If you came across an injured man, would you heal him, or finish the job?
For regular people, the solution is obvious—call 911 and avoid getting your hands dirty—but for one conflicted webcomic character, its a pretty tough question. Dr. McNinja, created by Chris Hastings, is both a doctor and a ninja, born with the twin urges to kill and to heal. Although this sometimes interferes with his jobs, the results are always hilarious and incredibly awesome.
Dr. McNinja and his eponymous webcomic have provided entertainment for ninja and medical enthusiasts for the past six years, and in 2007, the good doctor was
awarded the Web Cartoonists Choice Award for Outstanding Superhero/Action Comic. The webcomic stars the doctor along with a cast, including his sidekick Gordito: a mustachioed twelve-year old bandido, his receptionist Judy: an adult gorilla, and his rival: King Radical, the most radical man in the radical land. The comic follows the doctor and his vigilante adventures while he sustained his medical practice in Cumberland, Maryland.
In case you havent realized, Hastings is a fan of over-the-top humor. Jaded comic readers can expect that the entirety of McNinjas appeal lies in its randomness. Theyd be wrong, of course. Doctor McNinja walks a line between a theatre of the absurd and quick, clever jokes, and his comic is the only example Ive seen where something with the random humour of Paul Bunyans disease (a disease which causes youth to turn into gigantic, enraged lumberjacks) can be played off a snappy verbal joke about schizophrenia. The switch between the hyperbolic and the deadpan is seamless, just like the fantastic world that Hastings creates.
Doctor McNinjas artwork is inspired by standard superhero comic books, with each story arc making a completed issue. Hastings releases one page every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but new readers wont want to start there to get their McNinja fix. Heres why: reading Hastings most recent comic, Army of One (featuring ninja clones, sky pirates, and zombies) will cause questions, questions one doesnt normally ask. Why are there robots? Why does that boy have a mustache? Why is Benjamin Franklin there? It is advised to read the McNinja comics from the beginning and to understand the many references of the comics world as they build up; its amazing how quickly one can adapt to a world of dinosaur-riding highwaymen, rampant robot animals and pirates with a blood-grudge against their eternal nemeses.
So, if youre suffering from boredom, stress or a deficiency in awesomeness, a comic of the medical and murderous arts is just what the doctor ordered.