This issue of Ninjak reminded me a lot of Mind MGMT. The structure, the ending, the twists. It honestly felt like Matt Kindt took Ninjak and a chunk of the Valiant U and placed it squarely into the Mind MGMT universe. One of the biggest reasons for this feeling is the resolution of the Shadow Seven (I’m sure I missed something because I only count five). This should have been the big finale with Ninjak taking on the last and possibly the most dangerous member… but it ends like the others really. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t why the issue was great. No, instead the ending is great because of the two backstories. There’s the “Lost Files”, but I’m referring to the origin story for Colin that Kindt has sprinkled throughout the story since the beginning of the series. Let’s just say that Colin’s family is really fucked up. Again, it’s the best part of the book because there’s not one, but two and a half twists.
Otherwise, there isn’t much to say about the actual story. There’s some interesting stuff and a lot of great conclusions to the storyline, it just wasn’t as big as you’d expect. It’s more of a deeper thought ending in which you really feel like you’re in the character’s head. That’s why it feels Mind MGMTy because that’s how most of the arcs ended. Not necessarily with a bang, but with a growing feeling that eats away at you until the next issue.
Clay Mann is killing it on this series. The best part is his action. It’s subtle and dynamic. Our last of the Shadow Seven has creepy little Doc Ock type hands that he uses for pick-pocketing. This is going to sound weird, but they’re gross as fuck, but Mann makes them work and surprisingly well. They’re still fucking gross to look at as they just kind of pop out from his back. I was glad when Ninjak started cutting them off, but then almost puked with the villain says he’ll just grow them back. Gross. There was some falter on young Colin’s scenes. He looks smooshed rather than like a boy and he also kind of looks like young Bruce Wayne from Gotham which is not a good thing in my opinion. Otherwise, the art is very strong throughout the issue, minus one hiccup.
The backup story is also quite rewarding. It ties into the main story and actually explains why this mission was personal for Ninjak. That and Juan Jose Ryp’s artwork is great and surprisingly fits this world and character quite well.
Overall, this is a solid ending to the story arc. The handful of reveals are very interesting and I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here and what else we’ll learn about Ninjak and his jacked up family. If you’ve been holding out on this series, but were a fan of Kindt’s Mind MGMT, then check out Ninjak. I’m not lying when I say that he’s structuring this story a lot like MM.
Ninjak #9 Writer: Matt Kindt Artists: Clay Mann, Juan Jose Ryp Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/4/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital