Synopsis: Ninjak has faced many deadly enemies, yet few are more deadly than the Shadow Seven. The motley crew of elite killers were so dangerous that a special impenetrable prison, called Stygia, was created to house them. That very prison now lies in ashes thanks to Roku. Once an M-I 6 agent Angelina Alcott and Ninjak’s lover, she was killed and turned into supernatural assassin. She has a plan to reunite the Shadow Seven in an effort to kill someone even the seven consider bad. However, how will Ninjak feel when he finally comes in contact with his most vicious villains? Spoiler Alert: Not too great.
Review: Sometimes, it is difficult to bring on brand new readers to a series over 20 issues deep. Even people who have read a title on and off are often reluctant to return. Why? The answer is that most people don’t want to feel as if they are missing a large part of the story (myself included). On the other hand, Ninjak #23 is a prime example of overcoming that obstacle. Kindt immediately throws the reader into captivating action. Having Neville Alcott narrate the prison break allows the reader to process of wealth of knowledge. This expertly fills in any gaps the reader may have about what has happened in the past. One by one Roku recruits another agent of the Shadow Seven, and that meeting gives just enough info to put each member into context. Done poorly, these scenes would be incredibly dull, yet Kindt keeps these interactions short and interesting. These moments ,coupled with the art for issue #23, really drive home the point that something major is about to occur.
The carnage in Ninjak looks incredible. Marc Laming’s first page with our jailhouse liberator really brings into focus what Roku is about. Quite outstanding work here. The way her hair moves conveys an elegant ruthlessness that is difficult to achieve consistently. The fight scenes with Roku are visually stunning, yet easy to follow. The tightness of the panels forces the reader focus on specific aspects of the fights, controlled chaos. The color work for this issue never felt stale or over-saturated. There was a great deal of red and orange in this issue, but the colorist made it work.
Ninjak promises to deliver a thrilling tale in the next few issues. This first installment in “The Seven Swords of Mister Darque” story will have a lot of pieces to move. Ninjak, ostensibly, will have become a big team book, and from what this prelude has demonstrated, it will be well-balanced and a lot of fun.