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Review: Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe #4

NJKVS_004_COVER-A_LEVELHis allies have turned against him. His last options have been exhausted. And there is nowhere left to run. Now, Ninjak – the rogue super-spy turned against his former masters by the cunning assassin called Roku – must face the final revelation of his no-holds-barred showdown with the heroes of the Valiant Universe. Bloodied but unbowed, Colin King’s gauntlet ends here…and Valiant’s first-of-its-kind crossover between live action and the comic book page is about to come to an explosive finale that will leave you stunned!

Alright so I’m not to try to sugar coat anything, but in an effort to refrain from an angry rant, I’ve used bullet points to gather my thoughts about Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe #4.

  • This four issue miniseries is set in a separate universe from the rest of Valiant’s comics. If you read this prior to anything else, expect to be a little confused when things aren’t the same (but happy that the writing is better).
  • If you consider a “first-of-its-kind” crossover to be an adaptation of live action and comics, you’re behind a couple decades. This may be the first crossover from webseries to comics, however. Maybe  that’s what they mean.
  • Expecting the typical quality that you would ordinarily get from a direct tie-in comic (and not an adaptation like, say, the Bloodborne comics are adapted from the videogames) will leave little room for dissapointment.
  • Eliot Rahal is a much better comic book writer than he’s showing here, because at the end of the day he’s only got so much to work with. You can only polish a turd so much, really, and even then it’s still a turd.
  • The art by Joe BennettBelardino Brabo and Ulises Arreola remain the only saving grace for an issue that caps off perhaps the worst thing Valiant have published in the last three years.
  • If you want a better story starring all the Valiant characters read The Valiant. If you want a better Ninjak story look up Ninja-K or Bloodshot Salvation to get a small dash of Ninjak with Bloodshot.

I am oddly relieved this series is over, because it wasn’t really all that good (if you enjoyed it then fair play to you. I’m not saying you’re wrong, only that we hav different opinions). I tried to find the good in it (the art, mostly), but the pervading sense I got from the entire series was that it was a poor adaptation of another story. This doesn’t read like the kind of comic Valiant, or Eliot Rahal are capable of putting out, nor like the story was ever written for comics. It’s shoehorned into the four colour medium and it doesn’t work. Hopefully the webseries that this is adapted from will be better than the series, but after having read the comics I’m not holding out much hope of anything more than a brief diversion.

Screen story: Aaron Schoenke
Screenplay: Aaron Schoenke, Sean Schoenke, Joe Harris and Andrew Rowe
Comic Script
: Eliot Rahal Art: Joe Bennett
Ink: Belardino Brabo Color: Ulises Arreola
Story: 4.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0
Recommendation: Read it if you’ve come this far. Don’t start if you haven’t.

Thankfully, Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.