NINJAK #1 Review

Has Valiant got themselves yet another amazing series? Or should Ninjak only feature in Unity? Read on to find out.

The official description from Valiant:

For the first time, Ninjak’s past and future collide in the pages of an all-new ongoing series from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (Rai, Mind MGMT) and superstar artists Clay Mann (X-Men: Legacy, Gambit) and Butch Guice (Captain America, Action Comics)!

Then: Meet inexperienced MI-6 recruit Colin King on his first mission in the field as he learns the basics of spycraft and counterintelligence, and develops a volatile relationship with his first handler.

Now: Colin King is Ninjak, the world’s foremost intelligence operative, weapons expert, and master assassin. And he’s hunting the Shadow Seven – a secret cabal of shinobi masters with mysterious ties to his training and tragic past.

NINJAK_001_COVERB_MANNValiant continue to impress me more and more with each new #1, as though they’ve always managed to allure with their tales, the notion of something new, as well as the fact it’s from Valiant always seems to entice. That’s no different with Ninjak, with the assassin, spy who we all know from Unity, getting the chance to break out in his own comic. Showcasing espionage elements, whilst also giving a wonderful look into Ninjak’s past, this opening issue more than amazes, as though it’s far from perfect, it’s a fabulous start.

Matt Kindt always seems to create some of his best work at Valiant, as though Mind MGMT may be his most acclaimed tale, and rightfully so, the majority of his stellar work comes from this magnificent company. This once again shows precedence in Ninjak, with his storytelling ability, and character building being amazing throughout. The fun way that he introduces readers to this world of espionage also impresses, being fitting for fans old and new. Despite this, I did feel that pacing of the issue was ever so slightly off, with the multiple different tangents resulting in a brief amount of time to focus on one specific development.

The artwork on this issue is split between Clay Mann and Butch Guice, with the former handling the main bulk of the art, and the latter featuring on a short back-up tale. Delivering beautifully detailed panels, both artists manage to impress, with the slick finish and dynamic layouts helping to bring this world to life. The way that Mann captures the emotion of Ninjak also astounds, as given the fact his face is covered by a mask for a good portion of this tale, it can’t be easy to portray emotional depth, whereas Mann has no problem in delivering this. The inks of Seth Mann and colours of Ulises Arreola also mesmerize, with the texture and tone being magnificent throughout.

Ninjak #1 is a fresh new look into the spy genre, as though it’s never going to take the concept by storm, the fast paced action, and deep character insight does wonders for it’s main character. This mixed with a enthralling plot, makes this a series that fans should try, whether it’s your first experience with Valiant or not.

  • + Ninjak kicks ass!
  • + Matt Kindt shows wonderful storytelling prowess.
  • + Wonderful use of espionage.
  • - A few pacing issues.

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