Pirates VS. Ninjas II: Up The Ante! #1 - SKleefeld
(from Kleefeld on Comics)
Antarctic evidently had enough success with Pirates vs. Ninjas that they've come out with a second volume, which started hitting stores this week! Can I first say, "Wohoo"? The first series was a blast, and I was thrilled to see they'll be continuing it with the same creative team.
The question at hand, of course, is whether or not the sequel lives up to the standards of its predecessor.
The first issue picks up, seemingly, where the previous serious left off. The pirates and ninjas are all marooned on an island, and Montague was rowing off with the treasure. Turns out he's actually dictating his story to his new companion, Sayuri Ichinohei. Shortly after they arrive in Venice, however, they realize that the ninjas have tracked them down and the pirates' blind luck has put them in the harbor.
Not surprisingly, chaos ensues.
Like the first issue of the first series, the focus between the pirates and the ninjas is pretty even. The ninjas are characteristically stealthy in their slow approach while the pirates are somewhat more obvious.
We do have an addition to the pirate crew, Lady Malaria, who deftly casts her shipmates' lusty advances asunder. There's also a hint that Ichinohei is covert agent of some kind herself, and with such a Japanese-sounding name, I think her allegiances shouldn't be difficult to figure out.
The ninjas are a bit more verbose in this issue than before, but that doesn't matter much as their dialogue is overflowing with metaphor...
"Be like the clouded leopard adorned in koala's clothing."
"Plums are sweeter when one must first build a rope ladder."
The pirates, too, have some great lines, in large part because of their decided lack of subtlety...
"I'll feed yer liver t' the lobsters!"
"Finish off the pussy-foot ninjas first... save some for me cutlass!"
... and of course...
"Ninjas... I hate #@!*in' ninjas!"
Like the first series, this was a lot of fun. It differs somewhat, though, in that there's a bit more story involved, and we have several more parties involved right from the get-go including the British and the French governments. (Italians are strangely absent, however.)
So, if you liked the first series, you shouldn't need any convincing that you'll like this one. If you missed the first series, now's your chance to catch up on the pirate and ninja excitement. If you didn't like the first series... well, there's no real hope for you; go buy some garbage with superhero zombies or something.