Do What You've Gotta Do
Original Release Date: May 7, 2013
The idea here is that Evil Bad Guy Ninja has taken control of his faculties and, effectively, has contained The Six. And now, he's willingly staying behind in the explosion to make sure it disperses The Six, and he wants Stu to drop the death ray on him to make sure nothing goes wrong. The self sacrifice is astounding, but I've always been concerned that I didn't do a good enough job of explaining everything that's going on here. However, I think it's all there: Stu implies he is ready to kill Evil Bad Guy Ninja to get the job done here (and has mentioned it before on recent pages). He hesitates just for a moment, and Evil Bad Guy Ninja gets on his case right away and tells him to do his job--the "don't get soft on me now" line implies that he knows he needs to die to make this happen. On second thought, maybe the only thing that's not really clear is what the things in Stu's hand are--we don't see that they are tiny explosives until they hit the death ray.
I was legitimately emotional upon finishing this page. Not in tears or anything, but it was really upsetting because I knew this was the end for Evil Bad Guy Ninja. He grew to be one of my favorite characters over the years, and his redemption story in this volume made his death a lot harder. He redeems himself just in time to make the ultimate world-saving sacrifice. That figures. It makes for a melancholy ending that related, in many ways, to my actual thoughts as I brought the series to a close. It was a great accomplishment, but in many ways, I would miss it.