The Adventures of Dr. McNinja Omnibus Volume 1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer and Penciler: Christopher Hastings
Inks: Kent Archer
Covers: Carly Monardo
Additional Stories: Benito Cereno
Additional Art: Anthony Clark
Introduction: Ryan North
It finally hit me upon opening up Dr. McNinja that there have been a lot of stories in this series. This will take multiple volumes to just catch up with the current story. Does this first volume warrant getting more? Let’s find out.
To answer that question I just asked: Does the first volume warrant getting more volumes? Yes, very much so. I forgot so much of this early stuff, and to see the series in its black and white beginnings was a blast from the past. This whole first volume covers the black and white era of the series, so much like early Doctor Who I can see some folks not digging on it for that aesthetic, but I still enjoy the stories we get.
It’s fun to relive the early days of McNinja as we get introduced to him, his family, and friends, and it’s great seeing them again for the first time. I do kind of wish we could also get a colorized version of this first volume, but I understand that that would require a complete overhaul of the look of the early stuff and would take a serious amount of work.
The art is at its earliest, so comparing it to the modern stuff isn’t really fair, since if you look at anyone’s earliest work and compare it to their work today you’ll notice a big difference that likely skews to the recent. The art still works and reminds me of Spider-Man in his comic strip format, and I mean that in the best way.
The stories almost seem quaint in how weird they were versus how they are now. Lumberjack disease is pretty tame in comparison to current Dr. McNinja story elements. I had almost forgotten how early many of my favorite characters showed up in the series, and I’m glad they’ve been around longer than my memory felt they were. The McNinja Clan, Gordito, and Judy are so fun that for some reason I thought it took longer to get to them.
The Omnibus is a great way to get a whole era of a comic. This one collects the black and white, and then when, hopefully, Vol. 2 comes out you’ll see the glorious arrival of color. The stories are still fun in this, and I’m glad this exists. You should go grab it if you like Doctor McNinja. Go now. While you still can. I’m sorry, that wasn’t supposed to sound threatening.