Original Release Date: December 30, 2008
So, 2008 was an eventful year. I got promoted at work. I went on some road trips. Friends were plentiful and in good spirits. I started dating my future wife. I had time to do what I wanted to do. Life was good! There wasn't much of anything to complain about. All of a sudden, things started to fall into place. After my first couple of years of transitioning from school to adulthood (or something vaguely representing adulthood), life seemed to be returning to what I considered normal. It wasn't perfect, but I felt less and less like a bum and more like somebody who had potential professionally, creatively, and as a worthwhile human being.
Amazingly, even with all of that going on, I met the personal goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I doubled the existing number of pages of Mike and the Ninja and stuck to a weekly schedule for almost the entire year. I found discipline and willpower and stuck with something, and it worked out in the end. It was a really good feeling.
Anyway, let's talk about this page! While the casual observer may see Evil Bad Guy Ninja's intercession on Stu's behalf as another instance of deus ex machina, there is quite a bit of logic behind his sudden appearance, and why he would align himself with Stu in this situation. We know from the encounter with I.R.A. that Evil Bad Guy Ninja's goal in life is to kill Stu. If that's the case, he's not going to let the Hypergoon Elite kill him. Plus, the Hypergoon Elite, although hyper and elite, are still hired goons. Ninja have all kinds of problems with hired goons. They're competitors and bitter rivals in the same market and natural enemies, plus the fact that the Hired Goon Association tows the line between legitimate and criminal puts them at odds with the more honorable ninja. While Evil Bad Guy Ninja isn't honorable, he hates hired goons, is selfish and wants to kill Stu himself, and expects his final battle with Stu to be a fair fight. All of that being said, he needs Stu alive and healthy, so he's going to help him here, especially against hired goons.