By Dustin Cabeal
If I’m not mistaken, this is the end of the Matt Kindt era of Ninjak. Which is a damn shame. Not that I’m not looking forward to Christos Gage’s take on the character, but I have enjoyed Kindt at the helm of the character. On a side note, I could be wrong, but it seems as if he’s scaling back his work at Valiant, which is a shame. I have enjoyed him as an architect of sorts at the publisher.
Anyway, this issue is like a love note to his work with the character. It pretty much recaps the entire series which is brilliant for two reasons. One, you don’t have to read his series to know everything that’s been done with the character and can now pick up Ninja-K #1 and only need those two issues. Two, it’s a fantastic recap of sorts if you read Kindt’s part and then re-read his entire run because it foreshadows everything spot on.
The artwork is also striking and brilliant in that the top section of the page is one story and the bottom another until they meet up. During all this, an arrow is being shot that is slowly traveling the page, and it is a brilliant representation of this being all of the thoughts that are running through Colin’s head in the time it takes him to shoot the arrow. There’s a great sequence of action in which Ninjak demolishes a cult, you can call it Raid or Old Boy inspired if you must, but I think it was just an incredible sequence of movement on the page.
The setup story for the new series is good but without a lot of context. I’m sure after the first issue it’ll make more sense, but it’s a real tease and will interest you in what’s to come for the character. What new challenges he’ll face and hey, another ninja, so that’s cool. Ninja-a? Then you just roll that “A”? Just a guess, the art was very detailed and what a lot of readers have come to expect from Valiant. They seem to be the publisher breaking in new talent, and it’s a shame that I’m starting to see a lot of the artists they work with the corporate books.
Zero issues are usually bullshit. It’s just the facts, but this one is a great endcap to a magnificent run and manages to set up the next chapter in the story. If you read Kindt’s run you’ll be left with the familiar feels that he injected into all of his issues, but if you haven’t like I said, this is a condensed version of his run giving you everything you need to know in twenty or so pages. That alone is a talented feat worth checking out.
Writers: Matt Kindt, Christos Gage
Artists: Francis Portela, MJ Kim, Khari Evans, Roberto de La Torre, Sija Hong, Juan José Ryp, Tomás Giorello
Colorists: Andrew Dalhouse, Diego Rodrigues
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Publisher: Valiant Comics