Review – Ninja-K Deluxe Edition
Ninja-K Deluxe Edition
Writer: Christos Gage
Artists: Tomas Giorello, Roberto De La Torre, Juan Jose Ryp, Ariel Olivetti, Larry Stroman and Ryan Winn
Colorists: Diego Rodriguez, Andrew Dalhouse, Jordie Bellaire, Jose Villarrubia
Letters: A Larger World Studios
Assistant Editors: David Menchel, Charlotte Greenbaum
Editors: Warren Simons, Karl Bollers
Special thanks to Eliot Rahal
Colin King is Ninja-K, or Ninjak to some. Trained by the Jonin, he’s the current ninja employed by MI-6. He finds out that some of the past ninja are still alive and worse, someone’s out to kill them. It’s this very premise that makes Ninja-K an action-packed story.
Ninja-K is the second ongoing that Valiant Entertainment has published of the character Ninjak. The previous volume was written by Matt Kindt and was an excellent mix of superheroics and spy work, full of great villains. For the most part, it’s some of Ninjak’s best adventures. Ninja-K takes Ninjak on an entirely different adventure, one that begins within the ranks of MI-6 and the very program that created him, giving us the Jonin, the know-all swordsman who trained every ninja put forth by MI-6 to do their dirty work. Ninja-K also features the likes of Doctor Mirage, Livewire, and Punk Mambo, so you do get a bit more of the Valiant Univere with this.
The writing is from Christos Gage, who had worked with Valiant briefly on Bloodshot/Bloodshot & The H.A.R.D. Corps a few years back. With Ninja-K, Gage does a ton of work on creating various characters who were in the Ninja program – he basically creates the program itself. Any group or organization that willingly employs a swordsman and gives him free reign to do what needs to be done must have a few skeletons and with Ninja-K, MI-6 certainly has some in its closets. It almost felt like Gage recreated everything here in Ninjak’s world and in a way that’s so enjoyable but also, credible to what’s come before it. It still works with the previous Ninjak book, even while building up the mythos.
Ninja-K is a visual treat. The book opens with artist Tomas Giorello’s work. From there, we get Juan Jose Ryp, who’s also my favorite artist at Valiant, an issue of Larry Stroman and then ends with Roberto De La Torre. For the most part, it all works. Giorello’s work, to me, just floored me and in a good way. Very detailed. Diego Rodriguez’s colors go perfectly with Giorello. It’s some rather stunning stuff. It’s exceptional to get such art to start a book off and from there. My only gripe would be that while I like Roberto De La Torre’s style, it almost seemed too dark at times, but that’s me and maybe another reader will like it more than I did.
I think that Ninja-K is one of the absolute best series that Valiant Entertainment has published. For me, it ranks that high and delivered everything I want in a Ninjak book. It’s a shame we don’t have more after this volume and hopefully, Gage can come back to Valiant and do more because it feels like from character to creator, this was a perfect match.