Written by MATT KINDT
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE with JUAN JOSE RYP
To paraphrase Ninjak himself, “why does it have to be magic?”
Ninjak’s next mission sees him take walk on the deadside in order to recapture Fakir, one of the shadow seven agents that he’d previously captured. In order to do this, Ninjak has to work with a female magician, with a taste in stockings that seems to be the norm, (you know who I mean… “stenhsif” ), who can ride a Loa and allow the pair to continue their search.
If you have any idea what I am talking about, then I tip my hat to you. Normally I stay well away from magic books, unless I like the writer, take Justice League Dark for example with J. M. DeMatteis. Now, I’m not saying I dislike Matt Kindt because I do like some of his work. But magic?
Kindt has to be given a lot of credit with this issue. The series as a whole is all about telling the reader how great Ninjak is; how with enough planning he can beat any situation. Some writers by now would have regurgitated those stories, maybe with a different villain. Not Kindt. Kindt effectively changes the playing field in a dramatic way, ensuring that Ninjak can’t plan and has to rely on others for the help in needs in this, the farthest away of lands afar.
Doug Braithwaite is on hand for the art, with a very British style, which is competent and full of detail. With Braithwaite you know you are going to get a solid-looking book, with strong lines. Elements of the book seem suited to the ex 2000AD artist, with certain characters stylings reminding me of Barry Windsor Smith’s work. As there is alchemy..ahem magic in play, I should mention color artist Brian Reber w/Soto who does a great job throughout all aspects of this book.
I wanted to dislike this book for a couple of reasons. Certain Valiant books seem to be running out of steam and there is the fact this is about magic! After reading the book however, Ninjak is not on the verge of losing its way, with Kindt throwing curveballs and despite the magic elements and the required amount of explanations, I did enjoy the book.