With the fate of the Eternal Warrior hanging in the balance, Ninjak has tracked The Dying One – a being who reemerges in a new human body whenever they die – to a small town outside of Chernobyl. But Colin King is about to uncover secrets more unsettling than the loss of his friend Gilad. Abandoned in the wilds of the Russian wilderness, the world’s most dangerous super-spy must now survive against an unthinkable onslaught of science experiments from the twisted mind of his immortal foe!
I’m going to start off by saying I have read Ninja-K #12 twice, and both times I found the art a little tough to penetrate, which I both enjoyed and didn’t all in the same breath. Roberto De La Torre‘s line work is very reminiscent of the 2000AD comics I read as a youngling where some of the strips would be much darker and far more murky than others. It had the effect of lending a very horror-esque atmosphere to the panels, drenching each page with an atmosphere that you would struggle to achieve otherwise. Conversely, it also meant the art was a little harder to read at first glance which encouraged the reader to really take in each page.
Likewise, Ninja-K #12.
The art is also hampered by, or enhanced by depending on your preference, the nearly monotone colouring of Jose Villarrubia. For the most parrt it worked for me, but there were moments when I found it took me a few moments to properly process what was happening during a fight scene. It is a dark and murky issue, which does fit with the theme of the story, but may turn some away from being able to fully enjoy the comic.
Which is a shame, because Christos Gage has written a really interesting issue. With the Dying One inhabiting the Eternal Warrior’s body, and having committed untold atrocities whilst doing so, we finally get to see Ninjak face off against his friend’s body after having cut his way past the henchmen of the Dying One. What I quite enjoyed is that never once is Ninjak focused on stopping the Dying One and saving thse he has manipulated verses saving his friend. It’s an interesting development for a character that has frequently been portrayed as having troubles connecting with people, because this isn’t a mission Ninjak is being paid to undertake we’re seeing the character’s genuine motivations.
Ninjak-K #12 has the potential to be a divisive comic based on the art, and while I enjoyed the visuals of the comic I can understand why you may not. Fortunately, the story more than makes up for any shortcoming you may see in the art. If you’ve been reading the arc so far, then there’s no reason for you to stop.
Story: Christos Gage Art: Roberto De La Torre
Colours: Jose Villarrubia Letters: A Larger World Studios
Story: 8.8 Art: 7.9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review