Review: Ninjak #0
“Behind the years of training… Underneath the high-tech gadgetry… MI-6’s most experienced operative is still flesh and blood. So just how is a mortal man like Colin King able to survive in a world filled with telekinetic psiots, eternal warriors, and sentient suits of alien armor? The key to Ninjak’s survival is buried deep in the past…and today, the world’s most dreaded super-spy prepares to reveal his most closely guarded secrets!”
In what is a true passing of the torch Ninjak scribe Matt Kindt writes the main feature while the back up story is written by the man responsible for November’s Ninja-K: Christos Gage.
Matt Kindt revisits Ninjak’s past with two stories being told concurrently in an interesting split-screen method that reminds me of classic British war comics in how the panels are laid out on each half page; the shortened pages provide an interesting challenge to Francis Portella as his portion of the comic is essentially a silent story of Ninjak doing exactly what you’d expect a ninja to do. Portella’s work is excitingly dynamic, and the extended action sequence is incredibly fun to read.
Portella’s art serves as a counterpoint to the flashback sequences on the second half of the divided pages that becomes Kindt’s second story in this extended comic (he’s joined by a plethora of guest artists on those flashback sequences so I won’t list them all by name). Because the aesthetic is noticeably different it’s remarkably easy to differentiate between the two stories; granted one is primarily Matt Kindt allowing Portella to tell a visual story and the other is essentially a series of flashbacks with an internal monologue overlaid; yet they balance each other remarkably well, and serve as an interesting farewell to the writer of Ninjak.
The reverse can (almost) be said of Christos Gage’s short back up story. We get an introduction to the direction he’ll be taking the character in come November, and while the taste we get isn’t quite enough to form an in depth opinion of quite yet what we do get more than whets the whistle for the next stage in Ninjak’s life.
Interestingly enough despite this issue wrapping up one writer’s take on the character and introducing another, Ninjak #0 is brilliantly positioned as an excellent entry point to the character for new and returning fans. Where as Kindt’s story gives you a great base understanding of the character, it’s Gage’s tale that will make you want to pick up the new series in November. Ultimately, a successful issue.
Story: Matt Kindt Art: Francis Portella, Various
Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.0
Story: Christos Gage Art: Tomas Giorello
Colourist: Diego Rodriguez
Story: 7.25 Art: 8.0
Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review