Writer: Larry Hama
Pencils: Netho Diaz
Japanese cops are investigating the ninja carnage at the Tokyo amusement park, when their forensics efforts are soon joined by Senior Advisor Harada from the Ministry of Defense. Harada is able to accurately diagnose what happened, as he eventually reveals himself to be the “official secret liason” between the Japanese government and the Arashikage clan. One cop (Lt. Kondo) asks: “The government hires ninjas? Still? Today?!” Harada answers: “Of course, how do you think anything gets done?”
Dawn is hiding out in a tower with Granny Demon and Genji, when she begins flashing back to Vietnam. Apparently, the op where Dickie Saperstein and Ramon Escobedo bought it (and Wade Collins was seriously wounded). She snaps out of it, back to the present, and is suddenly disturbed by a young couple on the ground.
- At first, I thought Harada was another disguise of Zartan’s, but he appears to be legitimate. For now, at least.
- Harada diagnoses some of the carnage as the work of the mysterious “Trieste” Arashikage member.
- A Red Ninja survived and attacks Harada, calling him a “turncoat dog”. It’s then revealed that Harada is a ninja and has a long history with the Arashikages and Red Ninjas.
- So… does this make Harada “The Secret Master”? My money’s on “yes”.
- Harada mentions that his family has served as liasons since the Meiji Restoration, which was around 1868 (yes, I looked it up).
- Snake-Eyes doesn’t speak in the flashback, nor does Dawn speak in this issue.
- Wade Collins is mentioned as being injured, while Ramon and Dickie are confirmed dead. All three are mentioned, but not seen in the flashback.
- Interesting to note that the only characters with figures are seen in the flashback. Otherwise, it’s all “comic-only” folks.
- The ending seemed a little random and awkward, to me. I’m sure there’s a good explanation, but not one that merits a “to be continued” cliffhanger.
- This issue is fairly gory, as about half the panels have bloody ninja bodies.
- I like Netho Diaz’s work, so far. Reminds me of a style Marvel used, about 10-12 years ago.
- This issue apparently had 11 different variant covers. Sheesh.
- This story arc is now officially being billed as “Dawn of the Arashikage”, with an additional note of “Countdown to 250”.
Characters (figures): Storm Shadow (flashback), Snake-Eyes (flashback), Stalker (flashback)
Characters (comic only): Granny Demon, Dawn Moreno, Genji, Harada, Lt. Kondo, Sgt. Imai, “Trieste Arashkiage” (cameo/flashback)
Vehicles and stuff (toys): none
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): none
Characters: Harada, Lt. Kondo, Sgt. Imai
Vehicles and stuff: none
Rating: 3 Flag Points