Ninja Emergency, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Just Kill Some Russians.


This week’s assignment from the league:

Who would you take in an 80′s character fantasy draft? Your team’s goal will be to defeat a shady conglomerate of Russian businessmen and their team of hired ninjas. It’s go time.

I have to admit, I was a little conflicted about this week’s topic. As you all know, I hate Russian terrorists, but happen to love ninjas. How could I combat one while simultaneously ignoring my love for the other? And then I remembered – ninjas are completely amoral, and since these guys are basically mercenaries, I’m sure they could forgive my 80’s hit squad for demolishing them. But who would be on this anti-Russian dream team? Which heroes are G.I. Joe enough to carry out this mission?

1) Ryu Hayabusa, Ninja Gaiden (NES 1989)

It stands to reason that if you’re fighting a ninja, no one would be nearly as effective as another ninja. Ninjas cancel each other out. Basic math. A lot of the other Leaguers chose Snake Eyes as their anti-ninja tank, which is fine, if you like losing. But this is the 80’s, and as Americans, it is our obligation to win. So instead of using a ninja who uses a sword and a gun, I’m choosing a ninja with a sword and ninja magic. You know what’s better than bullets, Snake Eyes? Magic bullets. In his original NES appearance, Ryu looked like this:

Now plug in your Nintendo to a high def TV, and this is what you’ll see:

That is some high definition, 80’s bodybuilder ninja. He uses swords, staves, arrows, magic, and a complete defiance of gravity to do the job he was born to do – kill ninjas.

As long as there aren’t any birds around.

2) Alan “Dutch” Schaefer, Predator (1987)

Who better to lead your ground forces than the man who fought a Predator in hand-to-hand combat? Smart enough to improvise deadly weaponry, fast enough to escape extraterrestrial self-destruct bombs, Austrian enough to pass for a U.S soldier…Dutch would be able to handle any ninja shenanigans thrown his way.

3) Batman, The Dark Knight Returns (1986)
Yeah I went there. I know Batman is normally enough for most jobs, but I’m assuming these are really bad Russians with incredibly talented ninjas. When machine gun fire isn’t enough, sometimes you have to call in an expert hand-to-hand combatant, and no one fits the bill quite like Batman.

As an added bonus, the Batman from Dark Knight Returns is just about the baddest superhero around. He’s a vicious, mean old man who doesn’t have time for minor annoyances like ninjas. Or friends.

If the team gets in a jam, Batman can outthink, outfight, and outlast anything the Russians can throw at him. Plus, if they need a hasty escape, there’s always this:

4) Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway, Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

Because if I’ve learned anything from my years of education, reading, movie-watching, and sciencey stuff, it’s that you don’t mess with people who smoke cigars, old people, or Clint Eastwood. And a cigar-smoking, old Clint Eastwood is pretty much the stuff of nightmares. In addition to his general crankiness, Tom Highway is a veteran and, honestly, he kind of hates foreigners. Odds are he won’t be too happy about mobsters from Russia and ninjas from wherever they’re from. Ninjakistan.

Bonus fun! Here he is preparing to open fire. On U.S. Marines. In his platoon. For “training” purposes.

So what we have here is a pretty solid team. Inadvertantly, I’ve begun building a perfect team for a roleplaying game. You’ve got your tank, Tom Highway, with his machine guns and complete inability to be killed. There’s the ranger, Dutch, who is a great fighter but knows camouflage, archery, and setting alien-destroying traps. Stealth is provided by Ryu, a master ninja with an ability to disappear into shadows and ruin your day with his kitana. Finally, Batman fills out the role of the controller class. He’s smart, able to build strategies from afar, and he’s got the ability to make his opponents roll a +2 to soiling themselves.

This is a good ninja-killing team, for sure, but it’s lacking something. We need a heavy hitter, a mage, someone with the ability to clear the battlefield in record time. We need…

5) Michael Jackson, Moonwalker (1988)

Ok, just bear with me on this one. In the 1980s, nothing, aside from the hairstyles, was bigger than Michael Jackson. He sold millions of albums, was beloved by all, and I’m pretty sure he commanded his own private army.

As one of his many side projects, he made Moonwalker. Most people haven’t seen the whole thing, but it’s generally remembered for the video for “Smooth Criminal.”

In the video, and the video game version of the video (I’m not even making that up), Michael commands a host of powers that can only be described as “wizardly.” He has amazing dance skills that cause his enemies to uncontrollably dance, following his every move until they pass out.

He can transform himself into a car that, I can only assume, sounds a little bit like an effeminate KITT.

And, finally, Michael Jackson can do this:

That’s right. He can transform into a jheri-curled robot with force fields and missiles that can withstand the attack of an entire drug-fueled army. Michael Jackson: person of mass destruction. No ninja can withstand the might of a star-powered, dancing, murder bot.

So there we go. The ultimate Russian/ninja fighting team. Sadly, we’ll never get to see this version of the 80s Expendables, mostly because there’s no budget on Earth that could capture the sheer awesomeness of these characters. Move over, Avengers: the all-new, all-deadly version of the Jackson 5 is here.


And if you liked this list, check out some of my fellow League members!

Join the battle with That Figures and his Bruce Lee/Tesla team-up.

Shezcrafti believes in the leadership and wisdom of Mr. Miyagi!

Goodwillh Hunting 4 Geeks pairs brains, Varia suits, and cyborgs for some ninja-killing action.

Fight ninjas with ninjas over at Cavalcade of Awesome.

For the rest of the League entries, and to join, stop over at Cool and Collected.


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