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Ninjak #7 Review

Christos Gage (Author) • Juan Jose Ryp (Pencils)

Jordie Bellaire (Colorist) • Tonci Zonjic (Cover Artist)

Alan Quah, Komikaki Studios Featuring Sean Lee (Variant Cover)

Valiant Comics (Publisher) • Get it now (Amazon)

Yeah, this issue is old as Shit but wait... It's an amazing read and worth your time.

There are a few ironic moments in this issue that I thought were pretty funny and wanted to point out. A few weeks ago I reviewed Livewire #1 and rated it my worst book of 2018. I considered it to be the worst launch issue I had ever read and thought it was one of the least inaccessible comics you could pick up if you were new to the character.

Livewire shows up in this book and is a totally different character. She's likable, seems well adjusted and behaves like a proper superhero. Why am I spending all of this time on Livewire?

Ninjak #7 has pretty much all of the same issues that Livewire #1 had but manages to overcome all of those challenges by being exceptionally fun and nailing the basics. I often say that every issue is someone's first and that hasn't changed.

This issue forced me to add a new metric. This is a very strong #2. The story-arc has started already but everything you need to understand the plot is included in this story. Every comic should be like this in some capacity but the second part of a story is the most important for keeping the audience's attention. In many instances, the second issue in a storyline can bail out a shaky launch and get a series on track.

While recovering from the events of the previous issue Livewire approaches Colin (Ninjak) to console and assist him in sitting up. Almost immediately Neville of MI6 approaches them advising that a team is being assembled to go back to Mexico and confront the villains. We get a quick introduction to the teams candidates via a montage of events. We also get a brief rundown of the villains and their abilities. This segment ends with a rundown of our heroes plans to infiltrate the base in Mexico.

Everything seems to go according to plan until it doesn't, which in turn leads to a huge cliffhanger. We're presumably in for a huge action sequence to start next month (Yeah I know this review is months behind and the story arc has been resolved bla, bla, bla).

The joy of this issue are the character interactions, humor and allusions to other series. At one point one of the characters asks why X-O Manowar isn't being brought in? Its mentioned that he would be an asset because of his overwhelming firepower. The reply is that X-O wouldn't have the precision needed for the job.

On a subtle level, this gives us a hint into X-O's personality and power level. As a fan that was also not familiar with the character, it raises my eyebrows because X-O Manowar is also on the shelves. Maybe I should check out that series? Its a level of its a level of connectivity between shared universes that is sorely missing from a lot of modern comics and I appreciate it when I see it.

I am a huge fan of the artist and colorist. I recognize Juan Jose Ryp & Jordie Bellaire from their run on Britannia, a series I finished reviewing recently. It's great to see them here. The character models all look amazing. Juan's style is very distinct and it works spectacularly whether he's drawings a quiet scene between characters or a dynamic action sequence.

I can't find much fault with this issue. The heroes and villains are fun, interesting and there is a ton of character development throughout the comic. This is the textbook way to handle a single issue in the midst of a story arc. I never felt left out even though I had no insight into the events prior to this issue. (That's a lie I have issue 6 somewhere It's just been so long since I read it I can't recall the details).

The issue also contrasts nicely with many of the issues I had with Livewire #1. The character in that series isn't likable seems pretentious and is a bit of an asshole. The character here likable, is concerned about collateral damage and the consequences of the team's mission. Also ironically, the events that injured Ninjak happen prior to this issue.

Read Livewire again and tell me if this is the same character being represented in both series.

Rating A

#Ninjak #Valiant #ChristosGage #JuanJoseRyp #JordieBellaire #Livewire

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