Story: Matt Kindt
Art: Diego Bernard
Colors: Brian Reber
What They Say:
Colin King, the elite MI-6 intelligence operative codenamed Ninjak, has confronted his past. He’s survived the gauntlet of the Shadow Seven. He’s walked into the Deadside and returned a changed man. Now his greatest trial yet will come to pass as the ruthless assassin called Roku returns to lay siege to Ninjak’s present and future by destroying his life from the inside out – and only the death of Colin King will stop her.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Ninjak had a fairly fun arc overall with what it did in the Deadside storyline we just had, though it wasn’t one that really clicked for me in a big way because of my disconnect with the rest of the Valiant universe. Throwing Colin into that world worked well enough to show a different side of him but it didn’t grab me beyond that and into the other series/events. With that all wrapped up, the book kicks off a new arc this time around and throws Colin into a very different kind of situation. One that’s certainly familiar enough but serves well to give him a very different kind of challenge and pare him back to just the core of the character without the trappings and toys; just the skill of the man himself.
After being in Deadside for so long, at least in terms of how his world operates, the reconnect with who he is works through some great material in learning to refocus and center, to bring control back to where it needs to be. Unfortunately, his senses are all over the map and he doesn’t realize that his home has been wired with explosives and everything is about to come tumbling down for him. This is just the start of everything crumbling for him as a quick series of escapes leads him to further and further realization that he’s had everything about him wiped and what little is out there has him flagged as the most wanted man in the world. When even MI6 has been so heavily compromised and what few connections he has uncertain about it all and even their own memories, Colin is utterly and completely alone and on the run.
This pushes him in some good ways as he realizes all the things he’s relied upon are things he can’t anymore, from the tech and toys to the money and connections. While he gets a little help from Livewire that will give him a temporary reprieve to figure out his next goal, everything is focused on finding out who has done this to him and why. The result is a solid one as we see Colin in his most basic working to solve this and beginning to realize the scale of what’s being aligned against him. He’s certainly made enemies over the years and we know where it’s going to go simply by seeing Roku on the cover, but that’s not played strongly within this issue itself, resulting in a very good Colin-centric adventure.
Ninjak has a pretty solid if familiar story here as it kicks off its new arc. I would have liked a bit more Roku but I also like that Kindt really makes it all about Colin here and the realization of everything being stripped away from him. It’s a solid start to it and one that works well with artist Diego Bernard joining the book. He brings a good sense of realism to it all and some very dynamic action sequences utilizing some solid camera placement to drive it home well. There are some creative bits and I particularly liked the slightly skewed page to give it a very distinctive feeling without going over the top of crazy. The main storyline is a good one here, though I wish it was given a few more pages instead of the backup feature as these continue to be weak at best for me as we get stories of Colin’s past. They really just don’t do anything for me.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: April 6th, 2016