Saturday, April 1, 2017

Ninjak #25 Review

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Stephen Segovia, Ulises Arreola
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 29, 2017
Review by: Ryan Douglas

Jumping onto Ninjak with this new arc, it’s grabbed my attention with the art and mystery behind the story. Matt Kindt isn’t wasting any time and we’ve reached the penultimate issue. While he could drag it out, we’re getting a straightforward arc to bring new readers in and move forward from there. Short and straight to the point.

Kicking things off in North Carolina, two hunters are hunting in their own back yard which has become Darquewood, a forest quarantined off. The one friend has the feeling it’s not the brightest idea to be out there. But the owner feels he should be able to hunt on his own property. Unfortunately for them, Master Darque has taken control of the forest. Using the vines to drain the flesh of both hunters allowing him to rise from the ground.

We’re shown the origin of both Nicodemo and Sandria Darque, who were born in the 1800’s. Their father was the kindest person. He used his children as tablets to experiment with magical passages and symbols. Both Nicodemo and Sandria didn’t cope the same after their transformation. Seeing how twisted their father is he plans to sacrifice Sandria. Nicodemo being hungry for his father’s power puts a stop their torture killing him. He’s gotten his first taste of blood and seeking more deaths. Now with each death, Nicodemo commits, they both grew more powerful.

In present day Sandria is speaking with Ninjak and explains the reason for her bringing the gang together sending them to Darquewood. She has grown old of her brother's darkness and plans to wipe him from existence. We now join Ninjak as he briefs the other Shadow Seven and what we know so far of Nicodemo. Most of the members continue to give Ninjak a hard time and treat him as a joke. Roku speaks up reminding everyone she plans to fulfill her promises to everyone. She get’s called out and everyone, including myself, wants to know her reward in all this. Keeping quiet she thinks back and we see she’s made a deal with the devil Master Darque himself. In exchange to releases her their internal bond, she must bring him powerful beings to consume to get his strength back. I smell a trap coming.

Back on the hovercraft making their way to the forest. Ninjak is spilling his guts to his ex-lover as she simply sits there quietly staring out the window. There the ship is attacked by a wild bear crashing through the cockpit. Now shit starts to go down from this point. Everyone but Kannon’s able to avoid the path of the party crasher, pinning him to the wall. Ninjak opens the back hatch leading Kannon and the bear to fall out the ship. Crashing into the forest, Roku leads the remaining Shadow Seven minus Fakir and Ninjak to their deaths. Each of them of plucked off by several monsters to feed Master Darque. Although Fakir remains he has no intention of going deeper in the forest with Ninjak and Roku. The issue ends with Ninjak and Roku entering Master Darque’s treehouse for the final showdown.

This issue was an enjoyable quick read. I enjoyed learning the backstory of the twins and Sandria’s motivations to put an end to her brother’s reign. But the issue really picked up for me half through. When the twist with Roku gets revealed is where things got exciting. Leaving Fakir alive makes me wonder if he still has a role in this arc. I could have gone without the redundance of the Shadow Seven giving Ninjak crap. Even as I say that it still served as a way for us to learn Roku's deal with Master Darque. I’m no comic book writer so who knows what dumb idea I would’ve come up with. The art is something special and does a solid job of portraying the fantasy aspect. Overall, this was a satisfying issue to lead us into the final chapter of this story. Let the showdown begin. There can only be one.

Bits and Pieces:

This penultimate issue provides further plot development, a stunning fantasy world, plot twist and great artwork. Everything you want in a comic to lead us hopefully into a big finale. 


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