People are always sucked into games: remember Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over? I do. The latest victim of the trend seems to be Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, gamer extraordinaire, whose new comic book Ninja: The Most Dangerous Game – co-authored by comic author Justin Jordan and Team Liquid illustrator Felipe Magaña – thinks our boy is being accidentally teleported to a battle royale game that happens to not look like Fortnite.
The book appears on December 3, just in time for parents of gamers to find out who Ninja is and why his book might be a good stocking. While The most dangerous game derives its title from that short story by Richard Connell about hunting people that many of us had to read in high school, it seems to take place in a whole new world. The plot, as I understand it, starts when Blevins is streamed one day. The doorbell rings and a parcel appears mysteriously at its door. "Okay, weird," he says, after ending his stream early to watch it, something the real Ninja would probably never do. "No one is supposed to have this address." Inside is a controller that takes Ninja and a few of his gaming friends to the world of Ketterung. The game.
As my smart colleague Adi Robertson points out, this is classic Isekai, the Japanese term for the kind of story that draws someone into another world. However, that person is generally a no-goodnik, a person with little luck and prospects, not the most famous gamer in the world.
Although I am sure that we will hear more about the story soon, I can say that the illustrations by Magaña are beautifully figurative. The colors of this new world are appropriately pastel, far removed from the twisted palette Fortnite as it is from the ocher, militaristic wastelands of Battlegrounds from PlayerUnknown. Ketterung looks like a world that needs to be saved, in other words. Let's hope Ninja has what it takes to get the job done.