Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Tomas Giorello
Colors: Diego Rodriguez
Letters: A Larger World Studios
Ninja-K #1 is exactly what it needed to be, an outstanding relaunch of a title that recently completed an excellent run. I’ve always found that the formula for a good relaunch of a comic is to not throw everything away just to force something new. Rather keep enough of what worked and introduce the new concepts in a respectful manner that doesn’t destroy what came before. Valiant Comic’s latest relaunch, Ninja-K #1, follows this formula perfectly and is an enjoyable read for any longtime reader of Ninjak or any new reader looking to get into a world that combines martial arts, espionage, and super heroics.
I really enjoyed Matt Kindt’s recently concluded Ninjak series. I thought he did a commendable job for giving Ninjak a backstory as well as mixing in dynamics from classic Martial Arts films as well as sci-fi and horror elements. Kindt finished his run last month with Ninjak #0, which served as an ending to the long running storyline Kindt had developed but also set the stage for new writer Christos Gage’s take on Ninjak, which continues in Ninja-K #1, and if this is the new tone of the books longtime fans are going to be very happy and new readers will hopefully jump aboard for this take.
Gage introduces a new element to the Ninjak mythos without undoing any of the previous backstory. Where Kindt channeled classic sci fi and horror in his tale Gage is vibing on classic spy thrillers as he creates an entire Ninja contingent into MI6, just like the 00 agents of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. No longer is it Ninjak but rather Ninja-K. Ninja-K #1 introduces us to the original MI6 Ninja, on loan from the Japanese Empire during WWI and how there has been a long line of British Ninja’s protecting the Empire from evil, both foreign and domestic, for generations. Our protagonist, Ninjak (now Ninja-K or simply K to his fellow Ninja) is one of many Ninja’s, who over the course of this issue we find out are under attack by an unknown threat. Who this threat is and where it takes Ninja-K will no doubt be the core of this first arc and I know one thing for sure, I will be on board.
Verdict: Christos Gage does an excellent job of continuing the story of Ninjak from its previous run but adds a new historical wrinkle that both morphs the book into a spy thriller but introduces a mystery that will leave the reader wondering. If you are a fan of Ninjak or simply want a spy thriller masked as a super hero title then Ninja-K #1 is the book for you and an absolute BUY.