Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Matt Kindt
Illustrated by Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Additional Colours by Borja Pindado
His name is Ninjak--Spy and mercenary for hire. He is also Colin King, wealthy son of privilege.
The British espionage organization MI-6 tasked Colin with infiltrating and destroying Weaponeer, a criminal empire that designs arms for the highest, most illicit bidder. Disguised as businessman Henry Collins, Ninjak ingratiated himself to the group’s imposing leader, Kannon. He also met Kannon’s right-hand woman, Roku, an assassin so feared that skilled warriors have taken their own lives rather than face her razor-sharp locks of hair and deadly skills.
Ninjak eventually engaged Kannon in open combat, dismembering him and leaving in the custody of MI-6 Dirtor Neville Alcott. Colin then took over as CEO of Weaponeer. He aims to take down Weaponeer from the inside….
Ninjak is hunting the Shadow Seven. First up: La Barbe…
This is hands down one of the most impressive books currently on sale today. Colin or Ninjak really is one of the most interesting, complex and diverse characters in comics or literature for that matter. Matt is able to demonstrate through Ninjak’s actions this issue that while he does rely upon his gadgets and technology to make his life easier when forced to he’s more than capable relying solely upon his skills and teachings. It really goes a long way to making him one of the most dangerous men to walk the planet.
There is so much going on this issue that demonstrates not only Colin’s skills but Matt’s as well. The knowledge of how to use old school dead drop tactics, how Colin’s able to create weapons that backfire so beautifully as well as the characterization at MI-6 all play to his strengths as a prolific writer. That we see so many of facets of his work these days and all them so well done and thought out it isn’t any surprise that here he’s taken one of the company’s most beloved characters and made him seem indispensable.
The interior artwork here to is very well done. While not what we’ve become used to from Clay it is in it’s own unique way just as fitting for the character and the world he inhabits. There’s something about Neville and Lord Kensington’s faces that really do stick out and keep your mind focused on them. This style does seem better suited to the flashback sequences though of a young Colin exploring the world and asserting his independence any way he can.
Alright so there’s one scene that I found particularly charming and that is Colin unafraid to use his manly charms with another man to flirt and get information out of him. How far would he go undercover if he had to now comes flashing across my mind and has he ever experimented in the past? Oh please let him have a preference but be open to doing whatever is needed in the moment.
The Matt tells this story of his encounter with La Barbe is beautifully done and I mentioned earlier part of why I really enjoyed it. The writing and dialogue, both spoken and narrated, are some of the most revealing work around today.
The Lost Files back-up
Illustrated by Stephen Segovia
Coloured by Ulises Arreola
This artwork here is much more suitable to the character and what Clay has brought us in the past. I’d urge letting them fill in for him when that time comes and perhaps having Raul and company do the back-up.
The story itself is kind of the moment we’ve been waiting for. I get the feeling that Neville while being partly honest isn’t telling the whole story here. Sending Colin off on something of a wild goose chase and that wouldn’t surprise me. There are certain revelations that would confirm Neville’s actions in one’s mind. However where Colin ends up is where he was meant to be and he’s about to have his world changed forever here.
Again this really is the strongest title Valiant has right now. With snippets of his past coming to light at the end of each issue as well as mixed into the main story negates the need for a whole origin tale. Instead we get everything we need in a constant flow of information and it shows us his growth and maturity as a man and character.