Guest Writer: Brent Griffis
This was brought to you by the gift of a review copy, QWERTY and rolling natural 20s.
As any fan of the medium will tell you, comic books are constantly evolving, searching for new ways to continue their mythologies. In “NINJAK vs THE VALIANT UNIVERSE” Valiant is offering devotees a cross-platform treat: A brand-new title, written to go hand-in-hand with the digital series of the same name.
From the outset, Ninjak offers “007”-style espionage, blended with more martial arts action than you can shake a katana at.
When British super spy Colin King is attacked by the powerful supervillain Roku, he is forced into committing treason, using his skills as Ninjak to steal the mysterious “Asset 147” from an MI6 base. Confronted by his erstwhile allies, Ninjak escapes – but to what end? Burned by his agency and hunted by his super-powered friends, can the master spy redeem himself and put an end to Roku’s plot?
The setup in this issue will leave fans of this brand of straightforward action-adventure anxious to get their hands on the next issue AND continue the story by watching the online series.
Eliot Rahal’s writing in this issue is above average. It offers no needless exposition, nor any obtuse references that might lose readers who are new to Valiant’s universe.
The art, by Joe Bennett and Belardino Brabo, is also very strong. In addition to top-notch fight sequences, updated looks for classic Valiant characters such as X-O Manowar, Bloodshot and Livewire are teased on the issue’s last page.
If the writing, art (and now ACTING) can remain on point then Valiant’s status as an “indie” publisher will almost certainly attract a new generation of fans, eager for an alternative to the constant waves of film and comic tie-ins offered by Marvel and DC.
Long-time Valiant readers will also be intrigued to see their favorite heroes and villains brought to life on the small screen. The series is being handled by Bat in the Sun’s Aaron and Sean Schoenke (“Super Power Beatdown”) and stars such names as John Hennigan (Johnny Mundo from “Lucha Underground”) and Jason David Frank (“Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”).
All in all, it’s clear that Valiant is making a strong attempt to enter a new phase and truly become a multi-media contender.