This One Time, at Hand Camp…

 

Dear Jerry,

How is your summer going so far? Are you guys having a rockin’ time at Space Camp? Did they let you ride in the simulator yet? Watch out for cosmic rays! LOL!

I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m trying too hard to be chipper, but the truth is I’m really starting to wish I had gone with you instead of making fun of you for being a “science nerd.” Heck, I wish I had listened to my mom and dad (for once!) and gone back to Camp Winnetonka this year. But ohhhh no, I just had to do something “cool” so I could go back to school in the fall and impress Mindy with a lot of stories about being a bad-ass ninja. What a mistake that turned out to be! If I had it to do over again, Jerry, there is no way I would join the Immortal Order of the Hand for the summer.

For one thing, I’m not even sure these people know what a ninja even is. You’ve read all the same comics I have; ninjas are supposed to be this elite brotherhood of sleek, invisible assassins, right? Like, a ninja creeps up your rain gutter in the dead of night and slinks through the attic window and nunchuks you to death in bed without even waking up your girlfriend, doesn’t he? And then he goes downstairs and raids your fridge and totally leaves a sai as a calling card where the meatloaf used to be — just there on the Tupperware as kind of an “F-you” — before vanishing ghostlike into the night without even setting off the motion sensor lights in your driveway.

Right? Is that not your definition of “ninja”?

hard to believe, isn't it?Well, try telling that to these clowns running the Hand. On the first day of orientation, they gave us all these bright red jumpsuits. Hello?! And we’re like, “What are these loud-ass jammies supposed to be for?” and they’re all, “This is the sacred garb of the Hand. You will wear it with honor when you stampede your enemies in groups of 400, shouting at the top of your lungs as they mow you down by the dozens.”

And I mean, first of all, “mow you down by the dozens”? Not in the brochure. Second of all, that is seriously how they ninja here in the Hand. They train us to dress up like Ballpark franks and pile through every window of a guy’s house all at the same time! They sent us on a practice run the second week, and it was a total disaster. Neighborhood dogs were barking for three blocks; three of my brethren got tangled up in a garden hose across the street from the guy’s house in the dark, with all their swords and throwing stars clattering all over the driveway while they tried to get loose; one guy tried to hop off this Honda Civic onto the roof of the garage and totally set off the car alarm. Two guys got stuck trying to slink through the doggy door at the same time. We barely escaped with our lives! I’m sorry; 400 guys being ninja-stealthy is still 400 guys. Even if everyone is on their A-game, it still sounds like a semi full of those rainsticks coming down the street. And the whole time, all I could do was stand there under the street light looking at this sea of “warriors” and think, “Dudes, it’s just Daredevil.”

Of course, Daredevil killed 150 of us in ten minutes that night. But that’s beside the point.

Oh, did I mention that my red jumpsuit reeked like smoke and ash when I got it? Somebody had totally worn it before. I am definitely asking for my equipment fee back at the end of the summer.

I shouldn’t be too hard on the other guys in the Hand for being so crummy; after all, all of our “stealth practice” so far has consisted of us being told to go hide in the bushes for half the day. Turns out, nobody is even looking for us. Last week, after nine hours in the lake breathing through a hole in a reed, my friend Steve snuck back to camp only to find our “trainer” making out with one of the lifeguards on his bunk. It’s so obvious they send us out there just so they don’t have to plan any other activities.

I think the main problem is the lady who runs the place. She’s called “Elektra,” just her first name, ‘cuz she thinks she’s Madonna or something. As far as I know, she doesn’t even have any qualifications to run this place. She just killed the last guy who was in charge. Great way to run a camp. This is her idea of dark magic ninjitsu? Is she even from this planet?

Plus, the camp songs are so depressing you wouldn’t even believe it. “We give our worthless lives for the glory of the Beast”? I mean, who are these people? If marshmallows didn’t roast so deliciously on the end of these katana blades, I wouldn’t even go to the cookouts anymore.

I guess I had a romanticized idea of what it was to be in an elite brotherhood of silent, ruthless assassins from reading all those old G.I. Joe comics. Remember how hardcore Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were? Snake Eyes was so stealthy, he didn’t even talk to his girlfriend. He just stalked the streets, every inch of him covered in lint-free black, and his teammates would go, “Hey, Snake Eyes! You’re the coolest guy ever!” and he’d be all, “……” That was sort of the way I saw all this working out for me. (Me and Mindy.)

Of course, Snake Eyes also carried an uzi and a belt of grenades with him everywhere he went, which I guess is not especially ninja. Also, he worked for the U.S. Army. Who let him have a pet wolf.

Maybe I should have researched this more.

Still, even if I couldn’t get trained to be as cool as Snake Eyes, I’d have thought I’d end the summer at least cool enough to disappear into the night in a puff of smoke. These clods around here are so bad, they remind me of those stupid ninja robots on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What were those guys called…? The Foot Clan?

…oh my God, Jerry, those Ninja Turtle guys were totally making fun of the Hand!

I belong to the only group of ninjas ever to be openly mocked by a Saturday morning cartoon. I feel like such a dipwad. Please, if you see Mindy, tell her I spent the summer building houses with Habitat For Humanity. I’ll see you in September.

Sincerely,

Hand Fodder #2073419

 


Jim Mroczkowski greatly prefers this draft to “Ninjas in Comics: an Analysis.” He can be hate-mailed at jim@ifanboy.com or Jimski.com, where he has been making fun of stupid, stupid ninjas like this for ages.

 

Comments

  1. Slow Clap …..Very nice job !!!

  2. Jimski brings yet another contender for Most Hilarious Articles for the upoming iFanboy Awards Show, the Fannies.

    So many hilarious moments, but the phrase "loud ass jammies" will make me smile all day.

  3. 25 plus years of reading comics and this is how I find out the Foot are mocking the Hand… now I feel like a dipwad.

    Great column as always!

  4. Roasting Marshmellows on a Katana? That was a delightful image. I’ve oftrn thought about this kinda stuff in the context of Batman’s costume. He’s supposed to look like a guant otherwordly, Bat out of hell, right? And so he wears a half face cowl mask with ponint ears? That doesn’t work for me.  Thanks for  good one, jimski.

  5. Genius.

    And this?  "400 guys being ninja-stealthy is still 400 guys."

    This is an excellent point. 

  6. "Snake Eyes was so stealthy, he didn’t even talk to his girlfriend. He just stalked the streets, every inch of him covered in lint-free black, and his teammates would go, "Hey, Snake Eyes! You’re the coolest guy ever!" and he’d be all, "……""

    Heh. 

  7. This so needs to be a back up story in Daredevil.

    Great article.

  8. Jesus Christ. Brilliant.

  9. Simply marvelous.

  10. I’d leave a positive comment, but I’m trying to be ‘ninja-stealthy’

  11. Out of the Park, Jim. 

  12. Probably my favorite piece ever on this site (sorry everyone else, but c’mon–!).Totally hilarious. Loved it! Great job.

  13. Damn, that article was good! Thanks for the good read, Jim.

  14. I would buy the comics "The Hand" by Jimski anyday of the week.  Pure genius.

  15. Very nice.

     

    ooh … a modifier

  16. About a year and a half ago, I once wrote a script for a Spider-Man/Deadpool mini idea where the main foes were the Hand and were pretty much like this.  Sadly, my computer crashed and I lost the script.  Plus, Civil War and One More Day pretty much messed up the timeline and all the jokes.  Plus, "Ninja Steve" ended up being a lot like "Bob, Agent of Hydra."  Ah, well.

  17. @Megnolia – I love the idea of an iFanboy awards show… Just be aware that the term "Fannies" has a slightly different conotation outside of the states, and could be unintentionally hilarious! 😉

  18. Looks like someone brought the funny. another great article Jim, keep up the great work.

  19. Oh, this is fabulous and hilarious.  I still remember the day I was rewatching old Ninja Turtles episodes and had that Hand/Foot lightbulb moment (I’m not very quick on the uptake sometimes).

    Good points, all.  The only way this could possibly be better is if it was written in song form and set to the tune of "Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder."

  20. Thank you.  That’s all i can say about this article.  Thank you.

  21. I wonder if they have great benefits like Hydra and AIM do?  Do ninjas get dental?

  22. they do get the shit kicked out of them alot.  I’m sure they get dental and health.  They’d have to.  oh wait, most people just endlessly slaughter them.  I’m sure they at least get a decent burial package.