It's 1986. You know what's hot? Ninjas are hot. Robots are hot. Why not make a comic book about ninjas who are also robots? Well, actually, there are many reasons why not. But you know comic book people, they won't let things like "common sense" and "good taste" stop them from jumping on that bandwagon with both feet.
And there you go, "Ninja-Bots". There's the cover and everything. Do you really need to actually look at the comic book inside? You know that this is gonna be some fad-huffing nonsense where they came up with the name and a cover so the distributors could pretend they were actually ordering something of even the slightest bit of worth, that the people who bought it saw the "#1" on the cover and immediately took it home and put it inside a plastic bag, hoping that "Ninja-Bots" would become the next "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". And it sat in a box with other must-have number-ones until Junior went to college, came home on winter break on his senior year, tripped over the box of comics, and the next day took it to the local comic book store where all these potential collectors items were purchased for pennies on the dollar, because as it turns out, there was only one "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". Capitalism in action.
But my point is, nobody actually READ this thing. Written, drawn, printed, distributed, bought, sold, bought again - nobody actually said to him or herself, "gee, what I really want to read is a heavily-inked, totally ponderous comic book starring Ninja-Bots". It's OK if you just walk away now, because whatever image you have in your mind of the interior of this comic is, I guarantee you, way more entertaining than what's actually in there.
What? You honestly want to check this thing out? You're sure? Okay, then. Don't say you weren't warned. Here we go.
Look at that, page 1 and already we're seeing the moon, and a guy in a ninja mask, and another guy sitting in the lotus position contemplating the infinite. So we know that the writers of "Ninja-Bots" have done their research into the deepest, most arcane Mysteries Of The Orient! But enough of this contemplative scene-setting. When will we get to the NINJA ACTION?
Why, we'll introduce our NINJA ACTION with this tasteful double-page spread of ninjas doing what they do best - posing with swords, blowing darts from little blowguns, brandishing Ninja Throwing Stars, and there's even a little ninja in the background carefully crawling on a rope or a platform or something. So cute.
Here a ninja is demonstrating the ancient ninja technique of "jumping onto a sword ass-first". This does not impress Tao-Sun, The Ancient Master. That's some good Japanese name research there, fellas.
Yup, ninjas are great at mass slaughter AND at mixing metaphors.
Let's see, we need another vaguely Asian person in this comic about ninjas. Just give Ratu here (another great Japanese name!!) a little bun of hair, and a fu-manchu moustache. Dammit, who knew we'd need to draw so many Asians in this comic book about ninjas?
The great thing about this exciting comic book about ninjas and robots is all the talking. Talk 'em to death, that's the Ninja Way.
PRO TIP: silhouettes are really easy to draw.
I bet you didn't know that ninjas are actually sworn guardians of a cosmic heritage brought down by somebody named Sin, the first master to touch the sun! "Sin", another great authentic Japanese name there.
Remember how we became ninjas? Remember how we learned the art of concealment from a giant iguana who just lies around in the sun all day in plain view of everybody, because he's an iguana and doesn't give a shit? Seriously, iguanas don't care!
So what we've got here is a bunch of pages of "Ninja-Bots" where two ninjas sit around and talk about how they were, in fact, ninjas.
Didn't I warn you about this comic? I totally did.
Yup, looks like they shared many a deep bonding-around-the-fire experience with their old master, whose name is now apparently "Sin-The" because the letterer couldn't read the script, and the editor couldn't be bothered to, you know, edit.
Old Sin-The talked a lot about the giants of glistening metal who slept, awaiting the force of the demon Tengu to animate their mechanical forms. But you didn't care, did you Ratu? No, all you cared about was becoming the ultimate warrior! Classic Ratu.
OH MAN, check this out, a ninja totally killed somebody when they weren't ready! WHAT KIND OF COWARDLY BEHAVIOR IS THIS? Everybody knows ninjas fight with honor and dignity on the battlefield, always honest and forthright about their ninja goals! That's the ninja way!
Tao-sun discovered Sin-The's death and, as is the way of all ninja, ripped off Ratu's hand with a slimy tentacle. This is the ancient ninja technique known as 'what the hell, I don't even know any more'.
PROTIP: another great way to pad out your comic book is close-ups of characters' eyes as the captions solemnly repeat information the reader already knows.
Now leave this mystic realm, Ratu, before I rip off your other hand and shave off your fu manchu moustache! No one will know you're Asian if you don't have a fu manchu moustache! All Asians have fu manchu moustaches! Well, in this comic they do, anyway.
Not to be denied, Ratu uses all his ninja steath and his highly developed ninja powers of observation to find the secret hidden shrine, which was secretly hidden as a completely inconspicuous sculpture of an enormous monster head, floating in a swamp. Clever, those ninjas!
And now Ratu's vengeance will be swift! Swifter than the previous centuries he has spent in the pursuit of revenge!
Now I know what you're thinking, you're thinking that we're pretty far into this Ninja-Bots comic and so far we've had plenty of Ninja but precious little Bot. Well, brace yourselves, because here they come, the Ninja-Bots. Are you ready?
Yes! Apparently in the middle of their jazzercise routine, drawn without any reference to either ninjas or robots - finally we see the Ninja-Bots!
Hardly worth the wait, but then again, I DID warn you.
Now I know what you were thinking. "Surely THESE lame-ass things can't actually be the Ninja-Bots that this whole comic is about!" Well, here's some dialog that makes it painfully clear this is the payoff of pages and pages of plodding, densely-inked nonsense.
Well, we've seen ninjas, and we've seen Ninja-Bots. Surely there are no surprises remaining from this comic.
OR ARE THERE?
I've gotta admit, I did not see this coming, that our super ninja Tao-Sun would turn into a shambling tentacled horror from beyond the stars. I guess this is the secret ninja fighting art known as "ripping off H.P. Lovecraft."
Unfortunately the bat-winged, Cthulu-esque might of Tao-Sun's hideous star creature body is no match for the Ninja-Bots, who, being robots, have mastered the ancient ninja technique of shooting zap rays. Pew! Pew pew pew!
And the hideous mass of star-monster becomes even more hideous as it melts away to stinky nothing.
MOTHER OF GOD IS THIS THE END OF SUPER NINJA TAO-SUN THE NINJA STAR LIZARD???
No it is not, because Tao-Sun the Ninja Star-Lizard is NOW Tao-Sun the Ninja Star-Lizard Robot!
Yes. "Tao-Sun the Ninja Star-Lizard Robot". I warned you about this comic book, several times I did. You have only yourselves to blame.
And by ironically ripping off the Ninja-Bot's hand, Tao-Sun the Ninja Star-Lizard Robot restores honor and balance to the universe. We wouldn't want dishonor or imbalance in a universe inhabited by Ninja Star-Lizard Robots, now would we?
There you have it kids! Ninja-Bots! An incoherent, fad-driven concept, taken to its extreme- and beyond! Now you've experienced it, and nothing can erase it from your mind - not centuries of vengeance, not fu manchu moustaches, not legions of blow-dart tooting ninjas, not star-lizard robots, nothing.
I warned you!
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