Ninjak vol 2 #6
Acclaim Comics/Valiant Heroes (August, 1997)“This World’s Finest?” WRITER: Kurt Busiek CO-PLOTTER: Robert Washington III PENCILER: Neil Vokes INKER: Mike Avon Deming COLORING: Atomic Paintbrush LETTERERS: Comicraft’s Dave & OG ASSISTANT EDITOR: Alex Glass EDITOR: Jeff Gomez
X-O Manowar (in this continuity game…programmer? Creator?…Donovan Wylie) mistakes Ninjak for his old enemy Pendleton due to him being digital or something. I sadly only have one issue of this version. Ninjak convinces him he’s one of the good guys (after the obligatory hero fight) and they plan to meet to find the kidnapped witnesses. The school is still buzzing over Denny giving Shelly flowers and Town is ready to step aside. Meanwhile Annie is covering for Denny and their mom finds out. They’re in trouble but even after Ninjak and X-O manage to chase off the Dark Dozen and rescue the hostages there is a bigger issue…Ninjak is served a lawsuit by Acclaim!
What they got right: The hero fight is thankfully short, unnecessary as it might be but I’ll get to that. We see more of Ninjak’s influence on Denny and Annie is actually trying to help Denny rather than impose her life choices on him. Ninjak also recognizes Donovan because he’s famous in gaming circles and the faceplate doesn’t hide his face very well, which actually leads to more bonding between the two heroes. Had this version of the Valiant universe gone on I could see them as Superman/Batman type friends (pre-52), which goes into the title of the issue. It also makes me wish I had checked this series out.
What they got wrong: Who is this Pendleton guy? It’s never explained. While we meet Donovan’s sister (who serves as that support I keep talking about) and some general is mentioned we don’t even understand why Donovan suspects Ninjak is his enemy. It’s just an excuse to make them fight and bring X-O to Manhattan.
Recommendation: I’m still really enjoying this series. You really should give this a try if you aren’t connected to the original concept.