Thursday, April 24, 2014

Collected Editions That Should Exist - Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja

Hey! It's the 25th Anniversary of Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja!

Wait... you don't remember Nth Man? Shame on you! Back in 1989, when comics could still be had for a single $, Larry Hama brought us this crazy book. Hama is, of course, the man behind the legendary 1980's G.I. Joe (A Real American Hero) series. Apparently, Hama felt that all the Hot Ninja Action going on in GIJARAH just wasn't enough to satisfy so he created a comic about the ULTIMATE Ninja.

The premise was that Earth (in this case, Marvel pocket universe designation "Earth-8908") was in the middle of World War III, which was brought about by some insane all-powerful weirdo named Alfie O'Meagan (which, apparently, is a play on "Alpha & Omega"). Alfie actually tried to do a "good" thing and made all of the nuclear weapons on Earth unusable but it backfired badly when the US and USSR decided this was a bad thing and started WWIII.
Now, John Doe, aka NTH MAN: THE ULTIMATE NINJA, has to go take Alfie out of the equation. Plot twist: John and Alfie were childhood buddies!

Lots of crazy stuff happens over the course of the 16 issue series, including Alfie pretending to be Galactus and turning some female character into the Silver Surfer (the Marvel-616 universe exists, as it does in ours, as comic books).
It was supposed to be 24 issues, but Hama got notice it would be cancelled at 16 so he had to use a "flash forward" and essentially recap what would have happened in the additional 8 issues, but at least he did wrap the series up. And let's just say that the ending is pretty nutty!

Suggested collection formats:
1) Two TPBs, each collecting 8 issues
2) One Omnibus style complete collection featuring all 16 issues PLUS the first appearance of John & Alfie in a short story from the anthology Marvel Comics Presents #25 as well as the guest appearance in Excalibur #27
3) Special Edition HC Omnibus featuring all of the above Omnibus material as well as one or both of the Marvel Handbook entries from 2007 and 2009 and maybe even more details from Hama about the material he had to cut due to the cancellation.

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