People are always getting sucked into games: remember Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over? I do. The latest victim of the trend appears to be Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, gamer extraordinaire, whose new comic book Ninja: The Most Dangerous Game — co-created by comics writer Justin Jordan and Team Liquid illustrator Felipe Magaña — finds our boy accidentally teleported into a battle royale game that happens to not look anything like Fortnite.
The book is due out on December 3rd, just in time for parents of gamers to figure out who Ninja is and why his book might be a good stocking stuffer. While The Most Dangerous Game takes its title from that Richard Connell short story about hunting human beings that a lot of us were made to read in high school, it does appear to be set in a wholly new world. The plot, as I understand it, kicks off when Blevins is streaming one day. The doorbell rings, and a package has mysteriously appeared on his doorstep. “Okay, weird,” he says, after ending his stream early to check it out, something the real-life Ninja would probably never do. “No one is supposed to have this address.” Inside is a controller, which transports Ninja and a couple of his gamer friends into the world of the Ketterung. The game.
As my astute colleague Adi Robertson points out, this is classic Isekai, the Japanese term for the kind of story where someone gets pulled into another world. That person, however, is generally a no-goodnik, a person who’s down on their luck and prospects, not the most famous gamer in the world.
While I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about the story soon, what I can say is that Magaña’s illustrations are gorgeously figurative. The colors of this new world are appropriately pastel, as far from the turned-up-to-11 palette in Fortnite as it is from the ochre, militaristic wastelands of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Ketterung looks like a world that needs saving, in other words. Let’s hope Ninja has what it takes to get the job done.