Ninjak vol 2 #10
Acclaim Comics/Valiant Heroes (December, 1997)“Takedown” WRITERS: Robert L. Washington III & Kurt Busiek PENCILER: Steve Butler INKER: Rich Rankin COLORING: Atomic Paintbrush LETTERER: Dave Lamphear & OG ASSISTANT EDITOR: Alex Glass EDITOR: Jeff Gomez
Acclaim calls out Agent Blue…sorry, “Lieutenant” Blue…of Inquest to bring Ninjak in for his copywrite trial. They set up a fake hostage situation to lure him out, causing Denny to leave his new comic job during new comic day (the busiest non-Free Comic Book Day of the week). Denny escapes Inquest’s trap but thanks to some tracking material Blue got on Ninjak they’re able to track him down when Denny tries to use his alter-ego to get Denny closer to Tania. Ninjak is captured, while Zeer gathers the Dark Dozen. Now that people believe in the real Ninjak and Dark Dozen Zeer can finally summon his master, Akuma, to this world.
What they got right: So the whole public battle thing had a purpose. That’s good. Also good is that the legal problem was actually a plot point. Look, I grew up at a time when stories would ignore legal issues and focus on good guys fighting bad guys. I kind of miss that, but at least it’s actually part of the main plot as now Ninjak can’t stop Akuma’s arrival.
What they got wrong: Agent Lieutenant Blue is just annoying. Okay, some history with X-O Manowar means he hates guys in costume and despite his love of being a cop (“once a cop, always a cop”, putting someone on clean-up alone just because he called him “Agent” instead of “Lieutenant” ) he joins an anti-superhero group or something. I don’t know anything about this group other than they’re jerks. Faking a hostage situation and causing untold problems for everybody just to get one guy who saves people? The whole “they’re suing Acclaim for Ninjak’s actions” ignore the fact that the Dark Dozen are the ones causing the problem. If anything THAT’S where the lawsuits should be and again nobody is trying to hunt THEM down. It’s this cynical look at superheroing that bugs me, mostly because that’s all you get nowadays. Also, a Rush Limbaugh is fat joke? Really, writers?
Recommendation: Despite my personal problems with it, it’s still a good story and I at least partially remember where it’s headed so I’m still recommending this series.