Valiant Comics Review & Spoilers: Ninjak #5 By Matt Kindt & Clay Mann

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Review: Ninjak #5
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Clay Mann
Colours by Ulises Arreola

The Plot

The story begins with the main character getting roughed up by Roku and Kannon after he’s been exposed as Ninjak. Ninjak has just disrupted Kannon’s Weaponeer business. There are some flashbacks to Ninjak as a kid who gets into some mischief. Roku launches a major attack on Ninjak who is lucky to have such effective armour. They continue to fight and Ninjak pulls something out of his bag of tricks. He becomes suspicious of Roku and Kannon’s silence and then proceeds to fight Kannon. Kannon proves to be a difficult adversary due to his strength and agility. Ninjak is hurt and decides to take the fight to a different setting. He manages to find a way to get past Kannon and meanwhile, there is another flashback to when Ninjak was a kid. He has a bit of an edge after he makes a discovery, we may be seeing the beginning of him becoming Ninjak. One month later in the present and Ninjak is still maintaining his cover as a weapons engineer that has taken over for Kannon. He has also decided that he needs to pursue the rest of the Shadow Seven one of which was Kannon. Ninjak lets Neville know his intentions and then proceeds to confront a restrained Kannon. Kannon smugly reveals that the Shadow Seven may be more difficult to handle than they originally determined. There is one more flashback to a kind of young, psychotic looking Ninjak at the end.

The Breakdown

I’ve been pretty busy so I was behind on this series. I like how Ninjak has to infiltrate the business and not all of his work can be solved by whipping out his swords and fighting people. His mission has been laid out and it looks like it might be a slow burn, which is a good thing. I enjoyed the fight with Kannon because he could not overpower him one on one. It also set up the threat level of the Shadow Seven, which has forced Ninjak to go underground. I liked Ninjak in his earlier appearances such as X-O Manowar, etc. but his character is now receiving more depth. The flashback sequences were well done and did an effective job at making Ninjak a much more interesting character overall. I don’t really want to spoil any of that section of the story because it’s pretty integral to the character’s development. Kindt is providing a well-balanced story and doing some very effective work with the character. I enjoy how good of a tactician he is and how that is reflected in his inner monologue while he’s fighting. After the cover page, there’s a page that shows Ninjak’s armour and this also gives some insight into his character. Just because he’s calm, cool, and collected it does not mean that he’s not a troubled individual as well. I also liked the art in this issue, which had dynamic action sequences and nice looking exposition scenes. I thought the close-up panels were pretty tight too. Arreola’s colours were well done and there were some touches that really stood out for me throughout the issue. Overall, I enjoyed this issue and I’m going to make sure that I stay up to date on it now.

BUT…

There wasn’t really anything that I found to really affect the enjoyment of the story. There was a panel I didn’t care for and a page that I had to do a second read on, but they were minor quibbles not really worth mentioning.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It. Kindt is allowed to do his thing with this title and its working. There’s an ongoing story that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be compressed into a single arc. I have faith that Valiant will allow this story to continue unimpeded without a lot of interference from other titles or events. There may be a crossover or two, but I don’t think that it’ll get to the point of completely disrupting the pacing and groove of the title (which has happened to too many other titles I’ve enjoyed). The creative team has done a great job at giving substance to a visually pleasing title. Valiant has once again let their creative team do what they’re good at, which is evidenced by the quality of the title. As a result, I will be reading this title on a regular basis.

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