Thursday, August 8, 2013

MISC. MANGA, *Pirates Vs. Ninjas

While this was one of the biggest geek debates ever a few years ago, the fine tradition of "who would win in a fight between..." cemented it's hold when it latched on to ninjas and pirates. There's been several parodies based on this concept, but Antarctic Press started their foray into doing parody comics with this trail of mini-series and one-shots.

The first Pirates Vs. Ninjas mini-series was four issues long, and took place sometime during the reign of King George III, the bookworm scribe Kineas Montague is shanghaied by hookhanded Captain Mako and his pirate crew to help them find the lost treasure of the legendary pirate Shadow Beard who wielded the actual trident of Poseidon. After using the power of the trident to stop his advisory, the ninja clan leader Raiga, Poseidon cursed Shadow Beard, but the pirate lord tried to gain vengeance over the sea god by grafting the trident to his lost hand. Mako's crew take Kineas to the island where the trident is supposed to be, but they are confronted with a group of ninjas, lead by the alleged reincarnation of Raiga who also seeks the trident which he believes is with his ancestor's powerful Disaster Blade which rivaled Poseidon's power. After several clashes, Kineas manages to make off with a good amount of treasure, and both mystical weapons, leaving the ninjas and pirates stranded on separate sides of the island.

The sequal mini-series was Pirates Vs. Ninjas II: Up The Ante!, unlike the previous volume was done in color, and reprinted in a full-sized graphic novel. Where as Volume 1 was done all in black & white(considering the first issue was done in color anyway from Free Comic Book Day), and in a manga-sized digest book. Anyway, this was twice as long as the previous one, and takes place a few years later where Kineas has been through a few other adventures, and managed to hide the ancient weapons away. But the pirates and ninjas manage to track him down, mostly due to planting Raiga's hot sister as his assistant. Despite her mission, Sayuri falls for Kineas, and does her best to protect him from being harmed during the continuous pirate/ninja clashes. As if this wasn't enough, a group of immortal vikings enter the fray looking for a mystical hammer Kineas found to forge their own mystical weapons and take over the world. Realizing their common enemy is too much for both of them, the pirates and ninjas team up to stop the vikings. The end result is really pretty good, and the story is fleshed out a lot more than the previous volume, even the conclusion could've been done in something other than in storybook format.

Following this was four one-shot specials. The first was Ghost Pirates Vs. Ghost Ninjas about super-deformed undead swashbucklers battling zombie ninjas. The next was PNV: Global Harming set in 300 Million B.C. where a civil war on Atlantis draws in dinosaur-riding pirates and ninjas, and a gold-making machine was the original cause of global warming. To keep in with the presidential election, the final special was PVN: Debate In '08 which was an anthology of short stories involving pirates and ninjas running for public office. There was also a PVN Annual that was also an anthology, the best of which were the Yonkoma comic shorts, as well as some pretty good pinups too. All four of these are collected in the PVN: It Takes A Pillage graphic novel.

So even though this was a huge internet joke carried out into a full-length saga, Antarctic Press managed to turn it into a damn good yarn that is more than likely to please manga fans, and trolls of internet memes alike.

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