As Master Darque fights to return to the land of the living, his former disciple – the deadly assassin Roku – will build an army to put him down for good. But not even the Shadow Seven — the underworld’s deadliest cabal of murderers and mercenaries — will be enough to assure victory. To truly defeat an undead lord of death and resurrection, she’ll need the complete and unquestioning allegiance of Ninjak…who isn’t interested. But when Darque’s long-missing sister Sandria returns with a gambit that could reveal his greatest weakness, an unholy alliance of light and darkness will be forged that could upset the balance of good and evil once and for all time…
Somehow between the last page of issue #23 and the first page of #24 Ninjak changed into his working clothes. It’s not a big deal if you’re reading the single issues, but unless there’s a bit of editing done then it could distract you from the story itself when being read in a collected form. It’s certainly not a deal breaker to the comic itself, however, and once you move past the quick costume change then you can get to the comic proper.
Ninjak #24 is the second part in the Seven Blades of Master Darque story that began last issue; the first chapter of the story explained how Roku reunited the six members of the Shadow Seven, and had a surprising reveal regarding the seventh’s identity. Following on from that issue, the reason behind Roku putting such a deadly team together is revealed, and the surprising reveal of last issue is fleshed out a little more. Ninjak #24 has a great flow to the comic, and while it could serve as a perfectly acceptable jumping on point, it reads as a fantastic second chapter. By taking the time to establish the motivations behind the Shadow Seven across the first two parts of the story, when we see Ninjak join with his enemies for a common cause it doesn’t seem at all shocking, and nor is it entirely out of character – Matt Kindt has been laying the groundwork for this willing allegiance for several issues in subtle little ways (and the entirety of the silent issue).
Unsurprisingly, this is a great looking comic. The art has been solid for some time with this series, but there’s a certain flashback sequence in this issue that is frankly one of the more entertaining visual moments in a Ninjak comic in some time simply because it catches you quite by surprise. Thankfully that visual moment is only around for a few pages, so you don’t actually get tired of it; if it much longer, then there’d be a genuine chance of the luster falling away, but as it is…? Bloody brilliant.
Dodgy use of a British slang term aside, this is an incredible comic from everybody involved, and easily my favourite story we’ve had in the series to this point (when weighed against the first two issues of each arc so far). I’m beyond impressed with what Valiant have going on here, and this is one of the best issue in the series so far.
Story Matt Kindt Art: Stephen Segovia, Ryan Lee, and Ulises Arreola
Story: 9 Art: 10 Overall: 9.25 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review