Exclusive Review: Ninjak #2
Ninjak #2 has the ex-MI6 agent taking on three mercenaries with only minimal equipment, introduces a new antagonist, and also has a spot of skydiving thrown in to boot. It’s honestly the most James Bond-like comic I’ve read in a while, ironic considering I’ve always looked an Ninjak as an amalgamation of Bond and Batman.
That view is amplified in this issue as you see Ninjak facing off against the aforementioned mercenary trio, who bear a slight resemblance to three members of the X-Men (which I thoroughly enjoyed). The fight is well choreographed and Javier Pulido‘s art style really makes every panel pop – the simpler style allows the action to flow as fast as you can read it, and given how much happens in the first ten or so pages, I can’t see many other art styles being able to keep up with Jeff Parker‘s script. I’ve been reading a lot of old comics from the 70’s and early 80’s, and I’m always surprised by how much story is packed within those pages; I’m getting the same feeling from this book with the amount of story told within its 20-some pages.
Despite how fresh and exciting the art is (and I’m not just saying that, Pulido’s style has genuinely grown on me) I’m getting heavy nostalgic vibes from this book. In many ways this comic has all the hallmarks of the 60’s with a modern twist, making this comic an utterly fantastic read as it subverts the modern expectations from the story.
In every way, Ninjak #2 improves upon the previous issue – the comic is tightly paced as Parker and Pulido control the narrative without allowing the book to slip into chaos. Although the book isn’t quite on par with some of Valiant’s best offerings, the progression in quality from the first to the second issue is giving me a lot of hope for the book going forward. I know that Pulido isn’t an artist that is universally appreciated, but if you’re looking for something fresh and different to feast your eyes on, then this is a comic for you. His style isn’t quite abstract, and while it’s objectively simpler in comparison to others, his layouts absolutely shine in this comic, adding to the overall excitement of the comic.
I’m aware that I’m going into this comic wanting to love it, and perhaps because of that the things I see people unhappy with on social media genuinely don’t bother me. I’m really enjoying the added artistic diversity that Pulido brings to the Valiant universe, and I’m hoping we see more in the future.
Story and Art: Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido
Letters: Dave Sharpe and Javier Pulido
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review