Valiant Comics returns Ninjak to publication and positive fan reception!
NINJAK #0 (2017)
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Frances Portela & various on flashbacks
Cover Artist Yama Orce cover C
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Lettering: Daniel Lanphear
What You’ll Need to Know:
This is simply the greatest concept now as it was in the 90’s, but varying in tone. WHAT IF JAMES BOND WAS A NINJA? Ninja, Union Jack, Ninjak. For those who don’t know, Union Jack is the name of the British flag. Our heroes real name is Colin King. In both series, he is a mercenary who errs on the side of good while also performing missions for Queen and Country. Both Colin’s parents were full secret agents, but he prefers to have total control over his missions. The 90’s series focused mainly on high octane adventure and suitably Bond-like villains. The current series is still action-oriented but attempts to answer the question of how Colin’s life experiences led him to mercenary life, but with a solid moral compass. Aspects of Ninjak’s parents differ in the current series from the previous, to suit this more psychological approach. Colin is also quite the gazetteer, and in both runs, designs all his own equipment with a sci-fi bent on a par with say, Batman. Ninjak interacts with many other Valiant Heroes, but this series can be read stand alone.
What You’ll Find Out:
This zero issue is a Cliff Notes version of everything that happened in issues one to twenty-seven, as a primer for the upcoming volume this November, NINJA-K. In a nod to the original series, this run also ended at twenty-seven. You’ll learn about Colin’s brutal upbringing by his parent’s manservant while they are off on various missions.When they were home, before their fatal last mission, they were distant, as if not knowing what to do with a child. There are other twists, but, spoilers. There is then a rundown of his adventures to date, and his repeated run-ins with femme fatale, Roku. This woman is Hell on wheels with a mad hated for Ninjak, for good reason, but again, spoilers. Ninjak was also a member of Unity, which is Valiant’s version of a Justice League, and his best friends are The Eternal Warrior and Livewire. There seems to be a mutual attraction between Ninjak and Livewire, but the craziness in their lives has left no time to explore this. Hopefully, in the future, fingers crossed.
What Just Happened:
The Shadow Seven, of which Ninjak and Roku are members, team up to take out their evil sensei, The Undead Monk. Success comes but at great cost. Revelations are made of Roku’s true identity, and she and Colin leave off with a temporary truce. With the zero issue, Colin attempts to get his head back in order by reflecting on his life so far.
Final Thought: While this is a flashback issue, it is all done with original art and a unique format. While the bottom half of the pages relate history, the top half entails a current mission that opens leads to the next volume, Ninja-K, which will be written by Christos Gage.
Review Writer: Douglas Briel