The tenth issue of Ninjak kicks off the next storyline for the series. It’s different from the previous issues in just about every possible way. There’s no flashbacks to young Colin’s childhood and he’s paired with a partner this time instead of being a solo ninja. The setting is also different; this has had a pretty big push from Valiant because Ninjak is going to the Deadside and that’s Shadowman and Dr. Mirage territory. The story begins with Neville briefing a superior about the theft of one of the Shadow Seven (in narrative only), which was a nice tie-in to the last arc. It gave the impression that Matt Kindt has really mapped out and connected all of his Ninjak stories. The kidnaper fled to the Deadside so they got a group to go after him and only one of them came back. Ninjak has been assigned to go in and is given Punk Mambo as a partner. The rest is their journey to the Deadside, some shit goes down and we learn the shocking information about how long they end up staying in the Deadside.
This isn’t the strongest Ninjak issue I’ve read. It’s pretty pale in comparison to the first nine issues of the series. A big part of it is the narration from Neville. It’s a device that allows Kindt to give all the details and assure us that the mission is already over, but it’s too accurate. It really feels like a boring report at times and the contrast of the art being exciting isn’t there. The narration bullies the entire story and doesn’t leave much room for Ninjak and Punk to talk and develop as characters together. I actually liked the backup story better.
The art is great. Its Doug Braithwaite so of course it’s good. It’s very detailed and photorealistic. I also liked his rendering of Punk Mambo. She’s been illustrated by so many artists that she always looks a bit different, but I liked her here. I wasn’t crazy about Braithwaite’s unmasked Ninjak, but it wasn’t terrible. It just didn’t look very distinguished. The action is great and the coloring is spot on. It brings the world to life and gave it a supernatural feel.
Overall, this just wasn’t the best Ninjak issue I’ve read. It wasn’t bad, but it has a long way to go to catch up to the previous issues. I’ll definitely keep reading it, but I’m really hoping for something better from the next issue.
Ninjak #10 Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Doug Braithwaite Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/9/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital