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Review: Ninjak #1

Ninjak #1

Previously in the pages of the book Ninja-K, it was brought to light that MI-6, the organization that employs Colin King, AKA Ninjak (and also Ninja-K), had a lot of skeletons in the closet and was doing a lot of manipulation to make their agents see their way. Ninjak wanted no part anymore of this and bailed on MI-6. Ninjak #1 kicks of a brand-new series that sees the pieces of that puzzle start to take shape. While MI-6 has someone tailing Colin, MI-6 takes an even bigger blow in that someone has leaked the identities of all of their secret agents, resulting in a lot of death. Ninjak, being one of the best spies and assassins around, knows quite well of his tracker, Myna, and brings her into the fold as forces now want both of them dead.

I love the story that Jeff Parker has crafted with this. For one, he did the work and saw where the character was left. Some of Valiant’s work lately seems so detached from the previous continuity that it almost felt like no one cared to see how the characters work. Parker, picking up from the previous Ninja-K series, seemed to know exactly where to take the character and amplify the threats and action. There’s a lot going on inside the cover and I think if someone gives this book an honest chance, I think there’s a lot to like with Ninjak’s story.

The real obstacle of this book is going to be whether you can handle the art. Javier Pulido’s artwork is going to win some fans over and help lose some. It’s just such a departure from what your typical Valiant comic looks like. In my opinion, Javier’s panel layouts are top-notch and help his style. The colors are simple, as is the amount of detail in his work. Ultimately, I do like how this volume of Ninjak looks so far, but I’m not faulting the Valiant faithful who are turned off by what they see.

I’m glad to see Ninjak back and I’m even happier that someone read Ninja-K and built the story off where that one seemed to leave off. Ninjak is on the run and for those chasing, they face one of the most dangerous men alive. Ninjak #1 is chock full of action and has a very interesting art style to accompany it. While I do think some won’t fully appreciate the visuals, I do hope they give the story a chance because it’s exactly what’s needed with Ninjak.

Words and Art: Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido
Letters: Dave Sharpe and Javier Pulido
Story: 9.0 Art: 6.0: Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW

Review: Ninjak #1

Ninjak #1

Out of the shadows and into the spotlight in Ninjak #1… the world’s greatest superspy has been exposed!

Colin King is Ninjak and he has a target on his back like never before. With enemies lurking around every corner, how will Ninjak survive when there’s nowhere left to hide and the world is gunning for him?

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room right away, shall we? Javier Pulido‘s art is going to be divisive – though judging from what I’ve seen on various social media platforms there seems to be more people who are, to put it politely, less than thrilled with the art style in the comic, than there are those who are excited to see what can be done with this style of art in a Ninjak story.

If you’ve yet to see the art, scroll down a bit – I’ve included the preview pages so that you can form your own opinion.

For me, I’ll fully acknowledge that this art style wouldn’t be my cup of tea – this isn’t the kind of look that would get me to pick up a comic based solely on the art (but to be completely transparent, I don’t remember the last book I picked up solely because of the art, so that’s nothing but an observation), but I do find myself enjoying what Pulido brings to the table.

This book reminds me of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #1. It took me a couple of issues to get used to Raul Allen and Patricia Martin’s art style (which I now love), and so I’m expecting that the art’s going to grow on me over the course of the story. There’s no denying that it’s a different look for the character, and it’s fairly far from what we’ve seen in the past but I don’t think it’s a bad look, either. There’s something exciting about a fresh look for the character’s stories.

Style aside, there were a couple of moments in the comic where it felt as though a panel or two was missing (which is the reason for the score on the art, not because of how it looks). The first, and most obvious is actually in the gallery below on the fourth page; a goon is threatening somebody with an angle grinder before it’s suddenly in Ninjak’s hands and somebody else’s neck. My interpretation of the sequence is that we’re seeing Ninjak’s speed on display, but I’d have preferred at least another panel in the sequence. While there are others examples, since they occur later in the book than I’m showing you I won’t go into specifics – especially since they’re not as obvious as the one below.

The story in this issue of Ninjak picks up several months after the close of Christos Gage’s Ninja-K, and finds Ninjak as a freelance operative being trailed by MI-6. Jeff Parker paces the story well, and sheds light on the events of the last few months that we don’t see by utilizing the internal monologues of Ninjak and the MI-6 agent tailing him – at times their thought bubbles are in synch, and at times they’re slightly off which did give me a pause when trying to figure out what order to read the words on the page. Not the end of the world, ultimately. Given that the story is just beginning, Parker balances exposition with action admirably, with the comic moving at a brisk pace while still allowing Pulido to flex his creative muscles. That Parker wastes no time in dragging the story out longer than necessary is to be commended; he uses Ninjak #1 to reintroduce us to the purple ninja and his supporting cast, catch us up with what’s been going on in the time since we last saw them and set the stage for what’s to come. All in all, this is an impressive book for that reason alone.

Ninjak #1 is almost exactly what I wasn’t expecting after seeing the previews; though not perfect, a genuinely good comic. Yes, the art isn’t for everyone, but at the end of the day this is a comic visually unlike anything Valiant have put out, and I’m happy that they’re willing to take the chance. Parker builds a solid foundation for what’s to come, while ensuring new readers can pick up the comic and not be muddled down with mountains of unexplained backstory.

I’m biased because of my love for the character, but Ninjak #1 is a welcome return for Valiant’s purple hero.

Words and Art: Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido
Letters: Dave Sharpe and Javier Pulido
Story: 7.9 Art: 7.5: Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Pre-order: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Ninjak #1

NINJAK #1

By JEFF PARKER & JAVIER PULIDO
Letters by DAVE SHARPE & JAVIER PULIDO
Cover A by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Cover B by CASPAR WIJNGAARD
Cover C by DAMION SCOTT
Preorder Cover by IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA
1:100 Prisma Glass Variant Cover by JAVIER PULIDO
Pre-order Deadline is June 21st
On sale JULY 14th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Out of the shadows and into the spotlight… the world’s greatest superspy has been exposed!

Colin King is Ninjak and he has a target on his back like never before. With enemies lurking around every corner, how will Ninjak survive when there’s nowhere left to hide and the world is gunning for him?

NINJAK #1

Early Preview: Ninjak #1

NINJAK #1

By JEFF PARKER & JAVIER PULIDO
Letters by DAVE SHARPE & JAVIER PULIDO
Cover A by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Cover B by CASPAR WIJNGAARD
Cover C by DAMION SCOTT
Preorder Cover by IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA
1:100 Prisma Glass Variant Cover by JAVIER PULIDO
Pre-order Deadline is June 21st
On sale JULY 14th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Out of the shadows and into the spotlight… the world’s greatest superspy has been exposed!

Colin King is Ninjak and he has a target on his back like never before. With enemies lurking around every corner, how will Ninjak survive when there’s nowhere left to hide and the world is gunning for him?

NINJAK #1

Get a Look at the Ninjak #1 1:100 Prisma Glass Cover

Valiant Entertainment presents a first look at the Ninjak #1 Prisma Glass Variant Cover, featuring artwork by acclaimed storyteller Javier Pulido.

Designed by Travis Escarfullery, Valiant Entertainment’s Director of Design and Production, this special variant cover is a screen print over a pane of acrylic. Seven different inks bring the cover to life, including three fluorescent dayglo inks which glow under a blacklight. Get a better look at this limited variant below.

The Ninjak #1 Prisma Glass Variant Cover is a 1:100 cover which means comic book shops will receive one with every qualifying order of 100 copies of Ninjak #1. Contact your local comic shop for more information on how to add this limited cover to your collection.

Ninjak #1 by Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido with lettering by Dave Sharpe and Pulido, comes to shelves July 14.

Advanced Review: Ninjak #1

Ninjak #1

Out of the shadows and into the spotlight in Ninjak #1… the world’s greatest superspy has been exposed!

Colin King is Ninjak and he has a target on his back like never before. With enemies lurking around every corner, how will Ninjak survive when there’s nowhere left to hide and the world is gunning for him?

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room right away, shall we? Javier Pulido‘s art is going to be divisive – though judging from what I’ve seen on various social media platforms there seems to be more people who are, to put it politely, less than thrilled with the art style in the comic, than there are those who are excited to see what can be done with this style of art in a Ninjak story.

If you’ve yet to see the art, scroll down a bit – I’ve included the preview pages so that you can form your own opinion.

For me, I’ll fully acknowledge that this art style wouldn’t be my cup of tea – this isn’t the kind of look that would get me to pick up a comic based solely on the art (but to be completely transparent, I don’t remember the last book I picked up solely because of the art, so that’s nothing but an observation), but I do find myself enjoying what Pulido brings to the table.

This book reminds me of Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #1. It took me a couple of issues to get used to Raul Allen and Patricia Martin’s art style (which I now love), and so I’m expecting that the art’s going to grow on me over the course of the story. There’s no denying that it’s a different look for the character, and it’s fairly far from what we’ve seen in the past but I don’t think it’s a bad look, either. There’s something exciting about a fresh look for the character’s stories.

Style aside, there were a couple of moments in the comic where it felt as though a panel or two was missing (which is the reason for the score on the art, not because of how it looks). The first, and most obvious is actually in the gallery below on the fourth page; a goon is threatening somebody with an angle grinder before it’s suddenly in Ninjak’s hands and somebody else’s neck. My interpretation of the sequence is that we’re seeing Ninjak’s speed on display, but I’d have preferred at least another panel in the sequence. While there are others examples, since they occur later in the book than I’m showing you I won’t go into specifics – especially since they’re not as obvious as the one below.

The story in this issue of Ninjak picks up several months after the close of Christos Gage’s Ninja-K, and finds Ninjak as a freelance operative being trailed by MI-6. Jeff Parker paces the story well, and sheds light on the events of the last few months that we don’t see by utilizing the internal monologues of Ninjak and the MI-6 agent tailing him – at times their thought bubbles are in synch, and at times they’re slightly off which did give me a pause when trying to figure out what order to read the words on the page. Not the end of the world, ultimately. Given that the story is just beginning, Parker balances exposition with action admirably, with the comic moving at a brisk pace while still allowing Pulido to flex his creative muscles. That Parker wastes no time in dragging the story out longer than necessary is to be commended; he uses Ninjak #1 to reintroduce us to the purple ninja and his supporting cast, catch us up with what’s been going on in the time since we last saw them and set the stage for what’s to come. All in all, this is an impressive book for that reason alone.

Ninjak #1 is almost exactly what I wasn’t expecting after seeing the previews; though not perfect, a genuinely good comic. Yes, the art isn’t for everyone, but at the end of the day this is a comic visually unlike anything Valiant have put out, and I’m happy that they’re willing to take the chance. Parker builds a solid foundation for what’s to come, while ensuring new readers can pick up the comic and not be muddled down with mountains of unexplained backstory.

I’m biased because of my love for the character, but Ninjak #1 is a welcome return for Valiant’s purple hero.

Words and Art: Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido
Letters: Dave Sharpe and Javier Pulido
Story: 7.9 Art: 7.5: Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Pre-order: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Ninjak Takes the Spotlight in the Valiant 2021 FCBD Special

 Valiant’s stealthy superspy steps into the spotlight this August 14th for Free Comic Book Day 2021…

Featuring new cover art by Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto, the VALIANT 2021 FCBD SPECIAL puts NINJAK front and center. In addition to the new cover art, the free issue also contains a five-page preview which offers a spoiler-free look ahead at Ringo Award-winning writer Jeff Parker and acclaimed storyteller Javier Pulido’s NINJAK series. Check out the pages below.

Before the VALIANT 2021 FCBD SPECIAL arrives on August 14th in comic shops, NINJAK #1 will go on sale July 14th. The last day for fans to pre-order the debut issue is this Monday, June 21st.

VALIANT 2021 FCBD SPECIAL

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!

DC Celebrates Aquaman’s 80th Anniversary With a 100-Page Super Spectacular!

Since his first appearance in November 1941’s More Fun Comics #73, Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, has defended the Seven Seas and the DC Universe itself from all manner of threats. On August 31, DC and Aqua-fans alike can celebrate the legacy of the Atlantean Sea King, with the release of the Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular.

Some of the greatest names in comics will contribute their storytelling firepower to this 100-page collector’s item – writers Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns, Brandon Thomas, Chuck Brown, Stephanie Phillips, Michael Moreci, Marguerite Bennett, Dan Watters, Jeff Parker, Becky Cloonan, and Francis Manapul. They’ll be joined by some of the most prolific artists in comics, including Steve Epting, Paul Pelletier, Valentine de Landro, Hendry Prasetya, Pop Mhan, Trungles, Miguel Mendonça, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and more.

In addition to a stunning cover by the iconic team of Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, the Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular will feature eight “decade” themed card stock variant covers, portraying the marine monarch throughout the years:

  • 1940’s variant cover by Michael Cho
  • 1950’s variant cover by Ramona Fradon
  • 1960’s variant cover by Walt Simonson
  • 1970’s variant cover by José Luis García-López
  • 1980’s variant cover by Chuck Patton and Kevin Nowlan
  • 1990’s variant cover by Yvel Guichet
  • 2000’s variant cover by Becky Cloonan
  • 2010’s variant cover by Robson Rocha

This all-star-filled anthology spans across the ocean king’s legacy, not just celebrating his own triumphs but also those of his greatest allies and enemies. The main cover version of this 100-page blockbuster is priced at $9.99, with each card stock variant priced at $10.99.

Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular

Read Ninjak #1’s First Seven Pages by Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido

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

Check out the first seven pages from the upcoming series, below.

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