Ninjak, Book 1

Jeff Parker, Javier Pulido, and Beni Lobel. Valiant, $14.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-68215-410-6
In this spirited new direction for the title character, scripted by Parker (the Agents of Atlas series), someone’s killing off British agents across the globe, which calls for the return of Colin King, the master spy and warrior known as Ninjak. Less experienced agent Myna gets catapulted into Ninjak’s cryptic world to help him halt a pair of superpowered terrorist siblings—Kingmaker and his telepathic sister Syphon—who are stealing state secrets and assassinating spies on both sides of the Atlantic. Parker pokes fun at the conventions of spy and hero comics with clones, deadly choking leis, and bounty hunter trio Growler, Giant, Gale (a tongue-in-cheek wink to characters from the X-Men). The main draw, though, is the bright, bombastic art by Pulido (the Human Target series). His bold-lined figures zip and zoom through vertical panels and double pages, complementing the sweeping, high-adventure action. Pulido’s coloring’s crackerjack, too; brilliant shades make the characters pop like kinetic animation. Unfortunately, the change of artist to Lobel (the Smallville series) halfway through the final chapter jars and saps the narrative’s energy. More disappointingly, the volume ends on a frustrating cliffhanger. Still, most of this vibrant, good-looking adventure thrills in all the right places. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 11/24/2021
Release date: 12/01/2021
Genre: Comics
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