Ninjak 2: The Shadow Wars

ninjak volume 2 the shadow wars cover review
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Solid art

While more rounded, still feels like the character needs development

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Ninjak (Volume 3)

Publisher:  Valiant Comics

Writer:  Matt Kindt

Artist:  Raul Allen/Patricia Martin/Juan Jose Ryp/Stephen Segovia/Ryan Winn/Clay Mann

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2015

ninjak #6 cover review

Ninjak (3) #6

Reprint Ninjak (3) #6-9 (August 2015-November 2015).  Ninjak is deep undercover within Weaponeer and his superiors are beginning to question his actions within the company.  With Neville trying to keep Ninjak from being forcibly withdrawn, Ninjak is out to take down the Shadow Seven with run Weaponeer.  With time running out and the danger growing, Weaponeer must fall…or Ninjak could become another casualty.

Written by Matt Kindt, Ninjak Volume 2:  The Shadow Wars is a Valiant Comics superhero comic book collection.  Following Ninjak Volume 1:  Weaponeer, the series features art by Raul Allen, Patricia Martin, Juan Jose Ryp, Stephen Segovia, Ryan Winn, and Clay Mann, and issues in this collection were also collected as part of Ninjak Deluxe Edition—Volume 1.

Ninjak was always a bit more intriguing title in the original Valiant launch.  Though I didn’t really read it then, ninjas and espionage were far more interesting to me than warriors in armor or pale assassins.  The relaunch of Valiant lead to going back and reading some of the original Ninjak…and though it was a fun title, the new title is a marked improvement.

ninjak #9 cover variant

Ninjak (3) #9 Variant

The Valiant relaunch really focused on character and storytelling.  Ninjak is no different in that sense.  A lot of the Valiant characters felt a little flat in their original run, but these issues seek to round out Ninjak.  With trips into his past and “The Lost Files” which trace some of Colin’s early training, Ninjak is more fleshed out than a simple impossibly hard to kill spy.

This doesn’t mean that the comic is without faults.  Some of the writing is a bit jarring and some of the storylines (especially those surrounding Ninjak’s past and the Undead Monk) are tough to follow.  With so much crammed into four short issues, it also feels that Colin’s layered past is shortchanged and underdeveloped in regards to what could have been done with a stand-alone origin series or at least a flashback storyline.

With a lot of build-up and a lot of territory to cover, Ninjak 2:  The Shadow Wars shows improvement in general but underwhelms overall.  In the context of the larger series and more issues, the story read well, but the story as a four issue collection feels a little flimsy.  I don’t love that every story needs to fall into the trade paperback rhythm, but if they are forced into the format, I want a bit more substance and layering between the volumes than Ninjak provides.  Ninjak 2:  The Shadow Wars is followed by Ninjak 3:  Operation:  Deadside.

Related Links:

Ninjak 1:  Weaponeer

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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