, and a quiet female gorilla.  Strange things happen throughout this comic, and the alt-texts included at the bottom of each page are hilarious.  Great stuff - I hope Dark Horse publishes more of these, although I also can envision spending a lot of time getting caught up with this comic on-line.

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