Monkeys Fighting Robots

Ninja-K #9 arrives this week from Valiant Comics and it continues the battle between Ninja-K and his friends against the Coalition in a super-battle between ninjas, magic, technology, and demi-Gods.

To get you up to speed in case you haven’t been keeping up, Ninja-K is a highly trained ninja who works for a secret British program. Over the past eight issues, a group called The Coalition which is made up of super-powered villains is causing havoc in Mexico and starting a war that may be too much for Ninja-K and his friends to handle. At this point, the battle is on, raging over several issues. But it’s looking grim for the good guys.

Writing: Christos Gage
Art: Juan José Ryp
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: A Larger World Studios
Editor: Karl Bollers

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“Yes. You hurt me once. Once.” – GIN-GR

The Battle at Mexico City comes to a close in this issue. The Coalition’s plans sort of work. Ninja-K and his team sort of win. For 90% of the issue, it’s a frenetic battle between the good and bad guys. Chaos reigns here. The dialogue mostly serves as action banter with bits of exposition. Cristos Gage’s story doesn’t let up for almost the entire 20 pages. It’s an impressive stretch of non-stop combat. Ninja-K #9 is about as action packed as a single issue of a comic book can get.

How about when it all slows down? If Ninja-K lacks anything, it’s better character development. Of course, that’s not really the kind of comic book it’s trying to be, so it matters a bit less here. But a little more time to connect further to protagonist Colin King wouldn’t hurt. Those final few pages of this issue seem to be addressing that and trying to add an extra layer to the dynamics at play here. It’s not heavy-handed and a welcome addition to the action story that draws you deeper into the the super-ninja’s personal struggles.

Being the action story that it is, artist Juan José Ryp gets to have a lot of fun. Ninja-K pits high-tech super-soldiers vs. robots vs. voodoo spell casters vs. giant earth Gods. It’s a crazy mix of things that come together in exciting ways. Stylistically, Ryp lets it rip with fresh designs for each of the crazy characters featured in this book. Action scenes are explosive, dynamic, and visceral. The massive forces fighting in this war also come in small sizes. Ninja-K and the less super-sized characters also get to showcase their speed, agility, and unique talents through the excellent artwork created by Ryp and colorist Jordie Bellaire.

If you have been reading Ninja-K during its new run, then there’s no reason to change things. Issue #9 is more of the same which is a good thing. The Battle of Mexico City comes to a close in a spectacular fashion. As each entry in the series, there’s a proper closeout that ends one beat of the story but starts the next and leaves readers wondering what comes next for Ninja-K after a victory that also comes with a big price.

Ruben Diaz
Writer, film-fanatic, geek, gamer, info junkie & consummate Devil's advocate who has been fascinated by Earth since 1976. Classically trained in the ways of the future.