ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Ninjak,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ninjak #1

Ninjak #1 is written by Jeff Parker, illustrated and colored by Javier Pulido, and lettered by Dave Sharpe with Pulido. It is published by Valiant Entertainment. Former MI6 agent Colin King undertakes black ops missions as the mysterious Ninjak, armed with ninja-themed weaponry. However, Ninjak’s life of mystery comes to an end when the mysterious Daylight organization leaks his identity to the world along with the information of dozens of MI6 agents.

In the pantheon of comic book universes, Valiant has long been a dark horse among publishers. Its library of titles includes characters such as the supernatural vigilante Shadowman and the nanite-powered assassin Bloodshot, with the latter even receiving his own film adaptation. Ninjak is a different beast than either of them because he’s a normal man, albeit one who just happens to be a lethal master of martial arts.

Parker and Pulido do a great job of introducing Ninjak and his skillset to the audience while setting up new challenges for King along the way. Longtime fans of the Valiant Universe will be able to enjoy this title, as well as new comic readers, with new MI6 agent Myna serving as the audience surrogate. Myna is a “Songbird” sent to monitor King, and her field report more or less serves as a dossier for all things Ninjak, which serves as a great way to get readers caught up on the mysterious martial arts master.

Parker’s script mixes the dry wit of the James Bond films with the high octane action of the John Wick franchise. As befitting every fictional superspy, King goes up against a mysteriously malevolent organization in the form of Daylight. Daylight shows that it is a force to be reckoned with early on in the issue when a pair of its agents manage to psychically leech information from a pair of MI6 chiefs. And while most writers will often say their stories are topical, that really does feel like the case with this comic. Information being leaked is sadly becoming commonplace, with multiple websites suffering data breaches over the past few years. Spies operate in the shadows, but how do they fare when that’s taken away from them?

Serving as artist and colorist on the title, Pulido delivers non-stop action from the opening pages. Ninjak’s first battle is against a group of opponents at the Instanbul embassy, who have targeted a reporter for his writings about the crown prince. Though he is clad in a turban and robe, Ninjak’s trademark purple outfit can be seen under the robe. And once he pulls out his twin swords, his identity becomes fully known. Sharpe and Pulido also make the fight sequence part of the title, with a swarm of warriors literally charging out of the credits at Ninjak. Pulido designs a series of opponents for Ninjak who can pose a threat for the ninja master, as they both appear immensely inhuman and possessed of superhuman powers-which he doesn’t have.

Ninjak #1 expertly mixes espionage with martial arts and presents a new challenge for Valiant’s martial arts master. Valiant has another successful relaunch on their hands, and I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy spy fiction, ninjas, or looking for that next great read.

Ninjak #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on July 14, 2021.

Ninjak #1
5

TL;DR

Ninjak #1 expertly mixes espionage with martial arts and presents a new challenge for Valiant’s martial arts master. Valiant has another successful relaunch on their hands, and I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy spy fiction, ninjas, or looking for that next great read.