Ever since the heyday of EC back in the fifties, comics have had a pretty solid relationship–Wertham aside–with the horror genre, and as we enter the final stretch to Halloween, my thoughts have fallen onto the high points of the genre.
Whether it’s the historically inspired chills of From Hell or Torso, the thrills of action-horror like Hellboy, the genuine creepiness of Japanese titles like Mail, or a dozen others, horror comics have given us some amazing reads. But there’s one thing that blows them all away.
I am referring, of course, to this:
Dr. McNinja #8: Revenge of the Hundred Dead Ninja
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, I’ll sum up: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is a webcomic about a doctor who is also a ninja, and is thus torn between his desire to heal and his need to kill. As you might expect from the title, he has adventures along with his gorilla receptionist, Judy, and his sidekick, a twelve year-old gunslinger named Gordito who grew a handlebar moustache through sheer force of will. It is also the greatest thing ever.
Seriously, at this point, words can’t really capture the way I feel about what Christopher Hastings, Kent Archer and Carly Monardo are doing over there, but rest assured that my heart has developed boners for it, mostly thanks to things like this:
King Radical. The most radical man in the radical land. I don’t think I’m overselling things here when I say that as far as achievements in sequential art go, The Adventures of Dr. McNinja makes Watchmen look like bullshit.
But anyway, back to “Revenge of the Hundred Dead Ninja.”
Under normal circumstances, I’d offer up a more detailed summary, but since you can just head over there to read the entire series for yourself, I’ll just hit the highlights. All you really need to know is that in the previous story–which has the amazing title of “D.A.R.E. to Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence”–Dr. McNinja ended up killing a bunch of guys who were jacked up on drugs that gave them artificial ninja abilities. And in this story, they come back from the dead.
With a zombie clone of Ben Franklin.
Okay, so technically I think that’s actually popping and locking, and even more technically, that only happens in a dream sequence, but the part about the ninjas (and Ben Franklin’s clone) coming back from the dead?
Fortunately, Cumberland–under the direction of their ex-astronaut mayor–has a plan in place for just such an occurrence: Dr. McNinja will kill them all, a process that involves a gorilla ramping over a pile of flaming automobiles in a 2007 Honda Accord while the Doctor holds onto a grappling line.
Clearly, this is the single greatest use of the undead in modern fiction.
At least until #8, where Dr. McNinja fights Dracula.
On the moon.
So awesome. So, so awesome.