Go Ninjak, Go Ninjak, Go!!!!
Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Diego Bernard, Alisson Rodrigues, Ulises Arreola
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 8, 2016
Review by: Branden Murray (@bmur3660)
I’ve been itching to get the lowdown on Ninjak and his adventures in the pages of Valiant Comics for a while now. To me following the exploits of a spy/mercenary for hire who wears a ninja outfit and possesses a special set of skills just sounds like a no brainer and something that should be acknowledged around here. Why haven’t we already been doing this? We’re comic book fans. We’re people who like ninjas, gunfights, ass kicking, and all the other general forms of debauchery that come along with it. (Jim's Note: Especially the debauchery part!) So I decided to get some balls and be the first one of the Weird Science Get Fresh Crew to dip my foot in the pool (shallow end...I'm no ninja myself) and test the waters. Screw it, I'm going to just flat out jump in the deep end cannonball style and join our hero during his most recent ongoing story like a boss. Or a mid-level supervisor. Ninjak #16 is part three of an arc called The Siege of Kings Castle. Come along and join me lets see just whose heads Ninjak gets to cracking and what this fancy castle is all about.
The ugly comic cliché, “every book is somebody’s first with the character”, is actually going to be true in this instance. So for this reason, and also because I forget many things, I always appreciate a summary page when it's provided. Here it's just one page with a few shots and some background of what has gone down in the story arc so far, but it helps immensely with my understanding going forward. I see what you did there Valiant. I’d like to think they heard we hate research around here at Weird Science so they included it just for us … but I also tend to be delusional about these type of things.
Off the bat we learn quickly that shit is not going well for Ninjak and that he’s been having his life dismantled by a sexy super villain with an agenda named Roku. Despite how appealing having a super sexy lady chasing you around seems, Ninjak looks pissed. It’s probably because Roku has been able to blow his cover, tear his life apart, destroy his super sweet castle, and get him to chase her to Venezuela. Oh you women and your love for dangerous third world countries filled with unsavory people. (Jim's Note: Plenty of unsavory people in my neighborhood...why don't super sexy villains with agendas show up here?)
Once in Venezuela, Ninjak purposely gets himself man-napped with the idea to gain access to the “nappers” weapons cache and get this party started. The chain of events that occur immediately after this can only be described as excessively bad ass. Ninjak takes his time to carefully rearrange these thugs facial structure before gaining access to ALL the guns. I imagine somewhere, Chuck Norris is reading this and nodding in approval which doesn’t just happen willy nilly, might I add. That guy wears action jeans for christ sake!
Back on the road and now fully armed to the gills, Ninjak uses the leads he has gathered, mostly from torture and general badassery, to track down a certain someone from his past. Our hero begins piecing together this mystery that has eluded him just in time for Roku (remember our super sexy lady villain) to reveal herself to Ninjak in classic cliffhanger style. Before we end the book she dismantles our hero with a few well-placed blows and then we're treated to an accompanying fill-in-the-blanks backup story.
Ninjak has been on my radar for some time and I've been wanting to give it a look see and I’m extremely glad I finally did. The hyper violent and detailed artwork by Diego Bernard is a pleasure look at...in a hyper violent kind of way. Even in the most chaotic action sequences, it was extremely easy to see exactly who has the upper hand and exactly what's occurring in each panel.
I found the writing by Kindt informative, as a new reader jumping on, but not catering to me in any way which is an obvious appeal to long time readers of the title. As a person with some comic book experience, I found the story’s pace and style to be perfect. It allowed me to enjoy the current issues while mixing in enough history and past events to make me want to know more and dive into Ninjak’s past myself.
Bits and Pieces:
As a Ninjak virgin, I was worried about jumping in headfirst, but I couldn't come up with any excuse to ignore it any longer. I'm glad for that because this is just the sort of ultra-violent book I love and after a few pages, Matt Kindt had me up and running...for my life! The story and great art by Diego Bernard had made an instant fan out of this guy. I’d say we can effectively check all the boxes necessary for Ninjak #16 to be declared Ninja-rific.