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Lysa Hawkins Takes Us Into the Shadowy World of Ninjak

Ninjak #1

Valiant Entertainment’s top superspy is stepping out of the shadows…

From Ringo Award-winning writer Jeff Parker and artist Javier PulidoNinjak #1 follows Colin King, aka Ninjak, as the secret operative is on the run after the identity of every MI6 agent is exposed. Now, Colin must embark on a global adventure to evade the deadly people who have him in their sights…

Ninjak #1by writer Jeff Parker, artist Javier Pulido, and letterer Dave Sharpe goes on sale July 14th, 2021, and features covers by David NakayamaCaspar WijngaardDamion Scott, Ibrahim Moustafa, and Javier Pulido.

We got a chance to ask Ninjak editor Lysa Hawkins about the series and what we can expect in the latest take of Valiant’s superspy.

Graphic Policy: Hey Lysa, how’re things?

Lysa Hawkins: I’m fully vaccinated! Things are a lot brighter now!

GP: So, Ninjak. How would you describe him to somebody who has no idea what to expect?

LYSA: I like to say Ninjak is the love child of James Bond and Modesty Blaise, so you really don’t know what to expect.

GP: How has the experience been editing Ninjak? Are there any differences between this book and others you’ve edited?

LYSA: Did I mention I love James Bond and Modesty Blaise? Working on a spy thriller is very near and dear to me. I’ve been blessed at Valiant to have my toe dipped in many different genre pools. Horror, sci fi, action-adventure, supernatural and now spy thriller. I’m feeling pretty lucky.

Ninjak #1

GP: The last time we saw Ninjak he’d severed ties with MI6 – will we see what happened in the immediate aftermath?

LYSA: Yes and no. Our story takes place a few months after he left MI6, but you do learn what Colin has been up to since departing from MI6.

GP: How did the creative team come together?

LYSA: Synchronicity! I actually had Javier on board before I found Jeff, which is unusual as it’s usually the other way around. When I read Jeff’s script I could just see what I thought Javier would bring to the table, of course I was wrong. He brought so much more!

GP: Javier Pulido’s art style is a departure from what we’ve seen in the past when it comes to Ninjak books. Can you talk a little about that?

LYSA: Denny O’Neill once wrote a great article talking about your favorite Batman, as we have seen so many incarnations of the Dark Knight over the years. It’s the same with Ninjak.  He is a universal character that will have many different art styles over the years. If this isn’t your Ninjak, just wait, yours will pop back up eventually. Javier is bringing something new to Ninjak, which I find very exciting and appealing, and while the style is different, the character is thoroughly all Ninjak.

GP: We’ve seen a few pages already, but can you tease any more about the series’ direction?

LYSA: You ain’t seen nothing yet! No, seriously, Javier pushes the boundaries of the art on every page resulting in an exciting, joy ride of action. 

Ninjak #1

GP: The series sees the identities of the MI6 agents exposed. It feels like that’s a pretty relevant story with today’s concerns over data and privacy and even some of the secrets that have been leaked out.

LYSA: Without a doubt, this tale is very much set in our modern world. One of the things I like the most about playing in the Valiant Universe. It walks that fine line of fiction and reality.

GP: Ninjak feels like one of the more high-profile British comic characters out there. How much does that play into the character and is there work to try to get that detail “right”?

LYSA: Well, if it’s done right, you hear his voice in your head sounding British. I happen to think Jeff nails it. Not only is Colin completely British, he’s also deadpan and funny.

Ninjak #1

GP: What sets this book apart from the other Ninjak stories we’ve had from Valiant over the years?

LYSA: It looks unlike any other Ninjak book previously. It gets to push the envelope further because of the art style and the reader gets to go along for the ride.

GP: Valiant has always been impressive to us in that it balances stories that can be enjoyed by themselves and the greater interconnected stories and world. How difficult is it to balance that?

LYSA: We are the Valiant Universe. We are meant to be enjoyed on our own or together, always one expanding universe. 

GP: What are you the most excited for about this book?

LYSA: Gosh! Everything! I think you’ll like Myna. She’s a great new character. 

GP: Thanks for your time!

LYSA: Thank you! And Stay Valiant!

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