The first four issues of Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido Ninjak are here, and the long and the short of this review is that Ninjak #4 is really enjoyable, but there is a rather large asterisk added to that sentence that I’ll come back to in a moment because it does verge into spoiler territory – if you want to avoid that, then just know that the book is still worth picking up if you’ve enjoyed the other three issues.
At this point if you’ve been following the chatter about this series then you’ll know that not all of it has been positive when it comes to the art. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but I’m genuinely enjoying Javier Pulido’s work; he brings a fresh look to Valiant’s comics, and I’ve since sought out other comics Pulido has contributed to, such as Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye run. One of the strengths of Pulido’s artwork is in how he uses the panel layouts to add to the motion of the story in ways that are both overt and subtle; Pulido’s style allows you to flow across the page much like a skate over ice, which is a poor metaphor to say that it’s a smooth read.
The story of Ninjak #4 focuses on Ninjak looking to assassinate Kingmaker and Syphon, which is a fairly straight forward conclusion to the arc thus far. We’ve seen Ninjak use firearms more in Jeff Parker’s run with the character we typically have before, which makes a lot of sense given his lack of high tech equipment after the destruction of his home and separation from MI6 (in Matt Kindt’s Ninjak and Christos Gage’s Ninja-K, respectively). It’s a facet to the character that I enjoy, though admittedly it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The issue’s pacing is a touch slower than Ninjak #3, as Parker spends time revealing what he’s been hinting at when it comes to how Kingmaker and Syphon have been operating.
The asterisk I had mentioned earlier in the review, however, is that the story doesn’t really come to any kind of satisfying conclusion. If there was another issue coming in November or December, then the ending of the book would make total sense; as it is, the story feels a little too unfinished for an extended break. This may just be me wishing that Valiant were publishing more than two or three books a month, but when it comes to Ninjak the break has a very real chance of slowing any momentum the comic was gaining. The break seems a little too abrupt given the place the story is in.
That said, at the end of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed the book as it is, and ultimately that’s what is important when it comes to reading comics.
Story and Art: Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido
Letters: Dave Sharpe and Javier Pulido
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW