Who can forget the fun they’ve had playing the addictively entertaining mobile game Fruit Ninja? It has been a staple for smart phone users since its release in 2010 due to its long-lasting ability to slice boredom to shreds. You may not know that developer Halfbrick Studios has partnered with YouTube Red to create an animated series based on the game. The series debuted earlier this year, and has now spawned a comic book spinoff from Dynamite Comics.
In issue 3 of Fruit Ninja, readers are presented with three short tales based on the characters who were introduced in the animated series. We have the Ancient Fruit Ninjas, the Modern Fruit Ninjas, and Barry Steakfries, who is the hero in the middle story Jetpack Joyride. Each of the stories was penned by Nate Cosby and have their own unique characters and storylines. The Ancient Fruit Ninjas are presented with a challenge of retrieving a stolen nectarine from a crane bird. Barry Steakfries is being pursued by angry, jet-pack wearing hippos. Jetpacks that can transform into emergency Octo-pig’s mind you. Finally, the Modern Fruit Ninjas are magically transported to an icy wasteland by KrackleFlint, an intergalactic alien overlord who is attempting to enslave the human race. He transports them to a place as far away from fruit (or so he thinks) which is where the team draws its power.
First, I want to complement Nate Cosby for taking something this silly and turning it into three unique and cohesive stories for this comic, which is obviously aimed to reach kids around the ages of 8-12. In reading this, I have to remember I’m not the target audience, and try to ask myself if I fell into this age demographic, would I be entertained? I think I would. The stories are short, to the point, and do what they set out to do. There is just enough slapstick humor inserted into each one that I would be prompted to chuckle.
Artists Scott Brown (Ancient Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride stories) and Sebastian Piriz (Modern Fruit Ninja story) do a fine job of showing off their animation skills in this comic. I hope readers take note of this talented art team, including colorists Dearbhla Kelly and Rebecca Nalty as well as letterer Zakk Saam. It is the high-quality work of these artists that really makes this a recommended read for pre-teen kids.
Fruit Ninja #3 is a fun comic for the nine-year-old version of myself. It’s short, fast paced, and lite. With those check boxes marked, if you’re looking for a comic to surprise the little super hero loving gamer in your life, this is a good choice.
(W) Nathan Cosby (A) Ruairi Coleman (CA) Scott Brown