REVIEW: Ninjak #3

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CLAY MANN with BUTCH GUICE
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Following a quick appearance in Valiant’s FCBD special, Ninjak is back in his own book up to his neck in trouble.

During his current mission, Ninjak is rudely interrupted by Roku, an assistant so feared that skilled warriors have taken their own lives rather than face her deadly skills. Did I mention she has razor-sharp locks of hair?

As we join the fray, Ninjak is on somewhat of a timescale. He has left his target, Kannon, unconscious and who should be waking up in 30 minutes. So in order, he has to save himself, defeat Roku, get to the video surveillance room to destroy video evidence of his attack on Kannon and get back in time to be their when the mark wakes up.  That is quite a lot to get through in 22 pages.

Matt Kindt does a great job, letting the story flow.  Some writers, when faced with an action-centric issue, try to reinvent the wheel. Thankfully  that is not the case here. The elements of Nijak as a child, serve to break up the action well. It may, at first glance, seem like a non sequitur but the strength is that the interludes don’t give us any more information to really think about, at least not yet.

The strength of the issue is the art by Clay Mann. The panels and pages consist of clean lines, heroic poses and exploded panels, bringing the various elements of the fight alive. Inks are by Seth Mann and serve, as good inks should, to accentuate the artist’s work.  Here, thanks to the number of close-ups, the ink bring a sense of vibrancy to proceedings. Pencils and inks aside, the colours by Ulises Arreola also have a striking impact.

In addition to the main story, there is a back up featuring a younger version of Colin King, Ninjak’ alter ego, and his meeting with a subject under surveillance.  His attempt s to bypass her perceptual awareness notwithstanding, the story has a certain charm which may make the potential outcome emotional for both Colin and the reader.

Ninjak is probably one of the most straight up superhero books produced by Valiant. The quality of the publishers work is outstanding, with books that features strong characters coupled with strong creators. Together, they create strong books, which at times can present a different type of comic book universe.

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