[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Ninja-K lands in the town of Pripyat, a Ukrainian city near Chernobyl. He hunts the Dying One and the possessed body of Gilad, the Eternal Warrior. The Dying One has treated the sick and dying of the town, and they have joined his side as a result. Meanwhile, Neville is in Ninja-K’s ear, as he believes that Colin knows the current whereabouts of Livewire, whom both the U.S and UK governments want after the events of Harbinger Wars II. Colin claims he doesn’t know her location.
Ninja-K #12 is just a damn solid superhero comic. It is constantly moving forward, has a clear and concise plot and direction, and it has plenty of action from beginning to end.
It isn’t uncommon for a superhero comic to become to muddled and weighed down by its own continuity and often overwrought stories. Hell, you could make the argument that Harbinger Wars II suffered from that to a point, and past issues of Ninja-K aren’t innocent in this regard.
That said, #12 just flows so smoothly, is a ton of fun, and carries its darker themes and moments well enough so that it’s hard to not get enthralled and sold on its kinetic and fast-paced story.
The sense of forward motion also comes, it must be said, from the work of artist Rafael de la Torre (who is on fire this week thanks to another great issue of Animosity). He kicks his work up a notch to look extra gritty and heavily shadowed for the purpose of this title. Scenes are grim and dark but still clear enough to be coherent in almost every panel. There are some scenes which are harder to parcel out, but they are extremely few. The action scenes look especially good. Jose Villarrubia is the color artist on this book, and his work is dark and atmospheric to match the line art. It’s an all-around great-looking issue.
Ninja-K #12 brings the series back up to the standards of the first arc. This Valiant title has never completely waned, but the quality slumped slightly after the first five issues. This installment brings it back up to that high quality and is worth a recommendation without a doubt. I suggest giving this a try.
Ninja-K #12 comes to us from writer Christos Gage, artist Rafael de la Torre, color artist Jose Villarrubia, letters from A Larger World Studios, cover artist Kano, and variant cover artists Koi Turnbull with Ulises Arreola, Philip Tan with Elmer Santos, and Adam Gorham with Michael Garland.