Ninjak #7

Ninjak goes head-to-head with the Shadow Seven’s toughest villain, Sanguine – but will his past come back to bite him before she does? As a conspiracy from Colin King’s first days as a spy finally comes to light in the modern day, will Ninjak survive his deadliest battle yet? And what will be left of him? Red-hot artist Juan José Ryp (Black Summer) joins Matt Kindt for the second 40-page chapter of THE SHADOW WARS! Plus: an all-new instalment of NINJAK: THE LOST FILES, featuring artwork by Eisner Award-nominated artist Butch Guice!

Matt Kindt
Juan Jose Ryp
Butch Guice
Valiant Entertainment

Every comic has its lulls, the issues that just aren’t as good as the rest of the run. It’s a natural and rather understandable thing, especially in modern comics which are becoming created to read better when collected in trade paperbacks.

Issue 7 of Ninjak is just such an issue, which despite some great artwork from Juan Jose Ryp is just very average is plotting and action. Ninjak encounters Sanguine, who it eluded to have something to do with Ninjak’s past, with the assignation that it means we should care about her.

The problem is simple; I didn’t. It doesn’t matter how many tortured backstories you give a character, if that backstory is generic and features someone willingly becoming an arms dealer all in the space of a few pages, I’m not going to feel sorry for that person. In a case of Matt Kindt trying to have it both ways, he adds the quippy line of ‘I don’t want your backstory. I’m just here to put you down’ after Sanguine finishes the recap of her troubled past. Yet when you provide the backstory anyway, all I wanted to say was ‘Yes, I agree!’

It’s Juan Jose Ryp’s art that is the main draw for me this issue. Though not as fantastically brutal as the work they are currently doing in Legends of the Geomancer, everything is still given a grimy feel. It adds a lot to the story’s themes that their artwork conveys the brutality and the grimy nature of the world that Sanguine comes from and the equally brutal way she engages with the world. Even if I’m not sure if the art direction in the script was perfect (at one point our lead gets his lungs punctured and still managed to incapacitate a club of punks with nary a sign of injury) but overall, the well paced any dynamic art direction flows well.

Though I am repeating myself, ultimately it isn’t worth checking out the issue if you are a new reader. Fans of the series so far will enjoy a few more revelations into Ninjak’s background (once again, the panels where he isn’t in costume are the best parts of the comic) and the continuing storyline whilst fans of Ryp’s art will find plenty to admire. But a few months from now the issue will be forgotten.

Ninjak is available from Valiant Entertainment

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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