Valiant’s Ninja-K #11 takes our superspy to Chernobyl to find a familiar foe but the reality of what’s there is more than he bargained for and our hero has a dwindling number of allies.
To catch up, Ninja-K is an action comic that follows the adventures of the titular hero who is part of a super-secret program run by the British MI6. Over the course of this new run, Ninja-K has faced an army of demi-Gods. The war against these powerful foes was won, but Ninja-K lost a lot of friends along the way. Also, he’s lost faith in what he’s doing and how he’s doing it. Ninja-K’s belief is further tested here.
Writing: Christos Gage
Pencils/Inks: Roberto De La Torre
Colors: José Villarrubia
Letters: A Larger World Studios
Editor: Karl Bollers
“… You haven’t seen anything yet.” – Ninja-K
Christos Gage continues to layer action and character. For this new issue #11, the character takes over the action a bit more, and it definitely makes the overall narrative a richer experience. Ninja-K is in a perfect storm that’s creating paranoia and distrust. He questions everything he’s doing as he’s doing it. The character turmoil is great. Ninja-K’s dilemmas stem from his friend Amanda (aka Livewire) who is wanted by, well, basically everyone; his growing distrust of MI6; and the fact that they Dying One, his nemesis, is still out there. Making things all more difficult is that Ninja-K needs Amanda’s help but the powerful superhero has gone missing.
By the end of the issue, the story, which is slower-paced than previous installments, fills in Ninja-K with a lot of internal turmoil. Throughout its run thus far, the external threat is clear, but there’s a growing internal threat that’s eating our hero up inside. However, as a determined protagonist, Ninja-K does not let up and continues on his mission, figuring out ways to accomplish his goal without giving in to necessary evils.
After a brief issue with a new artist, Ninja-K shifts visual gears again, this time bringing Roberto De La Torre into the mix. Torre’s work appears in several Iron Man and Ms. Marvel issues for Marvel and Shadowman from Valiant. Here, I feel, Ninja-K finally has an artist to match the tone of Gage’s story. The previous art wasn’t bad by any stretch, but Torre’s style is grittier, suiting the story better, and it’s much more dynamic in the use of color. Everything in Ninja-K #11 feels more visceral and fluid because of the shift in art style.
Ninka-K #11 continues the work set forth by the previous installments. Overall, the story shifted into a new, higher gear with this book. The art is fantastic, and there is much more balance to character and action. Also, the grim realities of this issue that set in by the end for both our hero and reader is a job well done by the creative team. Ninja-K #11 provides a gruesome punch that’s worth a read for new and old readers alike. The superspy’s future in doubt as the villains start to overwhelm our lone hero.