Ninja Madness

How I wanted to be a ninja and some examples of the shadow society from my childhood
November 11, 2007

Ninjitsu the art of assassination and espionage.
As a child I always wanted to be a ninja. I remember getting a set of ninja pajamas and running around our house kicking and punching anything in sight. I was the black ninja, my brother was the red ninja.
I got my first "real" ninja suit at around 12 years old which actually only consisted of a black karate GI, tabi boots and a hood but it was better than my old pajamas. Anyways... some of the ninja things I remember from my childhood.

Ninjas in Video Games
All are Nintendo Entertainment System Games as that was the primary system of my youth.

Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja (1988)
You were a coca cola drinking vigilante up against a horde of multicolored ninjas.

Shinobi (1989) a popular arcade game ported to various systems the most popular being Sega but this is the NES version I had.

Shadow of the Ninja (1990) another save the world from the evil threatening empire by using your ninja skills game.

Wrath of the Black Manta (1990) Ninja magic at its finest plus the ability to sneak up on enemies from behind and hold a knife to their throat.

My favorite Ninja game was Ninja Gaiden (1988) and it's two sequels
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos and Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

One "Ninja" game that I owned that was frustrating because of its difficulty was,

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(1989)

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle were introduced to us in the 1984 comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

A Ninja master is turned into a rat and teaches four mutant turtles how to be ninjas and they fight the Shredder and his band of foot soldiers (also ninjas).

I remember watching the cartoons from 1987 on.

and then there were the toys. With more variations of the central turtle characters than you could shake a stick at.

Ninjas in Comic Books

Other Ninjas in comic books were the hand from Marvel Comics.

A band of dirty cutthroats created by Frank Miller (of 300 fame) in the Daredevil comic who also fought Wolverine in his first mini-series 1982 (also Frank Miller) and later Wolvie and Captain America in Uncanny X-Men issue 268 that were some of my all time favorite comics.

Wolverine also fights a ninja by the name of Ogun in the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine Mini-Series (1985).

GI Joes

Two of my favorite ninjas from Marvel's GI Joe comic books

The toy line that spawned a comic and a cartoon or is it the cartoon that spawned a toy line?

I know that Snake Eyes is technically not a ninja in the truest sense of the word being a "commando" and all but he did "study mystic martial arts with the same ninja family that produced Storm Shadow", that and he was one cool action figure probably my favorite of all time. Pictured above are versions one (1982), two (1985) and three (1989).

Storm Shadow (my second favorite) "can trace his family history through thirty generations of assassins. He can scale sheer walls with bare hands and feet, move with blinding speed, and endure unspeakable hardship and pain". Versions one (1984) and two (1988).

Jinx (1987) recruited by Snake Eyes for the Joes.

Firefly (1984) not a ninja but looks like one, my 3rd favorite guy.

Other Ninja Toys

Chuck Norris had a cartoon called Karate Kommandos (1986) that spawned a toy line that had two cool ninja figures- Ninja Warrior and Super Ninja.

GUTS! (1986) Aikido force had several ninja looking guys, but how Aikido is related to ninjas is beyond me being another kind of Japanese martial art all together.

He Man and the Masters of the Universe Evil Ninja Warrior NINJOR with the stupidest name ever was one of the last original MOTU figures in 1986.

Ninjas in Movies

I remember all of these ninja movies that came out, there are far too many to list but some of my favorites had Shô Kosugi in them. Revenge of the Ninja (1983) and Enter the Ninja (1981).

Well these are some of my childhood ninja memories, sorry if I neglected to mention your favorite ninja character or merchandise. Until next time "Never piss off a Ninja!"
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