REVIEW: Ninjak #16

Ninjak is one the key books in the Valiant universe, which is high praise when you consider the wealth of quality of their other books such as X-O Manowar, 4001 AD and Bloodshot.

It seems that Roku has been leading Ninjak on a merry little dance all designed to add insults to various injuries, both emotional and physical.  In order to meet her challenge, the MI-6 hunted ex agent has to use all his spy savvy in order to defeat his female mirror.

Matt Kindt is a popular writer, having success on a number of  books.  It’s a credit to his skill that each of his books has a different voice.  With Ninjak, especially in this issue, we get to see Kindt attempt to add a level of “James Bond” to a resource stripped Colin King.  Heroes have been de-powered before, but seldom have I seen it work so well and so effectively as a single chapter of a multi issue story.  With Kindt, the reader is treated to an engaging monologue that helps move the story forward almost as well as it disarms and distracts the reader, allowing for greater entertainment value.

Diego Bernard provides the art that simply put, could grace any of the Big Two books.  Sure, there is an odd perspective in play on one of the motorbike panels, but other than that his work is fantastic.  There are panels that scream action, that look like movie storyboards, facial elements that show the desperation and anger of King in a dire situation and set pieces that allow for the plans and subterfuges to be put in place.  Inks are provided by Allison Rodrigues who compliments Bernard’s line work by adding a good level of various textures.  The colors by Ulises Arreola are the final piece, giving the environments that King needs to travel trough an air of authenticity, although not every British bus is red.

Having only read Ninjak to review, I am left wondering why this book isn’t on my regular pull list.  It features a strong story line, an engaging character and a well thought out “long game plan”. However, I think the story of  a man without access to his usual means and accoutrements has allowed this story to work better than previous issues I have read.  That said, I would be interested in finding out how this little mini saga ends.

Writing – 5 Stars
Art 4.5 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by DIEGO BERNARD and ANDRES GUINALDO

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