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Headscratchers / The Adventures of Dr. McNinja

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If you are confused because of the lack of scientific accuracy and real life physics, remember, Hastings himself has said that the world runs on the same sort of physics that govern a Mortal Kombat stage. Do not bother trying to understand the logic of this world. Anything regarding the powers of the McNinja family has already been answered by A Wizard Did It in the form of "ninja tricks".

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  • Was anyone else just appalled by the end of Judy gets a kitten? I mean, that was just awful.
    • It bugged the hell out of Chris Hastings himself, too... which is why you'll notice that the kitten survived. He just has an eyepatch. The power of retcon!

    Time Loop 

  • If Sparkle Lord was sent back in time and transformed into a motorcycle, resulting in a millennia-long time loop, where did the original Sparkle Lord go off to?
    • Perhaps Sparkle Lord had no original. He's a motorcycle in our world, because that is the Raddest Thing Possible, not because he is trapped. Sparkle Lord, his memories gone, might then have attacked the Radical Land by transporting from our world, and was eventually returned to it again after being defeated by King Radical, then taken in by the antique dealer, and then eventually tossed into the vortex to start all over again.
    • My interpretation was that he fused with his older self.
    • That works, but isn't explicit in the comic proper. As presented, all that time loop should do is create an infinite number of Sparklelord-motorcycles for that antiques dealer to find.

    Tricky Lobster People 

  • It bugs me that it bugs me that there's a race of tricky lobster people. Why can I accept people turning into giant lumberjacks, super mime powers, raptor-riding banditos, growing mustaches out of sheer force of will, Ben Franklin turning into the headless horseman, Dracula's Moon laser, and a Hulk expy, but I suddenly draw the line at lobster people? What gives?
    • You're weird.
    • It might be that it's because the other stuff is cool. The Lobster man? Not so much.


  • Speaking of The Robster, how does he wear that business suit? His claws are bigger than the sleeves.
    • In my mind, there's only one explanation. It's been tailored directly onto him.
    • Word of God is that he doesn't know either.
    • Chris Hastings doesn't know, or The Robster doesn't know?
    • Yes.


    Safe Tiles 

  • I'm an idiot; what distinguishes the safe-to-step-on tiles from the others here?
    • None of them are safe. He's stepping on the cracks so he doesn't activate them.
    • I got the impression that none of them are safe, but he's just distributing his bodyweight using his aweosme ninja abilities so that none of the tiles are pressed down far enough to activate.
    • It's kinda hard to tell, but the "safe" ones have five teeth showing, while all the rest have six.
    • Seemingly confirmed by the Alt Text: "Yes, there is a difference in the tiles."
    • Presumably he can tell which ones are safe due to ninja tricks. The rest of us poor mortals obviously can't tell the difference, as we do not have the mighty power of ninja tricks.
    • I believe the safe tiles have a skull with only 5 teeth, all the rest seem to have 6 teeth.

    Robot Dracula 

  • Okay, so... Doc fights Dracula, but it's actually a ROBOT Dracula, right? So why doesn't the robot have any reflections in the hall of mirrors? Did I miss something?
    • He was fighting the real Dracula; the real one switched out for a robot duplicate at some point during the chase.
    • Ah, that makes sense. I was thinking about it late at night and must have gotten the order of events mixed up.

    Gordito following 

  • How did Gordito follow the Doctor, Sparklord, and King Radical? He doesn't have a motorcycle of his own.
    • He does have a raptor.
    • Raptor > Unimotorcycle.
    • Perhaps Yoshi is a velociraptor?

    Hall of mirrors 

  • Rather than making him effectively invisible, wouldn't a hall of mirrors actually put Dracula at a huge disadvantage? I mean, think about it. If he has no reflection, then any Dracula that Dr. McNinja sees in the hall of mirrors is guaranteed to be the real one. Is Dracula just dumb like that or did Chris Hastings not think this one all the way through?
    • You'll note that Drac was actually hanging from the ceiling (see the panel where he slowly lowers from above, behind the Doc). He was never in the hall of mirrors, or at least, he was taking an unexpected position, so having no reflection would make it that much harder for the Doc to find him, because Drac's out of his line of sight, he's got no reflection of Drac to help find him with, and there's the whole disorienting affair of being in a hall of mirrors working against the Doc. Meanwhile, Drac has a perfect vantage point, showing him where the Doc is.

    Brushing teeth 

  • Wait. If ninjas can eat through their Masks, then why do they have to lift them to brush their teeth?
    • Because brushing your teeth takes a lot more precision than eating, and you need to be able to see what you're doing to do a good enough job to avoid tooth decay and gum disease.
    • Toothpaste stains are pretty hard to get out of ninja masks, I'd bet.
    • They do lift up their masks to eat. It's just that they do in within a milisecond with their lips. They have to lift it up with their hands for tooth brushing because the food only has to pass into the mouth, it doesn't have to sit around on the teeth and move around and stuff. Same with ninja shaving.
    • Word of God says that "Any further questions regarding the McNinja's masks can be filed under 'ninja tricks.'"


    Chuck Goodrich timeline 

  • Could someone please explain to me the timeline of Chuck Goodrich's life? I assume he became an astronaut and the Mayor of Cumberland after he time travelled back to the past, but where is he originally from? The far-flung future where there's been a ninja Zombie Apocalypse?
    • Yes.
    • I'm working under the assumption that there are now actually two Chuck Goodriches in the past; he's looped back on himself in a non-temporal logic violating way. Unlike Sparklelord.
    • Confirmed.

    Dinosaur Timeline King Radical 

  • Here we see Dr. McNinja punching King Radical. We later find out that King Radical is actually Chuck Goodrich. Which means that future King Radical, an astronaut, is being punched. No Nasaghast is appearing to skewer the good doctor. Sure, you could argue that it's because he was in another timeline, but that certainly didn't stop the Big Damn Heroes the Nasaghast did later.
    • Radical Goodrich is not a NASA astronaut, he was from a world where NASA is not a thing so the Nasaghast attacking him would be like if he attacked McNinja for killing the dinosaur scout since this dinosaur too is an astronaut.

    Kidnapping Doc 

  • Why do the bad guys continually attempt kidnapping Doc instead of Sean? I mean, do they not realize that Dan and Mitzi would probably care more if Sean got kidnapped?
    • Because Doc doesn't live with Dan and Mitzi. So either A. they'd have to fight through all three of them to get Sean, or B. they'd know about it a lot sooner.
    • Bad guys kidnap Sean all the time: . I guess those standard kidnappings just aren't exciting enough for the comic.


  • Okay, so the dinosaurs took over Earth instead of peacefully cohabiting with humans because fossil fuels contained dinosaur remains. What do they fuel their jetpacks with then?
    • Same thing they used to fuel their spaceship.
    • Human remains.
    • Remember that these dinosaurs are smart due to mutations from cosmic radiation. They likely have the intelligence to create a highly effective clean energy source of some sort. Miniturized fusion reactors, or something.
    • When Doc points out that fossil fuels are mostly comprised of plant matter, it's mentioned that when the dinosaurs learned this, decided to take over the world anyway because they were bigger and stronger than the humans in the first place.

    Tan lines 

  • So a ninja can just take off their mask and disappear? Well the bad guys could look out for a real pale guy with a tan around his eyes. It's unusual and easily spotted.
    • Yeah, its not like they could use makeup or something.
    • And are the "bad guys" going to have a worldwide network scouring the globe for anyone and everyone who has an odd tanning pattern on his face? And they're going to be able to do this in the, what, day or two of tanning that it would take to correct the pattern?
    • a pair of Aviator Sunglasses would solve that problem.
    • Ninjas can eat through their masks. Perhaps they can tan through them too. Or they could just go to a tanning booth.


  • Not necessarily something that bothers me, but something I've been wondering about. How big is the age gap between Dr. McNinja and Dark Smoke Puncher? It sounds like DSP is still in high school, and I've been under the impression that Dr. McNinja is in his thirties. So they're at least fifteen years apart; does that sound about right?
    • Perfectly normal for parents to have kids with that kind of age difference, this troper's youngest sister is 16 years apart in age from him.
    • Seeing as he streamlined the college process and probably cheated with mad ninja skills, and assuming Sean is in fact in High School, their ages could be as close as 17 and his late 26. Or, like I do after being bothered by this myself, you can just keep telling yourself Sean is in college and just lives at home. There are still people who don't like nerds in college.
    • Yeah, Dark Smoke Puncher pretty much screams insecure frat boy.
    • One of the comics confirms that Doc is 35 years old. We don't know how old Sean is, but 17 seems reasonable, given that as of AWOL MD, he is a high school senior.

    Weak point 

  • Maybe it's just me, but if I were Frans Raynor I'd move my weak point to my pinky toe or the tip of a finger and cut it off a lot earlier.
    • Cutting off your weak point will probably kill you.
    • He got it amputated later in favor of a robotic leg. Maybe the weak point has definite mass, and would not fit in something so painlessly removed.
    • But...but...
    • What in Frans Raynor's plans imply that he is intelligent enough to think of a reasonable solution?

    Sparklelord hands 

  • When Sparklelord is shown standing on two legs with his army beneath him, he somehow traded his front hooves for hands. This wouldn't bug me if they said anything, anything at all. He found an evil magician, he tripped in some magic mud, he's got super cool unicorn powers, he grew them through sheer force of will, etc. But since they don't even handwave it it bugs me immensely.
    • The only time Sparklelord appears with hooves was during a hallucinogenic dream where he's projecting himself as a unicorn that Doc is riding while fighting a flaming baldy demon guy. That's not a terribly accurate depiction there
    • Explained MUCH latter. His two-legged form WAS caused by an 'evil magician'. Specfically? Someone working for the previous King Radical.

    Yoshi in dinosaur plotline 

  • So throughout this whole evil dinosaur storyline, where's our old favorite non-super genius dinosaur, Yoshi? I don't think they mentioned him at all.
    • Ahem. Which, to be honest, is just a quick handwave but makes sense and leaves potential to bring him in later.
    • Ah thanks, must have missed that. Still doesn't explain where our favorite pet raptor is, but like you said, it leaves potential for him to appear later and save the day (maybe).
    • You wanna know where Yoshi is? There's Yoshi.

    Ultimate Diplomat reference 

  • This might just be me, but is the Ultimate Diplomat supposed to be a reference to something? I can't help but feel it's an inside joke that I'm on the outside of.
    • Barney.
    • It's NOT Barney. (Alt text)
    • Uh, the alt text seems to indicate it IS Barney.
    • No, it doesn't. It only says he's amused that so many people guessed it would be Barney. I think the key here is that it doesn't look or act anything at all like Barney has ever been portrayed in anything.
    • No, it says he loves that multiple people guessed it would be Barney. Nothing about that sentence suggests he's amused at how wrong that guess was. And if you think a talking dinosaur that teaches people to love each other isn't similar to Barney, you obviously aren't very familiar with Barney.
    • Again: It doesn't look anything like Barney. It isn't even purple. It isn't singing, it isn't speaking in any kind of mannerism that would make anyone think of Barney. If anything, it's more a parody of the type of charismatic speaker archetype.
    • He's purple in literally every other page he appears. And really, what else could he possibly be? He's a talking purple T-rex who teaches people how to get along and love each other. Who does that sound like to you?
    • Not purple. Not purple. Not purple. Not purple.
    • All of those are clearly purple. Not as vividly purple as the live-action Barney, but still purple. Get your eyes checked.
    • Eyes work fine. At best some of those are maybe dark flesh tones. Or maybe look purple because the lighting is tinging everything with purple. But he's not purple.
    • The art suggest to me that he's rather a dark red rather than anything purple. Most of the time traveling arc had a blueish tint anyways. It seems to be more of a matter of interpretation, you could argue either way. I personally think that Chris wasn't going for that, judging by the Diplomat's characterization and design, but it would have been hilarious if it was.

    New Chucks 

  • So, the bad future was stopped, but eventually, won't another Chuck come to the past because of, I don't know, a vampire epidemic or something? The larger problem of the infinite apocalypses has yet to be solved.
    • ...How is this a headscratcher? "The current problem has been solved, but the larger problem that caused it is still there". That's true of so many works, there's probably at least two tropes about it. You might as well complain that "The Villain got away".
    • Is there a trope for that first one? I can't find it.
    • This is part of King Radical's plan. Eventually a Chuck will come from the future where Radical has won, only that will end the cycle of Chucks coming back as Radical kills that iteration, cementing his future victory.

    Mayor Chuck 

  • Where is Mayor Chuck? Only Dinosaur Future!Chuck died.
    • Figuring out where Chuck is is in fact part of the plot of this particular arc.
    • He was last seen on vacation so...

    Dr. McLuchador and Dr. McNinja 

  • Now that I've said this it'll probably be explained tomorrow, but if Dr. McLuchador was Dr. McNinja the whole time, who was he fighting in the hospital?
    • My guess is Doc's clone.
    • Perhaps that was the real Dr. McLuchador in the hospital. Then after he got punched out a window Dr. McNinja tracked him down, killed him, and took his identity.
    • Impossible. Dr. McLuchador died in anonymity years ago. The good Dr. McNinja has no reason to lie about that.
    • Problem solved. Turns out it was Chuck in disguise, which is logical if slightly disappointing.

    Phone number 

  • So yeah, that phone number at the top of the page. Is that a real number? If so where does it connect too? I'm too nervous to try it.
    • It's a 555 number, so no. 301 is a genuine area code for Cumberland, Maryland though.


  • Why does Dr. McNinja have his barber on emergency speed dial?
    • I thought the Doc explained pretty well. Life is CRAZY!
    • In order to cut a McNinja's hair, you'd need to at least partially remove his mask. Whoever the barber is, the good doctor trusts him with his life.
    • Maybe the barber is some kind of super-ninja that can cut hair without damaging or removing the masks. Considering how it seems like everything mentioned in passing comes into a major story arc at one point or another, I wouldn't be shocked if we see said barber.

    Roman legionary 

  • If the first European contact with the Inocktek was in the form of Spanish Conquistadors, does anyone have any idea why there's a Roman legionary on the temple steps?
    • An adventurer on his way back from a costume party decided to try his hand at the killer temple?
    • I see no Legionary, although I DO see what appears to be a Greek Strategos.
    • There is all kind of evidence of time travel on those islands. It's everywhere. *cue jetpacking Thomas Jefferson*

    Doc versus Old and Hortense 

  • The Conservation of Ninjutsu is a measurable force in the setting. How did Dr. McNinja lose to Old and Hortense?
    • They're named characters. That could have something to do with it.
    • It is measurable, but it's more effective the more the ninja is outnumbered, and it's also not the be all end all of fighting. It's still possible for a ninja to be defeated if outnumbered, especially when his opponents are just as good as he is.
    • Dan and Mitzi are savvy, and still take DSP and Gordito with them to fight the Ghost Wizard. Seems higher numbers means diminishing returns, but is a net positive unless you have teammates that are much weaker than you (such as the Doctor's clones).

    Bag of hair 

  • Why can't Ben Franklin bring a bag of hair on a plane? What does airport security think he's going to do with a bag of hair?
    • What did airport security think people were going to do with books or bottled water post September 11th? They're downright paranoid this century.
    • Why does the Doc has his barber on speed dial? This world is crazy!

    The Curse 

  • The ghost wizard didn't need to touch the Dr. or anything beyond knowing that he existed in order to curse him. So why isn't the wizard's original enemy, Dracula, already cursed?
    • Dracula has far more defenses than a doctor who is also a ninja. Remember he's the one who turned the wizards into ghosts in the first place, and has long-distance telepathic control over them. The Ghost Wizard's plan was to bring all his brothers together so their combined power could defeat Dracula, but the good doctor is nowhere near so large a threat.
    • Dracula's magic is probably as strong as John McNinja without the drawback.

    Grandpa's spell 

  • Why didn't John McNinja offer up his own name, instead of his grandson's?
    • It's magic in the Mc Ninjaverse. He probably needed to sacrifice the name of the one who needed protection or just like... Magicks.
    • Why would they take the name of a dying man? The spell is already deadly to him the summoning might not care to seal his name.

    The end 

  • Maybe I missed something, but I don't see how his family betrayed him. What did I miss here?
    • They led him to one of the traps in order to save Gordito's life(here ) Also Mitzi was going to fight him to the death in order to save Dan and (again) Gordito. Both situations are forced, but they feel like it was a bretrayal anyway.
    • It doesn't help that the curse the ghost did on him about everything turning against him kind of hit him hard even if it wasn't that effective from the looks of it.
  • For someone seemingly trying to disappear forever, why would Dr. McNinja keep his first name (a name everyone on Earth knows because of Sparklelord), take the last name of his friend who happens to be the mayor of his town and the former vice president, practice the same job as before (especially since he has the knowledge of hundreds of clones with hundreds of degrees and doctorates, and should logically be able to practice any other job), and keep the same slogan on his door even after it doesn't make sense contextually? Does he want to be found?
    • Patrick is still a common name, despite its association with Dr. McNinja. And people likely still associate Goodrich with the late King Radical, who the people adored. And as Dr. McNinja himself said in his family's introductory arc, he likes being a doctor. The quote is still suspect, but is likely a narrative shorthand for Chris to reveal the final fate of Dr. McNinja without showing the character's actual face.
  • That one ghost wizard was in the middle of casting a spell, but then Doc's grandad "sacrificed" the Doc's name to stop him. Years later, when Doc's real name is revealed, the ghost wizard finishes casting the spell. What does the spell do? Because as far as I can tell it didn't do anything.
    • When the Ghost Wizard first brought it up, the spell was supposed to end the "billions of coincidences" that ensured McNinja's existence. The spell was probably meant to make him Deader Than Dead, but between Radical's alterations to the universe and Old McNinja coming into existence since then, the spell wasn't strong enough to do that, and merely made Doc's life hell until he abandoned his life for a new one.

    Jetpack Man 
  • What happened to the fart/jetpack guy? We see him fly off at the end of the "There's a Raptor in my Office", but there's no mention of him ever again. He's barely even glossed over when the Banditos show up again. Heck, he doesn't even have a character page here.
    • He died from the gunshot and subsequent fall. The guy that flew off was John Basedow, who also developed an organic jetpack. John never showed up again likely due to copyright concerns.


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