Synopsis: Finally betrayed by the one who gathered them all, the Shadow Seven face off against Roku and Master Darque. It has all been leading up to this. But even with the combined might of the six remaining shadows, they are no match for Darque. It is left up to Ninjak to face his former love and Master Darque alone. And when th moment arrives, Colin will have to make difficult choices that will shape his, and the rest of the world, forever.
Review: Ninjak #26 is an impressive way to end this story. Elements that have been building throughout the series coalesce into an underlying idea. The choices we make have ramifications. Ninjak chooses to believe that he is a part of the Shadow Seven, so he follows Roku on this suicide mission against Master Darque. Granted, Colin’s ulterior motives are to rescue Angelina from her fate as Roku, so he believes he has no choice but to follow her. The problem is that Ninjak chooses not to accept the choices of others. It is this decision that has the most ramifications; therefore, the battle with Darque becomes less important. Then what has the Shadow Seven story arc been about? Roku’s agency, and Ninjak’s inability to recognize it.
When Ninjak does what he does (trying to remain spoiler free), he undermines Roku’s desires and wants. It highlights Colin as a flawed human being. A man, who the reader sees as perfect, has been laid low. We see a selfishness in his action though they are under the guise of love and devotion. This is interesting but problematic. A stronger person would have been able to forego their own desires. In this instance, love does not conquer all, and it certainly doesn’t absolve one of the ramifications of their actions.
The art for this issue remains great. The use of Roku’s hair always astonishes me. Roku’s hair, combined with Darque’s use of demonic roots, conveys a sense of confinement that works perfectly here. Making hair and roots seem deadly is not an easy task, so I am impressed about how well it is accomplished. The action panels are dynamic yet easy to follow. There is a sense of controlled chaos between the characters, so although so much action is happening on the page, it doesn’t seem disjointed or garbled.
Ninjak is a series continues to surprise me as a reader. A secret ninja-spy is an entertaining concept, but it can come across as just a gimmick if not done well. Throughout this run, the creative team for the book has never fallen into that trap. Furthermore, the consistently delivered a story that strove to be more than just smoke bombs and sword fights. They accomplished it. Bravo.