The first issue of Ninjak didn’t feature much kung-fu fightin’ or swinging sword lectures but showcased plenty of Colin King’s subterfugal skills in the den of the deadliest weapons manufacturer in the world, Cannoneer. His dangerous trials included… singing karaoke and getting stripped naked and dropped off five miles outside of Tokyo. Cannoneer: world’s most dangerous weapons manufacturer or crazy fraternity?
Will this issue’s gauntlet up the ante? A deadly game of Connect Four or beer pong, perhaps? Is it good?
Ninjak #2 (Valiant Entertainment)
Consider the ante upped.
The very next task given to Ninjak in order to prove his worth to Cannoneer is a doozy: pick out a random individual at a lavish Roppongi nightclub party and put a bullet in their head. Damn, Kannon ain’t playing this time. Just so long as it’s not one of the awesome chimpanzee waiters:
They work hard for the money.
Ninjak #2 not only raises the stakes, but also has writer Matt Kindt further characterizing ‘Jak in three very important and interesting ways:
1. Prep skills: Much like that Bat-guy, Ninjak’s prep-time prowess is on point. This issue sees him using little nano-bots that tap into MI-6’s database and give him intel on everyone attending the party. The bots factor heavily into Ninjak’s decision, as he’s able to get the rundown on their names, backgrounds and shady lines of work. The art team of Clay Mann and Butch Guice impresses once again, especially in instances like this:
2. Ninjak’s past: If the fact that Colin King had absentee parents and a man-butler as his father surrogate had you groaning, “Batman did it,” like myself, you’re in for a pleasant surprise as this issue further diversifies Colin King’s upbringing from Bruce Wayne’s. Colin’s man-butler is certainly no mollycoddling Alfred and young Colin is more Bart Simpson/Damian Wayne conflation than young Bruce.
3. Moral compass: Speaking of differing demeanors, the actions that Ninjak take in this issue threw me for a legit loop, and I laud Kindt for throwing a swerve into what started out as a formulaic James Bond/Batman “get in good with the villain first” plotline. Were his actions the best bet for the mission at hand? Maybe. Maybe not. But they only serve to further differentiate him from Batman and Bond and make the narrative more interesting.
Everything was a step up from last issue, although I had one minor grievance in the form of Ninjak’s inner monologue/narration; they’re not poorly written but oftentimes the soliloquies tend to swing to levels of excess when Ninjak is fighting or sneaking around. I like learning your intentions regarding the mission, Ninjak but I don’t need to know everything and anything. You’re hampering the suspense and flow. Remember, Snake-Eyes didn’t get bad-ass status by being a Chatty Cathy.
Is It Good?
Even better than last issue. Ramps up the action, delves deeper into Ninjak’s skillset and past and by issue’s end sets the stage for a throwdown that should have every Ninjak reader licking their chops.