Truthfully, I wasn’t that big a fan of the first issue of Shinobi: Ninja Princess. It wasn’t a very well written or constructed story and felt rather amateurish in areas. But hey, things can always easily turn around and get better, right? Let’s see if the second issue can accomplish that. Is it good?
Shinobi: Ninja Princess #2 (Action Lab Comics)
More or less, Shianndrea Toshigawa’s first mission was a success and everyone is doing fine. That is except for Hamasuke, who got demoted for being an idiot and a jerk last issue. Either way, everything is okay for now and Shianndrea is getting sent on a reconnaissance mission with Kim, a more skilled ninja that she’s crushing on. How will that go?
He’s been given the ninja equivalent of a pink slip.
In comparison to the last issue, this felt better… but still not particularly good. I didn’t end up with tons of questions in my mind like last time and the comic did at least make an attempt to add some characterization for the cast. Not much, but it’s the thought that counts. We still don’t have much in the way of a firm foundation for the world the characters live in, motivations, origins/backstory, or personality. As such, the comic feels a bit empty on the inside since it doesn’t offer much up for the audience to connect with it, whether it be the world/setting or the characters and their plights.
As far as characters go, Shianndrea still doesn’t feel that interesting or unique of a character at this point; she’s your average ninja/teenage girl. The characters go on about her being special, the chosen one, and incredibly skilled but we do not see any of that here in the comic. Telling us she is special isn’t the same as showing us that she is special. None of the cast is particularly memorable, nor do they have much of a personality outside of generic character traits. The only exception is Hamasuke, who feels like he has a personality and character arc here. The villains still remain vague and pretty bland, being evil for evil’s sake and having unclear motivations (either they want to kill Sianndrea or capture her. It’s hard to say).
Yes you did hear your name Hurl, now get lost.
The rest of the comic is okay, but there’s nothing to write home about here. The pacing is fine until the actual mission and fight when it seems rushed. The storytelling is okay, the dialogue is fine if cliched, and the story flows reasonably well from scene to scene. The ending is like the last issue: it seems like it wants to be shocking or have some punch, but since there is a lack of backstory or explanation for anything, it doesn’t really have any meaning. The artwork is about the same as last time with getting the job done and looking decent, but I have nothing new to add or say about it.
Is It Good?
Shinobi: Ninja Princess #2 is a bit of an improvement over the last issue, but it is still in need of a lot of work. There could be something to this series if the writing was to improve (as well as the characters and setting for that matter). However, I still can’t particularly recommend this to anyone as of now.