Ninjak #23 marks the end of a long hiatus for me and the Valiant Comics Universe. Valiant is a comics company I do enjoy, but I frequently lose track of it. Then I saw this comic on the shelf, and immediately it had my attention. Seriously, “The Seven Blades of Master Darque” is a cool title in itself, and then the Ryan Bodenheim cover grabbed me. Yes, this is an example that having a cool cover can sell your comic. Then I saw that the comic was a jumping on point, which sealed the deal for me to grab this book. Now it is time to see if this comic lives up to the cool cover and killer storyline title. Join me for the adventure that is Ninjak #23.
Yep, I fell behind on Ninjak and all things Valiant recently and I picked a great time to jump on board.
Ninjak #23 is a brilliant jumping on point; the recap page does well in giving you everything you need to know. The focus of the issue involves an assassin named Roku and her history with Ninjak. They were lovers and then a lot of awful things happened and you’re good to go. Matt Kindt is so smooth connecting you to Roku and her character while operating as a great introduction to Ninjak. I’m behind on this series and now I want to know more about this comic. I’m wanting to dive into past issues to see what I’ve missed, that’s a good thing.
The entire issue mostly focuses on Roku and her escapades in breaking out a group of people out of prison. I won’t spoil why she’s doing it and the ultimate reason, but it works. You spend a lot of time getting to know Roku through this process and through the narration understand how wild this mission of hers is. Through each of these characters you get a larger piece of the puzzle and it feels organic to the comic instead of a massive info dump. You also get a lot of cool concepts and ideas in the midst of Roku’s journey keeping you constantly engaged in the story. It doesn’t hurt that all the characters introduced are fun in their own way too. I love a comic that’s friendly to a new reader and delivers a great book in the process.
It’s impressive honestly as to how effective this comic on both levels, a jumping on point and an inventive new story as well.
Now here’s the thing with being inventive with a story, you give the opportunity for the art team to cut loose. If this is your first issue of Ninjak, like it is for me, you’re in for a treat. Matt Kindt gives Marc Laming the chance to unleash pure beauty on the page. I love Laming’s sense of movement on the page, it gives such an exciting atmosphere to any page. The emotions have the right touch to them, just enough to convey the seriousness or fun of any given situation. The Codename: Mortar fight will be the one that I think will catch the eyes of many readers. It’s intense, it’s hard hitting and brutal in its efficiency. The designs are also wonderful, you get a good feel for each of these characters just by looking at them.
Here’s another part of the art I appreciate and gives you the scale of Roku’s mission – the look at the prison itself. A detailed look at the place does wonders to show how huge this place is and how deep it goes. The lettering is great throughout as well, especially in the introduction to each major location of the story. Dave Sharpe keeps it clear and concise in his lettering for how the prison works. Add in the powerhouse coloring of Ulises Arreola, notably the bright greens of the lasers surrounding Roku, and a great use of light and shadow in general and this comic looks great.
Did I mention I’m glad I picked up this book? Because I am, I really am.
This is a beyond glowing review. Seriously you should start reading Ninjak here. Matt Kindt gives you a great jumping on point for this series with a rocking art team to boot. Every inch of this book hits the mark and hits it well. A great looking comic with a killer story in the making. Don’t miss out on this one, it’s worth your time.