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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!

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.

Discover the Future of Valiant in Valiant Uprising, Our Free Comic Book Day 2021

Free Comic Book Day 2021 is the perfect time to step into the Valiant universe.

Featuring a cover by The Harbinger artist Robbi Rodriguez, the Valiant Uprising FCBD Special will be available only in comic book shops this August. The must-read issue is packed with content, including…

  • A brand new X-O Manowar story from Harvey Award-winning writer Dennis Hopeless and breakout star Emilio Laiso. It’s the perfect jumping-on point as Valiant’s flagship hero prepares to “Upgrade the World” this Summer!
  • A special advance preview of The Harbinger #1, an all-new series from co-writers Jackson Lanzing and Colin Kelly with superstar artist Robbi Rodriguez that promises to take Valiant’s psiot rebel in a vivid new direction!
  • Plus, find out how the world’s greatest spy responds to being unmasked, hunted, and trapped in a first look at Ninjak #1, the pulse-pounding thrill ride from Ringo Award-winning writer Jeff Parker and legendary artist Javier Pulido.
  • Finally, get a sneak peek from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Jon Davis-Hunt of what’s to come in the terrifying pages of Shadowman!

Free Comic Book Day 2021 takes place on August 14 at your local comic shop.

Valiant Uprising

Valiant’s Marketing and Publicity Manager Gregg Katzman Helps Us Understand What Goes Into Getting A Comic Into your Hands

Gregg Katzman

I’ve always wondered what happens to a comic between the time it has been finished and when I finally get it in my hands – especially one I’ve been salivating over since I first caught that glimpse of a teaser image on social media, and so I spoke to Valiant’s Marketing & Publicity Manager Gregg Katzman about what his job entails when it comes to getting some of my favorite comics into my hands.

Gregg has been with Valiant since November 2018, joining the publisher as a marketing coordinator before working his way up to his current position in August of 2020. He’s also a super nice guy.

Graphic Policy: We all (hopefully) know the role that writers, artists and editors play in getting comics to the shelves, but what do your duties entail?

Gregg Katzman: Before joining Valiant Entertainment, I was a big fan of the company and have lots of history as comics/entertainment press (Comic Vine, Screen Rant, CBR, IGN, UGO Entertainment, About.com’s Marvel expert, plus coordinating signings as the Marketing & Events Manager at Midtown Comics). So, I spent years promoting Valiant before ever actually joining the team. Now, being the Marketing & Publicity Manager is sincerely a dream job because it’s all about bringing the perspective of a press person and someone who’s legitimately passionate about the Valiant Universe.

A lot of my time is spent working with press, and I’d certainly hope you can vouch for that, Alex!

GP: I absolutely can!

GK:  Since I bring the perspective of someone who has worked for several outlets, I always strive to build a legitimate relationship before pitching anything. If I’m reaching out to a site, YouTube channel, or podcast, I don’t want to waste their time by offering something that isn’t a good fit. After all, every site, channel, and show covers the industry in different ways. Because of that, I’m always trying my best to make sure the experience is mutually beneficial. Is this opportunity a good fit for the outlet and its fans? If not, what would be? Will this be interesting to current Valiant fans? Will it potentially create new Valiant fans? Knowing is half the battle. Pitching and coordinating everything is the other half.

I’m fortunate enough to have a ton of creative freedom when it comes to working with press, building announcement strategies, and how we’re working with creators to help promote their projects. I also do my best to engage with fans as much as possible since… well, I am one. 

There’s a lot of other stuff I do on a daily basis, but I won’t bore you with the details. Let’s just say I do a lot of juggling and keep very productive. 

GP: At what point in a comic’s development are you usually involved from a marketing perspective?

GK: I’m very lucky to work at a company that embraces having very open and honest conversations about everything we’re doing. Usually, editors and directors talk about the projects first, and then they’re circulated to me and some other people for our feedback. Assuming the pitch moves forward, my boss, Matthew Klein, and I will meet with the book’s editor to pick their brain. Why are they excited about it? Why should current fans be excited about it? Why will this bring in new fans?  I will also send a creator questionnaire document to the book’s creative team to better understand their views on the project and their comfortability and preferences with promoting the book.

All of this will help Matthew and I build the announcement campaign and additional opportunities to promote the book. After the announcement and follow-up coverage is made, there should be an aggressive push to capitalize on the issue’s IOD (initial orders deadline), FOC (final order cutoff), on-sale date, and the “now on sale” angle. Then you have to think of ways to keep promoting the next issues. At the time of writing these answers, I can say we have an announcement about a month away and there’s a full week of coverage lined up on different outlets and even at a virtual event… This entire process is legitimately fun to me and every time I love thinking of new ways to promote our books.

GP: How reactive is your role? I know you juggle a lot of plates, but does anything ever happen that makes you switch gears and take a campaign in an entirely different direction?

GK: Yeah, it’s entirely possible that things can change at the last minute, and I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I panicked instead of thinking about the best way to adapt and move forward. It’s important to remember that everything is a learning experience, nothing ever goes 100% according to plan, and there’s never just one path forward.

GP: Valiant have been known to give away some really fun promo items (the only baseball I own is the Doctor Tomorrow one). Do you get to come up with those?

GK: I can’t take any credit for those. Those are called POP (point of purchase) items and they’re created by the Sales team which consists of former retailers. Those items are sent to retailers (and sometimes select press and fans) to either utilize (like signage, pens, etc) or give to their Valiant shoppers. 

GP: When it comes to marketing comics, do you ever find it hard not to reveal things?

GK: All the time. Again, I was a big fan of Valiant before joining the company, so being able to get an early look at everything and plan so far in advance is something I’ll never take for granted. That said, I may or may not have off the record conversations with some fans and press that I trust…

GP: Do you have a favorite market campaign that you’ve been involved in?

GK: I sincerely love working on every single announcement campaign (each one is carefully crafted to complement the book), but I’ve always had a soft spot for building press tours and coordinating interviews. As a former press guy and someone who built signing events at Midtown Comics, getting creators to interact directly with press and fans is always fun. It’s a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it.

GP: I probably already know the answer to this, but is there any character you’re a little more excited to talk about, and if so why is it Ninjak?

GK: Oh, it’s definitely Ninjak but also X-O Manowar. They’re easily my favorites. Fitzy is my favorite “lesser-known” character from the Valiant Universe. I think that guy has a lot of potential.

GP: As you know, I completely agree with you regarding Ninjak. Thanks for your time!

Ninjak Returns in 2021 with Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido

A spy thriller story that is unlike anything you’ve seen before starts next year in Ninjak #1!

Arriving in 2021, Ringo Award-winning writer Jeff Parker and visionary artist Javier Pulido have crafted a non-stop thrill ride that is full of shocking twists and turns. The character was co-created by Mark Moretti and Joe Quesada and debuted in Bloodshot #6 in 1993.

Colin King is Ninjak, an ex-MI6 superspy who is second to none in the Valiant Universe. There is no target that Colin cannot strike, no mission that he cannot complete. But what happens to the world’s greatest secret agent when all of his secrets are exposed? The entire criminal underworld has Ninjak in their sights… How will the undercover operative survive when there’s nowhere left to hide?

Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido’s pulse-pounding adventure kicks off next year in Ninjak #1. More info will be revealed closer to the debut issue’s release date.

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Ninjak

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on Twitter to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the “Hero Of The Week” from four choices. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways, and more. This week, the poll featured Ninjak, Rai, Doctor Tomorrow and Livewire.

Valiant Hero of the Week

But this week’s winner (as you’ve probably guessed) was…

Ninjak

Who is he? A freelance mercenary frequently contracted by the British government. Colin King is a super wealthy man who has been trained in the ninja arts, possesses an incredible intelligence and affinity for technology. His parents died when he was young, he was raised by their butler, and it’s around this point that the Batman similarities end. Colin King’s parents were spies for the British government’s MI-6 who would eventually defect to the Soviet Union, leaving him in the custody of their Russian butler Alain who may or may not have been his biological father but was definitely an ex-KGB agent in hiding. Alain

What should you read?

X-O Manowar: Enter Ninjak

X-O Manowar has returned to Earth — and now the world’s most lethal intelligence agent has a new target. Hired by members of The Vine hidden deep within Earth’s governments, Ninjak has been sent to bring back the Manowar armor at any cost. But what happens when the world’s foremost weapons specialist engages the universe’s most powerful weapon head on? And even if Ninjak can defeat the armor’s defenses, does he stand a chance against the savage warrior that controls it? It’s raw power versus stealth and cunning in the second thrilling volume of X-O Manowar — and the Valiant Universe will never be the same again.


The introduction of Ninjak to the modern Valiant universe was in the second arc of X-O Manowar (a series worth reading in and of itself). If you want to see how effective Ninjak can be against somebody who on paper far outclasses him, then this is the book for you; yes, it does initially fall into the Superhero Team Up cliche, but this is one I over look because as Ninjak’s first appearance in the modern Valiant era, it was possible that his alignment may have shifted a little. I read this long after I had discovered who Ninjak was, but still thoroughly enjoyed the story nonetheless.

The only danger with reading this book is that you’ll probably want to jump into the world of X-O Manowar too, but don’t worry if that’s the case. It’s a world that’s well worth getting lost in.

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle


Nnjak: Weaponeer

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is NINJAk-weaponeer.jpg

Every master spy…has to start somewhere.

Then: Meet inexperienced MI-6 recruit Colin King on his first mission in the field as he learns the basics of spycraft and counterintelligence, and develops a volatile relationship with his first handler.

Now: Colin King is Ninjak, the world’s foremost intelligence operative, weapons expert, and master assassin. And he’s hunting the Shadow Seven — a secret cabal of shinobi masters with mysterious ties to his training and tragic past.


This collection covers the first five issues of Ninjak’s Valiant Entertainment relaunch, and is written by Matt Kindt and features Clay Mann, Butch Guice, and Juan Jose Ryp‘s artistic talents. This is where you’ll want to go for your introduction to the character, despite his first appearance coming in an issue of X-O Manowar a couple of years prior. We’re (re)introduced to Colin King and discover how he became Ninjak in flashbacks that twin with the present as King hunts down the Shadow Seven. It’s a spy thriller in the vein of James Bond, but starring a character who is closer to Batman than most other agents.

Purchase: Amazon (Hardcover)Amazon (Paperback)KindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW


Ninjak: The Siege Of King’s Castle

Colin King, the elite MI-6 intelligence operative codenamed Ninjak, has confronted his past. He’s survived the gauntlet of the Shadow Seven. He’s walked into the Deadside and returned a changed man. Now his greatest trial yet will come to pass as the ruthless assassin called Roku returns to lay siege to Ninjak’s present and future by destroying his life from the inside out – and only the death of Colin King will stop her.


One of the best things about Ninjak and his mercenary life is that once you have a basic understanding of the character you realize that while his stories do follow a continuity you don’t have to read them in a linear fashion. This story follows Colin King as he loses everything and answers the question; who is he without his technology?

A classic stripping down of a character to his essence, this is Ninjak at his most resourceful – and consequently it’s one of my favourite tales.

Purchase:  comiXologyAmazonKindleBookshop


Ninjak K: The Ninja Files

For nearly a century, MI-6, the most elite branch of Britain’s clandestine intelligence service, has honed a ruthlessly effective, top-secret division – THE NINJA PROGRAMME – into one of its nation’s most finely wielded weapons.

Tasked as the first and last line of defense for queen and country, this small shadow army of agents and assassins has produced a succession of notable assets, including NINJA-A, the Queen’s silent weapon of World War I; NINJA-E, the globe-trotting secret agent that pulled the Cold War back from the brink of Armageddon; and, most recently, NINJA-K, aka Colin King, a brash but fearless instrument of lethality that has saved the world from madmen and terror at every turn. But now…an unknown enemy is hunting and killing members of THE NINJA PROGRAMME one by one – and NINJAK is next on the list.


The first volume of a series that dealt with Ninjak’s legacy as a member of MI-6’s Ninja Programme, this is a story that focuses less on Colin King and more on his predecessors, but it also means we get to see a lot of fantastic art from Tomas Giorello as he explores the different eras that MI-6’s ninja’s have been operating.

Another story that you can easily read out of order, this also comes highly recommended from yours truly.

Purchase:  comiXologyAmazonKindleBookshop


It’s worth noting that you can get Deluxe Editions of many of these stories that collect what amounts to three trades in a hardcover. They are comparatively better valued, but present a higher initial cost (based on standard retail pricing not including sales and discounts). They’re my personal preference.


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Our Favorite Modern Ninjak Covers

Ninjak gets the spotlight this week as the winner of Valiant’s “Hero of the Week”. Fans chose the ninja over Livewire, Rai, and Doctor Tomorrow, and we (well, me) thought it would be a great chance to highlight some of our favorite covers featuring the character. All of these covers will be post the 2012 relaunch of Valiant and are shown in no particular order.

The below covers are some of the most striking, iconic or just plain cool images featuring the character across the various self titled series he’s appeared in.

Sound off on your favorite covers below!

Our Favorite Vintage Ninjak Covers

The Ninjak gets the spotlight this week as the winner of Valiant’s “Hero of the Week”. Fans chose the ninja over Livewire, Rai, and Doctor Tomorrow, and we (well, me) thought it would be a great chance to highlight some of our favorite covers featuring the character. All of these covers will be post the 2012 relaunch of Valiant and are shown in no particular order.

The below covers are some of the most striking, iconic or just plain cool images featuring the character from his original 90’s run.

Sound off on your favorite covers below!

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Ninjak, Doctor Tomorrow, Rai and Livewire

Valiant Hero of the Week

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this week, the poll features Ninjak, Doctor Tomorrow, Rai and, Livewire. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways, and more.

At Graphic Policy, we’re going to be running a spotlight on the winning character all week through various features depending on the character, but at the very least you’ll see our favorite covers and stories.

But Valiant has a lot of great characters, and it’d be a shame to not let you know which stories to read to get to know some of them a little more in case they don’t end up winning the fan vote. This week’s characters are a prime example of this, and the exact reason that we wanted to shine a little light on all four ahead of the week.

Below you’ll find a brief snapshot of the character and a trade paperback or two to check out. If you’ve read previous columns, then you’ll probably notice that there’s nothing new here. All of these characters have been featured before, and as such the books I’d recommend haven’t changed for first time readers.

Ninjak

Who is he? A blend of Batman and James Bond. Colin King is at the peak of human conditioning, both physical and mental, has access to near limitless financial resources, and also works on contract for MI6 as a high tech ninja operative. If you’re looking for something familiar from Valiant, then you’d think that Ninjak would scratch the Batman itch, but unlike Batman, Ninjak has no problem using his weapons to their full deadly potential. Although Ninjak has yet to feature in a movie, he was the star of Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe, a webseries produced by Bat In The Sun that you can probably find on Youtube now. My money would be on Ninjak taking the week.

What should you read? Ninjak: Weaponeer.

Every master spy…has to start somewhere.

Then: Meet inexperienced MI-6 recruit Colin King on his first mission in the field as he learns the basics of spycraft and counterintelligence, and develops a volatile relationship with his first handler.

Now: Colin King is Ninjak, the world’s foremost intelligence operative, weapons expert, and master assassin. And he’s hunting the Shadow Seven — a secret cabal of shinobi masters with mysterious ties to his training and tragic past.


This collection covers the first five issues of Ninjak’s Valiant Entertainment relaunch, and is written by Matt Kindt and features Clay Mann, Butch Guice, and Juan Jose Ryp‘s artistic talents. This is where you’ll want to go for your introduction to the character, despite his first appearance coming in an issue of X-O Manowar a couple of years prior. We’re (re)introduced to Colin King and discover how he became Ninjak in flashbacks that twin with the present as King hunts down the Shadow Seven. It’s a spy thriller in the vein of James Bond, but starring a character who is closer to Batman than most other agents.

Purchase: Amazon (Hardcover)Amazon (Paperback)KindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW

Doctor Tomorrow

Who is he? A time travelling dimension hopping hero who has appeared in the present day to stop the villain Hadrian from destroying the world. In doing so, he takes on a sidekick – a younger version of himself! There’s really not a lot to say about the character seeing as only two or three issues in the debut miniseries have come out as of this writing (full disclosure: I’ve read three, but can’t remember if they’ve all been published). The comic is Valiant’s first all-ages series within the main continuity, although it’s not shy at depicting fight scenes with consequences throughout the three issues I’ve read (Valiant High is an Archie inspired take on the Valiant characters as a stand alone project).

What should you read? Doctor Tomorrow #1-5. Teen hothead Bart Simms is about to meet the Valiant Universe’s greatest hero… himself!

You’ll only able to find these at you local comic shop once they’re all published until the inevitable trade is released, which will likely be in the next six to eight months or so depending on the post COVID release schedule.

Find your local comic shop (US and Canada): Comic Shop Locator
Purchase: comiXologyTFAW

Rai

Who is he? The guardian of New Japan, a floating city orbiting the earth in the year 4001 A.D., the noble Rai protects the city and serves the will of Father, the AI who runs New Japan. There’s so many layers to this character that you’ll peel away issue by issue as you read the book. The Rai in issue one is vastly different to the Rai in issue twelve, but because Matt Kindt’s character development is subtle but so effective.

What should you read?

Welcome To New Japan

The year is 4001 A.D. – led by the artificial intelligence called “Father,” the island nation of Japan has expanded out of the Pacific and into geosynchronous orbit with the ravaged Earth below. With billions to feed and protect, it has fallen to one solitary guardian to enforce the law of Father’s empire – the mysterious folk hero known as Rai. They say he can appear out of nowhere. They say he is a spirit…the ghost of Japan. But when the first murder in a thousand years threatens to topple Father’s benevolent reign, Rai will be forced to confront the true face of a nation transformed…and his own long-lost humanity…


I want to tell you read the 2019 Rai series, but it hasn’t been collected yet, so instead, start with the first volume of the first series, Rai: Welcome To New Japan. Because Rai’s story is set apart from the rest of the Valiant universe in many ways, it’s really easy to follow across the first volume of Rai, 4001 A.D. and Fallen World. So start at the beginning.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAW

Livewire

Livewire

Who is she? A psiot who can talk to technology, Livewire has always been a complicated person. Right now her position in the Valiant Universe is tenuous at best after the events of Harbinger Wars II, where the world at large views her as a domestic terrorist. A former pupil of Toyo Harada, Livewire is one of the more powerful characters in the Valiant Universe because of the access to data that her powers provide. The character has been involved in some pretty interesting stories over the years – some far better than others, but the below is one of the very best you’ll see her in.

What should you read?

Secret Weapons.

Secret Weapons

The government has dispatched Amanda McKee – the technopath codenamed Livewire – to investigate the ruins of a secret facility formerly run by Toyo Harada, the most powerful telepath on Earth and her former mentor. In his quest for world betterment at any cost, Harada sought out and activated many potential psiots like himself. Those who survived, but whose powers he deemed to have no value to his cause, were hidden away at this installation. But Livewire, having studied Harada’s greatest strengths and learned his deepest weaknesses, senses opportunity where he once saw failure. A young girl who can talk to birds… A boy who can make inanimate objects gently glow… To others, these are expensive disappointments. But, to Livewire, they are secret weapons…in need of a leader. Now, as a mechanized killer called Rex-O seeks to draw them out, Livewire and her new team of cadets will be forced to put their powers into action…in ways they never could have imagined…


This isn’t strictly a Livewire story, but it does focus on a group of outcasts with utterly useless powers that Livewire gathers together for their protection because they’re being hunted by a psiot killer. This one of the best stories to come from Valiant, and is worth checking out whenever you get a chance.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXology


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Valiant Hero Of The Week: It’s Ninjak vs. Batman, Daredevil, Wolverine, and Captain America!

Valiant Hero of the Week

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this past week, the poll featured Ninjak, Faith, Roku and Ivar, Timewalker. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more.

Faith won the poll this week, which was presented as who would be most likely to win a karaoke contest. I totally understand why Faith won the poll, but I was a little disappointed that I’ll have to wait for a little to showcase Ninjak. Depending on when this goes live you’ve probably seen at the very least Graphic Policy’s favorite Faith covers, and you can still expect to see our recommendations of the best stories featuring Faith. Just because I was looking forward to (and hoping for) a week to feature Ninjak doesn’t mean I will ignore Faith.

But I really wanted to explore how Ninjak would fare against Batman, Wolverine, and various other comic book characters who fall roughly within his skill and power level. So I decided to throw in a little bonus this week for fans of Valiant’s purple loving ninja.

But who is Ninjak?

A blend of Batman and James Bond. Colin King is at the peak of human conditioning, both physical and mental, has access to near limitless financial resources. Ninjak is a mercenary, also works on contract for MI6 as a high tech ninja operative. If you’re looking for something familiar from Valiant, then you’d think that Ninjak would scratch the Batman itch, but unlike Batman, Ninjak has no problem using his weapons to their full deadly potential. The similarities between Batman and Ninjak are obvious at first glance; both are highly trained billionaires who live in massive houses with highly specialized equipment, both are very intelligent men who have been highly trained in various forms of martial arts. Both wear masks that don’t completely cover their face.

I’m not going to list Ninjak’s equipment, skills or anything. You can find that here if you want to look (just scroll to the bottom of the page unless you want to read a full biography). Suffice it to say, Ninjak is every bit as capable a fighter as you can expect to find.

Ninjak

But the real question (or questions) that we’re all looking forward to answering are whether Ninjak could defeat…

Batman

I was going to leave this until the end, but this is what I wanted to explore most with this article/list/whatever you want to call it.

Could Ninjak concevably beat Batman in a random encounter fight? I think that he could, for a lot of the reasons outlined above regarding their similarity – depending on whether the writer decided to follow the Bat-god formula where Batman can beat anybody with a half hour’s preparation, or if it is the version of Batman we’ve seen lately in Scott Snyder, Tom King, and James Tynon IV’s respective runs of the character.

If we’re looking at that version of Batman, then yes. I absolutely believe Ninjak could beat Batman. Here’s why:

Both Batman and Ninjak are very similar. For all intents and purposes Ninjak is Valiant’s version of Batman, or as close as the publisher is likely to get. They’re both expert martial artists and weapon masters with a vast arsenal of technology at their disposal, and both like to be prepared. So when you pit them against each other, the only major difference is that Ninjak has no problem killing his enemies. His tech is designed to make him more lethal, whereas Batman is fundamentally opposed to killing. If all is equal between the two, Batman’s refusal to take a life could be all the advantage Ninjak needs. It would be a long, close fight, but I think that Batman walking into somebody equally as skilled as he is with no compunction not to kill and no chance to plan ahead would ultimately prove too much for the Dark Knight. We’ve seen it before with The Batman Who Laughs, and we’d see it again with Ninjak and his swords.

I realize the argument is essentially boiling down to the fact Batman won’t kill, but sometimes it can be the smallest things that decide a fight, and if Batman is unprepared, then Ninjak wins the first fight. But Batman would win the rematch(es).

Daredevil

Really, the only advantage Daredevil has is that he will always know where Ninjak is coming from… but does that mean he could actually stop him? Daredevil has fought hundreds of Hand ninjas in his life, but Ninjak is more than a Hand ninja. For one thing, he’d mow through Marvel’s cannon fodder, but he also utilizes more technology than the Hand would conceive of. Another close fight, but I can’t see Daredevil being able to beat Ninjak, though I think it would be a hard fought battle.

I think it would be a far more brutal fight than Batman vs Ninjak, and there will be a period where Daredevil has Ninjak off balance while tries to use various visual tricks (smoke bombs) that will have no impact on the Marvel hero. Eventually, however, Daredevil’s lack of armour in his costume will play a big role in his defeat; you can’t avoid Ninjak’s blades forever.

Wolverine

Here’s the thing with Ninjak fighting Wolverine; it isn’t that Ninjak couldn’t get the upper hand, I just don’t think he could keep it long enough to actually win. Wolverine’s fighting skill is often over looked in the comics, because he’s an unstoppable savage when fighting; he doesn’t need to use all his skill most fights he gets into because of his healing factor. And when part of your fighting style is to soak damage with your healing factor while also being a highly trained fighter, it leaves Ninjak a little out of his depth. But this would be a fantastic fight to watch, nonetheless.

If it wasn’t for Wolverine’s healing factor, then I’d probably be more inclined to give the nod to Ninjak. At least the fight would be closer to a toss up at that point, but as it is, there’s no way he could beat Logan in a random encounter.

Captain America

The only way I honestly see Ninjak coming away victorious in this battle is if Captain America is distracted by something he can’t control, enabling Ninjak to land an incapacitating blow. Otherwise, Cap’s stamina and strength coupled with his fighting skills are going to be too much for Ninjak to overcome. I see this being a long, drawn out fight that’s more likely to end with a ceasefire than an outright victory, but Ninjak will be hard pressed to gain the upper hand.

You may argue that Batman has beaten Captain America before, and therefore should be able to beat Ninjak. But if that A beats B so can beat C logic is followed, then Wolverine should be able to defeated Superman because he beat Lobo (and we all know that’d never happen). Batman was able to take advantage of Cap’s momentary loss of focus when they confronted each other (in Marvel Verses DC), and it’d be the same set of circumstances that I see Ninjak needing to win over the super soldier.


This was a Marvel heavy list, but it also made more sense to me to list off folks that Ninjak is more likely to come across. I was going to include Deathstroke, but the reason I think Ninjak would lose is almost the same as why I think Wolverine would win (likewise for Deadpool). If Valiant run another poll featuring Ninjak, I expect there’ll be another version of this, but if you want more Ninjak then you can check out the Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe webseries on Youtube.

Alternatively, you can check out the first volume of the 2015 series, Weaponeer at the links below.

Purchase: Amazon (Hardcover)Amazon (Paperback)KindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW


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