The Coalition may have been defeated…but the mission’s not over yet! Now, Ninjak must use all the super-spy skills at his disposal to save Gilad from the clutches of his friend’s erstwhile nemesis, the Dying One. But stopping an immortal genius – especially one armed with the full might of the Eternal Warrior – is a fight that not even MI6’s best and brightest secret agent can prepare for!
Touted as a new arc and a jumping on point for new readers, NINJA-K #11 is a true return to form for Valiant’s’ Super spy Ninjak. Gage is truly a master of his craft, setting up a brilliant new story as NINJA-K seeks to take on an immortal mastermind, for newcomers there’s an easy introduction to who he is and just what they can expect from a stalwart Valiant series, for long time readers it’s good to see an evolution in Colin’s behaviours. He’s always rankled at being commanded to action, however now it seems he is beginning to understand that sometimes what’s presented as a choice, really isn’t one at all and this is great to see. There are underlying moral themes throughout the issue, which highlights the illusion of choice, from what the people living in Pripyat do, to NINJA-K accepting the mission and I hope that this arc continues throughout the storyline.
The artwork throughout is fantastic, Robert de la Torre brings a truly visceral quality to the sword play, you can appreciate the effort, and skill of a master swordsman as our protagonist is, through each panel. My favourite panel has to be the revelation of the clockwork men, as sword meets flesh instead of metal and there’s some truly gory finer details in the panel which shows de la Torre’s skill and love of his craft. I found the images particularly chilling and reminiscent of some of the early horror comics I grew up with. Whilst talking of imagery, credit is also due to Jose Villarrubia, aside from some excellent colour work throughout, I love how NINJA-K blends into the panels, and yet we are drawn to him in each scene he remains the focal point and both the art and colours lend themselves well to exactly how the reader expects a ninja to be!
All in all an exciting and enjoyable start to this new arc, and I cannot wait to read the rest and find out if NINJA-K succeeds in freeing the Eternal Warrior and if he assists in apprehending Amanda or ultimately helping her evade capture!