Valiant’s Ninjak title premiered to accolades last month, and I for one counted the days until Issue #2 hit stands. Colin King has his work cut out for him as he attempts to infiltrate Weaponeer and eliminate their seven leaders, six of whom have unknown identities. For now, however, the master spy has entered the lair of Kannon. I had high hopes for this issue, as Ninjak is one of my favorite Valiant characters, and the launch issue was one of the best comics I read in March.
Thanks to weeks of planning and submission, Ninjak has won the trust and respect of the elusive Kannon. Masquerading as businessman Henry Collins, our protagonist moves through Kannon’s world, but must complete one final test in order to gain membership in Weaponeer. Can the master of infiltration succeed in discerning the secrets of this dread organization?
Matt Kindt, the series writer, provides another strong installment of the series. Building off the first issue, we’re treated to more information about the inner workings of Weaponeer yet, like Ninjak, we see there is still much to uncover. Kindt ensures a well-paced story, emphasizing the inner motivations of our hero while contrasting them with his dark childhood and uncertain earlier years as an MI6 agent. The dialogue works well for this story, as each character is clearly putting on airs as they converse, ensuring that their true motivation is left unsaid.
Artist Clay Mann continues his work on the main story, while Butch Guice returns for the backup story. Both artists are exceptional, each doing stellar work depicting the nightlife of Tokyo and the markets of Mumbai, respectively. Their styles are distinct, with the former taking a more fluid, polished look while the latter opts for a grittier, shadier tone.
Raul Allen adds in a few pages for a storybook sequence, but this is a section I wasn’t fond of from a narrative standpoint; it really broke the story’s flow, and I felt didn’t add much to the overall narrative. Inker Seth Mann backs up Clay Mann, strengthening the linework, while colorist Ulises Arreola brings a sharp style that complements both Mann and Guice. Letterer Dave Sharpe does solid work, though notably there is an error in caption placement in the backup story.
Ninjak #2 continues a strong launch for the secret agent’s story. Valiant has another successful book on their hands and, while I didn’t enjoy this issue as much as the first installment, it still provides a high standard of quality. I thoroughly enjoy this series, and highly recommend jumping on board.
-solid build-up for the remainder of the arc
-storybook sequence really breaks up the story’s flow
-lettering error in the backup story
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