Quick, what do astronaut ghosts, clones of Ben Franklin, giant lumberjacks punching dinosaurs, and a ninja who is also a doctor have in common? Besides being part of a tedious introduction to my review of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja Volume 2: Time Fist, they are also in the book. (ed. That one got away from you, huh?) Dr. McNinja is a webcomic about a ninja with a medical degree. This trade collects around two years of the webcomic into one book, and that is about three years’ worth of awesome.
That sounds like quite a bargain, Ben, but what kind of book is Dr. McNinja?
Well, mysterious voice, this is one of the silliest comics I have ever read. Try to imagine the best parody of an ‘80s action movie, and combine it with a pure and genuine love for ‘80s action movies. It’s like a crazier, much more over the top, and much less intellectual The Cabin in the Woods. Tropes are dissected and reassembled with manic glee, and then a fifteen year old with a glorious mustache shoots a pirate in a zeppelin. I could describe the completely ludicrous situations that our hero gets into, or I could tell you some of the more ridiculous solutions that he comes up with, but, instead, I will say that the silliest thing in this book did not come from the short Axe Cop crossover at the end. Seriously, when Axe Cop doesn’t out-weird a comic, there is strange stuff inside.
There are three chapters in this trade. We open with the one where Dr. McNinja teams up with a mysterious member of the McNinja clan to fight pirates. This mysterious relation is a farmer named Old McNinja. The second chapter involves a time-travelling mayor, vengeful NASA ghosts that are way scarier than anything in this book has any right to be, and the worst plan ever for getting onto the space shuttle. The third chapter focuses on the Terminator-esque struggle between man and talking dinosaurs with laser guns. This chapter also has my new favorite line of dialogue in a comic book: “Stop it! What’s wrong with you? That’s obviously a man using a dead dinosaur body as a hang glider!”
This is one of the easiest recommendations I can make. The humor is great. The art is pretty awesome. The action is exciting. This is why I love comics. You can do anything, and if you want to have a ninja in a lab coat punch a pirate off of an airboat, you can. No, you must.
Five Jetpacking Triceratopses out of Five