Updated: Aug 5
Ninjas AND explosions!
Let's pick up right where we left off and go on about what a great-looking page this is.
More of those off-kilter panels make this feel like a sufficient ass-kicking for Locke without eating up tons of pages driving the point home. (Again this comic used to come out one page at a time so action sequences could drag if I didn't keep them tight.)
Of course, the ninjas only attack one at a time and only scratch Locke with their swords because THEY ARE MOVIE NINJAS. In case you forgot. In retrospect, I wish I'd called that out in-story but there's enough nonsense in this one as it is. I'm sure I'll write another ninja story someday so I'll just sock that idea away.
Stock villain says "kill him." CHECK.
You may be tempted to critique 2004 Tim for a little dues ex machina here but in fairness to him I can verify that Locke having different cartridges for his gun was ALWAYS the plan and I know it because I very blatantly stole the idea from Outlaw Star, which was running on Cartoon Network at the time and I was very into it.
Also: it looks cool and this story isn't trying to make that much sense.
I like the surprised foreground ninjas looking at the explosion. Those are some SURPRISED foreground ninjas!
Stock villain says "find him." DOUBLE-CHECK.
That's a fun little dutch angle in the last panel. Apparently, ninjas do not look up and struggle with peripheral vision. Lucky for Locke!
Well, I guess this story is over. The hero has literally given up. What a satisfying conclusion! Good night everyone!
Oh. I guess this story is NOT over!
Here's another one-pager of our stock villains being mysterious which is all we need to keep the plot moving so let's not linger here any longer than we need to and get back to the ninjas!
This story doesn't take itself too seriously and while I'm inclined to give 2004 Tim some credit for acknowledging that a casino ninja melee is going to raise some questions the "oh we told people it was staged" thing is pretty lazy writing. If I were writing this now I'd say that they just gave everyone a bunch of free reward play which is at one time funnier in its absurdity but also very much more plausible. (Don't forget I've worked at a casino since I wrote this one.)
NEXT TIME: One of the best sequences in the entirety of Reckless Life and I mean it this time.