Comics: Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe #2 (of 4) - Reviewed

Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe issue two picks up where issue one leaves off, with super spy ninja Colin King, aka Ninjak, running for his life, trying desperately to escape his former friends and coworkers after he has stolen the Book of the Geomancer from his place of employment M16. Unbeknownst to those hot on his tail, Ninjak has only stolen the book to save his best friend Neville Alcott’s wife and child who are being held for ransom by Ninjak’s greatest enemy, Roku. 

As I have been keeping up with the Ninja-K storyline as of late, I have really developed a fondness for Colin King as a character. I am excited to say that, though last month’s issue of Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe left me feeling a bit confused, writer Eliot Rahal has since seemed to iron out some of the kinks and issue two was a hell of a lot of fun. You begin to see just how far the reach of the Valiant Universe goes in this issue, as well as getting to know both Ninjak and his coworkers better. I will still admit that having prior knowledge about the Valiant Universe and the characters within will certainly help this be a smoother read, I don’t actually find it as necessary now reading the second issue as I did reading the first. The conflict King is going through, knowing he had to betray his longtime friends in order to save the lives of people he cares about is heavily detailed in this issue. You feel for him and begin to connect to him as a main character in issue two, which I think is extremely important. Introducing each of the characters that are trying to retrieve the Book of the Geomancer back from Ninjak definitely brought more intrigue to the series. As opposed to nonstop action sequences that detracted from the heart of the comic, issue two strove to let you connect more with each of the characters and their relationship with Ninjak, however strained. Rahal does an excellent job in issue two of providing readers with more backstory and more plot, yet still keeping it an exciting, action packed tale. 

Joe Bennett continues to contribute his talent to the art of Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe. His work is crisp, clean and very attentive to detail. He has a real knack for creating lush nature scenes and making them come to life, something that I feel like is very easy to overlook when you are working on an exciting action style comic. The characterization is solid as well, as it definitely captures the emotional highs and lows of each character during this issue. The colors, done by Ulises Arreola are vibrant and lifelike, certainly drawing in the eye of the reader and holding their attention. I love how nonstagnant the colors are. You don’t just simply see green grass or a brown dirt road, there is such depth to the various hues he uses of the same color family. 

Valiant Entertainment is still teasing us with their upcoming live action version of this tale, but we have yet to hear a solidified date. With an impressive cast and a written story that is growing more and more exciting, I am left anticipating both the next issue and the future web series.

-Rachel Rutherford