Comic Book Review: Ninjak #0
When Valiant has so many miniseries going on, it takes some appreciation to sit back and enjoy one like Ninjak that is ongoing, but can still find a place to end and pick back up with a new creative team. Though I’m sure we’ve had a Ninjak #0 before, this is still the best way to approach a passing of the torch. I mean who else is going to put the effort into an issue like this on top of it being a whopping 40 pages?
This first story is the one I was immediately anticipating most because of what new there is to reveal about Colin’s past. If you read the ongoing up to the last issue, then you got a good chunk of his youth to adulthood. Enough that you may have thought that that was it. I know I certainly did, so it grabs your attention when they tease that the world’s most dreaded super-spy prepares to reveal his most closely guarded secrets. This of course didn’t mean I was still skeptical as clearly there were things that likely were to be rehashed. Surprisingly though some moments familiar, they were taken from a different perspective of what he was going through at those points in his life. What stood out is that we were seeing more of the cold side to him growing up. You knew things weren’t sunshine and rainbows for Colin, but there was more gloom this time around which actually felt more fitting after following so much of this current attitude he carries. The mission that took place at the same time was interesting just for the fact that it was just something to keep you drawn-in while another story flowed through it quite well.
With that said, we touch up upon numerous key points throughout his history that they approached with smart pacing. We knew nothing but what we needed to know about his transitions and growth. This part of the story you would have assumed to be mostly for the older readers, yet it was wisely presented as something welcoming to new readers who need to be quickly caught up on events up to the end. By the end of this part of the story they at the very least know how a mortal man like Colin King able to survive in a world filled with telekinetic psiots, eternal warriors, and sentient suits of alien armor. The kind of training he put up with, and all he endured climbing the ladder.
I think my only disappointment is that when all was said and done, there wasn’t anything too mindblowing about what you learned from Colin’s past. There was some added depth given to his story and development to this point, but they sort of hyped this up to hit us with something big that might change everything we knew about Colin.
Now the story to follow wasn’t too big, but they gave us enough to create interest towards what this next mission must be. I would say that if you’re looking to really get a feel of how Christos Gage and Tomas Giorello hold up as the new creative team, you might want to wait till the first issue for a real grasp. Until then it does feel like Ninjak in the way he operates through both dialogue and actions. We just need to know what drives them and what got him to the point where this prelude picks up from. Clearly it ha something to do with the MI-6’s Ninja Programme, but the devil still remains in the details.
For all the artists involved, it was a lot to take in. I don’t think any one of them underwhelmed which isn’t surprising when it comes to the team of artists Valiant has on deck for their library of books. Each artist had something to offer when it came to the specific part of Colin’s past they captured. Their distinctive styles brought out a different atmosphere and added to the statement he makes about every moment being a different Colin that you are dealing with. If nothing else it is smart that there is that kind of dynamic between the story, dialogue and artwork bringing it to life. I was more so looking forward to seeing what kind of artist Tomas Giorello is for the new run of Ninjak. The guy did a marvelous job with X-O Manowar, but you can never say that what works for one story will work for the other till you see it. Both Giorello and Andrew Dalhouse impressed between the detail of the pencils, the smoothness of the action sequence and just showing Ninjak in this state where he is the boogeyman if sent after you. The dark selection of colors made all the difference as well whether it was capturing the tone or mood of the setting.
Ninjak #0 is a milestone to celebrate for what it delivers to fans who have either followed it up to this point or are new readers finding a place to jump into the story. A bit of a fast read for the size of the issue, though you get the right idea of what makes Colin who he is a Ninjak and what you can continue to expect from him moving forward with the first issue in November.