Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Matt Kindt
Illustrated by Juan Jose Ryp & Backup by Stephen Segovia
Coloured by Ulises Arreola
Colin has defeated the elusive La Barbe in a mansion estate and for his next target, Sanguine, he’ll be returning to the UK. London however, isn’t without its perils for Ninjak, and not just from the Shadow Seven. His MI-6 handler Neville Alcott has been at his wits’ end trying to manage the cavalier Ninjak, and his patience seems primed to run out…
The main story by Juan Jose Ryp really has never looked better. The man is an amazing artist and the life and vibrancy he brings to the page and the characters truly takes my breath away. If he doesn’t end up staying on this book than y’all better make darn sure he gets a monthly title to call his own since he can do magic when illustrating.
Matt has me incredibly hooked with this series, I’ve always been a huge fan of Ninjak’s but this run is nothing short of brilliant. This issue for instance focuses on his encounter with Sanguine and her story gets told so we can understand who she is and what she’s about. Not to mention that they share similarities as well. That this arc dealing with the Secret Seven is just as much about them as it is Ninjak is fantastic since for a change we really get to see what motivated these characters to be who they are.
Sometimes it’s easy to gloss over things and say oh hard knocks life and all that but to showcase the trauma she’s been through and chronicle her life leading up to how she became as fearsome as she is was great to see. Matt nails her perspective and how she saw things in her life unfold and caused me to be sympathetic to her and what she’s been through. While I may condone her lifestyle I can appreciate how she came to it and why she believes in what she does so fervently.
Damn when we get to page eleven and see the fight between them start i’m completely transported to another place. The artwork is super strong and powerful and the dialogue/narration minimal letting us just see more of the fight. It’s a beautiful dance interrupted with a flashback that returns to something extraordinarily creepy. There’s a moment when the fight spills into something more public that’s brilliant in itself and gives the reader a moment of real joy.
The flashbacks to his parents and their lifestyle and the kind of man the manservant is becomes more clear and why he treats Colin the way he does. Doesn’t make it right but at least it makes more sense. I also really enjoy the then and now moments in this series that really go a long way into fleshing Colin out as a person. We can understand his personality better and see how in circumstances he’s come to act in certain ways.
Neville’s ex-wife has some great advice for him, not surprisingly it’s exactly what she did with Neville. I look forward to seeing if this handler who’s pretty much the exact same personality wise as the man he handles can come to terms with all this.
Stephen’s back-up art for this issue was perfectly done. This experience is important for a number of reasons and once you read this it’s instantly clear. Again as a compliment to the flashbacks in the main story we get so much characterization each issue that it seems like comics like this should have been done since the beginning.
The best, strongest series Valiant has with it’s most colourful character just keeps getting better and better.