Ninjak volume 2 #12
Acclaim Comics/Valiant Heroes (February, 1998)“All The Marbles” WRITERS: Robert L. Washington & Kurt Busiek PENCILER: Neil Vokes INKER: Mike Oeming COLORING: Atomic Paintbrush LETTERER: Dave Lanphear ASSISTANT EDITOR: Alex Glass EDITOR: Jeff Gomez
Akuma splits Denny and Ninjak, the latter being the brother of the man who created the game. His name is Tatsuo, and he has a score to settle with Akuma, but first he needs to get past the Dark Dozen. Denny and Tatsuo are still linked, and Denny uses his knowledge of the game (which the Dozen is still stuck following) to help him defeat them. Akuma ends up defeating himself when his spell backfires. But Akuma isn’t dead, just in hiding. The lawsuit is dropped since Ninjak saved everybody, Shelley splits up with Town which he blames Denny for, and Denny resumes his job at the comic store while he and Tatsuo try to figure out how to merge back into Ninjak.
What they got right: As someone who claims Firestorm as one of his favorite characters as well as a gamer (casual, mind you), I like how Denny uses his game knowledge help Ninjak win, and he’s proven right about not killing any of the Dark Dozen when Akuma is defeated and they resume their human forms. The fight is well done and has already been a Friday Night Fight.
What they got wrong: I’m guessing they wanted Shelley out of the story for some reason. Town has practically been trying to get her and Denny together even while dating her. He probably suspects Shelley was only dating him to get close to Denny and never had a problem with that. When did this change?
Other Notes: While the final issue of this comic Ninjak does make appearances in a few other Acclaim/Valiant stories, some of which I have and we’ll be looking at before saying goodbye to this universe.
Recommendation: A poor adaptation doesn’t mean the story isn’t good. (Although too often it is, which is why they slapped a popular series name on it.) This is nothing like the classic or current Ninjak comic. However, it’s still a very enjoyable superhero comic that I recommend if you aren’t too attached to the original.