This is definitely my favorite current Valiant series. Ninjak continues to be one of the best comic characters in all of the industry. What I realized with this issue is that we’re actually reading his origin story of sorts. Sure he’s fighting a Shadow War and taking out the Shadow Seven, but the flashbacks reveal that Ninjak actually knows all of them from his training with the Bleeding Monk. He very well could have been one of their members had the story gone differently. This time around we learn all about Fitzy who has a great origin. It’s a different narration from the previous issues as Fitzy walks us through everything (that’s not the part that’s different), but we don’t see Colin/Ninjak until almost the final page. Fitzy’s origin is, well it’s awesome and I don’t want to tell you it. Let’s pick up after the origin part in which he’s traveling the world and eventually runs into Sanguine just as they find the Bleeding Monk’s temple. I am left wondering about the Bleeding Monk’s timeline since he ends up in Harada’s Harbinger foundation eventually. I’d like to know what happens there and who else he trained.
That’s all you really need to know about the story. it’s not what you think and it was a much needed change of pace. Just seeing Ninjak take down dude after dude gets old and while I probably would have liked to have seen this battle, I liked the direction that Matt Kindt took with it. Kindt just continues to deliver on all fronts. Now that Mind MGMT has ended it’s safe to say that this is his best written book and it’s largely because it feels creator owned.
This is my third Valiant review this week and the third time I will say Stephen Segovia is one of those artists you see bounce around on all of their titles and manages to deliver a great looking book no matter where he lands. His work on this story arc has been impressive. Kindt has layered the story in such a way that we see the same scenes over and over, but pick up new details when we see the scenes again. Segovia manages to make those scenes feel fresh each time.
As for the backstory… well holy shit. We’re reading Colin’s origin on two levels and the backstory is just spectacular. You’ll understand why it’s so hard to kill Ninjak, but then if you read The Fall of Ninjak then you’ll already know. This issue acknowledges that information in case people were only reading the core series. The backstory continues to be one of the best things about this series and I still think it deserves its own spinoff since it’s far from page filler.
If you’re not reading Ninjak, then I doubt I’ll have convinced you at this point to check it out. Which is a shame since I don’t read too many superhero books and this is one of the best out there, period. But if you’re looking for a fresh superhero book that puts all other “spy books” to shame then you need look no further than Valiant’s Ninjak.
Ninjak #8 Writer: Matt Kindt Artists: Stephen Segovia, Juan Jose Ryp Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/14/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital