Original Release Date: December 11, 2012
Let's use this page as an opportunity to talk about the Chaos Effect. It, like most of my ideas in Mike and the Ninja, had a lot of potential, but as usual, I underdelivered on the execution, aside from a few major instances.
It's basically this: Mike has this gene. It causes things all around him to go wrong. I can't tell you how many times I've had a day where everything goes wrong. Technology breaks at work. The cat suddenly has fleas. The power goes out at home. You sprain your ankle. Your carryout order is wrong. And so on. All in the same day! This kind of day is what inspired the idea of the Chaos Gene, and subsequently the Chaos Effect. Mike has these kinds of days all the time--in fact, it was one of these days that put him on the path to meeting Stu and getting started on this big adventure. So I thought to myself, what if it was a part of him? What if he has this gene that creates this aura of chaos around him, causing things to go wrong in his life like this all the time? It seemed like an interesting idea, so I used it as the basis for Volume Three, which I wanted to make sure was Mike's story more so than anybody else's.
Once The Six harnesses Mike's gene and uses the Chaos Drive to amplify it, I wanted everything to start going wrong around everybody. I wanted weapons snapping off in ninja's hands, inexplicable weather popping up, getting locked out of rooms or computer programs inexplicably, aircraft falling out of the sky, explosions everywhere...just lots and lots of stuff going wrong. Unfortunately, I only worked in a few instances of the Chaos Effect. And they work, and hopefully increase the level of tension, but I did not take the time to get as many crazy things into the story as I should have. Much like the ballroom scene in Volume One that I buried for not having enough people or activity in it, this climax of Volume Three just doesn't have enough chaos. Weird things happen a few times, but instead of them being major happenings in a sea of minor, but tangible inconveniences, they feel more like wedged-in reminders that say, "Hey, don't forget that the Chaos Effect is happening." That's not what I wanted. The Chaos Effect was supposed to feel like this apocalyptic event, but I didn't manage to build it up to that level.