Ninjak 1: Weaponeer

ninjak volume 1 weaponeer trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Bigger story, pulls-no-punches character

Seems too easy for the character

Comic Info

Comic Name: Ninjak (Volume 3)

Publisher: Valiant Comics

Writer: Matt Kindt

Artist: Clay Mann/Juan Jose Ryp/Seth Mann/Marguerite Sauvage

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2015

ninjak #1 cover variant

Ninjak (3) #1 Variant

Reprints Ninjak (3) #1-5 (March 2015-July 2015).  Ninjak has one of his most dangerous assignments ever.  Tasked to infiltrate the international illegal arms dealership called Weaponeer, Ninjak must first ally himself Kannon of the Shadow Seven in the hopes of rooting out the other members of the Shadow Seven.  Colin discovers gaining Kannon’s trust might be impossible and if he does manage to succeed that he still has to deal with Kannon’s trained lackey Roku.  Plus, Colin’s past as an agent is revealed and the mistakes he made as he began his career.

Written by Matt Kindt, Ninjak Volume 1:  Weaponeer is a Valiant Comics superhero comic book collection.  The volume contains art by Clay Mann, Juan Jose Ryp, Seth Mann, and Marguerite Sauvage and was also collected as part of Ninjak Deluxe Edition—Volume 1.

Generally, I don’t necessarily like spy comics, but I do like martial arts comics which leaves Ninjak is a weird position.  Of Valiant’s first run characters, I found Ninjak to be one of the least dynamic and essentially he just always had the skills he needed to get by.  The Valiant relaunch gave Ninjak a bit more depth and this series fleshes out the “new” Ninjak even more.

The nice thing about Ninjak is that he generally throws no punches (as opposed to a Marvel or DC character).  If Ninjak needs to kill a man, he kills a man.  It is a brutal realism that is lacking in many comics.  Will he spare a guy if he can?  Yes…but in general, he’s will to put down a bad guy if the bad guy serves no purpose to him.

ninjak #5 cover variant review

Ninjak (3) #5 Variant

While the collection is kind of a contained story, it is part of a bigger and incomplete story.  Today, comic books try so hard to give neat, gift-wrapped collection that stand-alone and I sometimes admire comics like Ninjak that simply tell a story with less focus on how it is going to be collected.  The plot against the Shadow Seven is just starting and this collection doesn’t even reveal what Kannon and Roku are really up to before moving onto the next of “the Seven”.

The story also intermixes two back storylines for Ninjak.  One has Colin and his “battles” with his abusive guardian Alain and the second collected in “The Lost Files” deals with Colin’s initial action as a spy for MI-6.  Both do a decent job of giving a rather bland character some structure for future stories and attempts to make him more interesting.

Ninjak often feels “too good”.  The character will have all his ribs broken in a fight and still take down the bad guy with ease.  Superheroes almost always win, but sometimes writers manage to make it seems like the characters are doing more than breaking a sweat.  It doesn’t always feel that way with Ninjak in this volume, but the story is compelling enough to read on.  Ninjak 1:  Weaponeer is followed by Ninjak 2:  The Shadow Wars.

Related Links:

Ninjak 2:  The Shadow Wars

Ninjak 3:  Operation:  Deadside

Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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