Sam and Fuzzy Q & A: Familial Edition
Got a question you want answered? Just drop me an email with "Q & A" in the subject line!
"I was doing some archive diving and saw that in strip #740 from over eight years ago, it's mentioned that there are nine royal houses of the Ninja Mafia. Have we seen (or will we ever see) any of them besides Gertrude's? Or is this Noosehead plotline-related information so old that it's no longer relevant?" -Jared
We've seen a few of them! Gertrude's family, the Duponts, are one of them. The McMillans -- which include both General McMillan and Sasha -- are another. I can't remember if any of the other families were ever name-checked, but they may have been. Various members have certainly appeared on camera at one point or another.
The old Ninja Mafia was a staunchly classist organization. Only the members of the nine royal houses were permitted to sit on the ruling council, or to serve in high-ranking positions as academics, elders, or generals in the armed forces. (Meanwhile, the actual rank-and-file grunts of the Ninja Mafia -- from the lowest cadets to the highest-ranked Blankfaces -- were drawn mostly from members of the general public.)
The one exception to the classist leadership requirement is violent overthrow. According to Ninja tradition, if someone successfully took out the emperor and his entire council of successors -- destroying the chain of succession entirely -- that usurper could claim the throne, regardless of his or her familial heritage. (Which is how someone like Sam was able to wind up in charge.)
When the emperor was assassinated and the old Mafia collapsed, most of the members of the royal houses scattered and went their separate ways. And when Sam came back and ressurected it, I don't think he called any of them up. I think the only member of the old ruling class who is still around are Ninja Elder Archie. (And I suppose Gertrude, who is still technically Sam's appointed successor.)
The old classist version of the Ninja Mafia, incidentally, is the one that can be found in the Sam and Fuzzy RPG! (Which takes place pre-Noosehead.) You'll be able to read more about 'em in the game's lore chapters.
"I am sure you are getting this question a lot, but what is the status of the Underground RPG? Do you know when we should expect the PDFs and the physical copies?" -Chris
It's taken a few extra weeks, but we're actually almost finished now! The files should be done and ready for the printer by the end of the month... which means we'll be able to send out the PDFs in early May and the gamebooks and other physical rewards in early June.
Thanks to you and all our other backers for your patience! I'm sorry we weren't able to make our estimated April delivery date, but taking the extra time to polish was definitely worth it. Hope you all understand!
"What are your thoughts on Marvel's Daredevil show on Netflix?"-Joe
Daredevil is one of my favourite comic characters, so even though I'm starting to get a little burned out on all this Marvel film stuff, I was looking forward to the show.
I'm only 9 episodes in, so I can't speak for the ending... but so far, I generally like it. The cast is great, and the TV format -- with more time for character work and gradually unfolding criminal plots -- is perfect for Daredevil. The fight choreography is also pretty impressive, especially for a TV series. Sometimes the pacing drags a bit, and some of the dialogue isn't really sophisticated or nuanced enough to justify such a serious presentation, but for the most part it clicks.
I think some of the on-screen graphic violence is a little unnecessary. I know they're trying to ground the show and play up the gut-churning quality of realistic physical carnage, as opposed to replicating the cartoonier violence of the MCU films. And I've been fine with this sort of imagery in other contexts. But it's a bit much here. I don't think Daredevil needs to be Drive.
And just as an aside, I find it really weird seeing a version of Daredevil where Foggy doesn't know Matt's secret identity yet! That's been the status quo in the comic for so long now that a show where Matt can't confide in Foggy about his superhero problems -- and where Foggy can't get on his case about them -- feels alien to me!