So, now we’re seeing why Ninja Dan has been such a moody, angsty co-cleaner to the fairer and happy-go-luckier Eben07. Also, point of fact, Ninja Dan probably also hates talking on phones, now. If anything has been revealed about Ninja Dan this story, it is that he’s flypaper for name-collection. Just within the course of Operation: 3-Ring Bound, he has gone by at least three names, one of which was shared by a dude he just killed! So, if you’re confused, let’s straighten some things out, name by name.
- Ninja Dan: This is the name that most people call him, though, technically, it is just a nick name. Officially, it is his rank within his department at the ICA: Ninjadan, using a Japanese term, “-dan” to designate his rank (which is “ninja”). As Ninja Dan has said, there are many people at the ICA in the same rank as him. But since, as we learned in this story, he has some negative connotations with the name “Justin,” he never really corrected anybody and it stuck.
- Bernard: Since, with this story, Eben07 and Ninja Dan are sent to do undercover spy-work instead of working within their normal cleaning duties, ICA Director J. Herman Shepard decided to give them code-names instead of using their standard names (i.e., “Eben07″ and “Ninja Dan”). Since Eben07, apparently, has a history of forgetting or not-responding to his code names, Shepard took the risk and let Eben07′s code name be “Eben.” Ninja Dan seems to be a little more reliable, however, and Shepard assigned him the code name name “Bernard” to him, of which Ninja Dan was slightly shocked and displeased.
- Justin Danforth: This, as was revealed in this very update, is Ninja Dan’s birth name. Though not technically a secret, due to violent and shameful associations with Ninja Justin––a man Ninja Dan’s parents adopted and raised like another son, only to be killed by him––it’s clear now why Ninja Dan probably wanted to just forget his old name and, instead, dive head-first into his job as a covert custodian, cleaning up after the likes of Solid Snake (from the Metal Gear Solid video game series). Ninja Dan’s real name was strung along, hinted at in the very first issue of Operation: 3-Ring Bound, and his problems with family legacies goes back even further, but now all is in the open––as much for Ninja Dan as for the readers.
Ninja Dan will always be Ninja Dan, however, so don’t expect anything to change with regard to his name. For the purposes of this story, it was more about Ninja Dan coming to terms with his mixed-up identity rather than an attempt to confuse readers further (on that note, his “Ninja Dan” nickname has had nick names in the past––”N.D.” or “Ned”––those won’t be coming back if only because they stir the pot even more). We hope this has been more interesting than confusing, and that you know Ninja Dan a little better than before!