Author: Jeff Parker & Mike Norton Inks: Mike Norton Flats: Ludwig Olimba Final Colors: Exequiel Fernandez Roel Letters: Dave Sharpe Editor: Lysa Hawkins Published by Alien Books
NinjaK Superkillers Book 2 of 2 published by Alien Books offers a story filled with mystery and action surrounding our protagonist, Colin King. He was introduced in Valiant Entertainment and Alien Book’s other comic: X-0 Manowar in issue #5, however readers will not need to read X-0 Manowar to follow along the story of Colin King.
This is the second book of the NinjaK Superkillers arc which continues on from the story of the first book. Fortunately Book 2 is kind enough to include a brief recap for new readers getting into the NinjaK story while not being intrusive or taking up valuable page-space allowing the story to start as soon as the front cover is turned.
Without getting into spoilers, Book 2 continues right where Book 1 left off, following our protagonist, Colin King/Ninjak (or Jack)in his quest to recover lost memories alongside his lover and fellow agent, Myna. Along the way Colin must navigate a relentless daily onslaught of hitmen with various powers, all intent on killing him and thus ending NinjaK as well. In Book 2, Colin is tasked with boarding the Yacht of a villain named kingmaker and his info-terrorists who are causing troubles on the Sargasso Sea. On the flip side, kingmaker and his accomplices are searching for Colin as they are searching for owners regarding his life, specifically the memories he cannot remember. All they know is Myna is the key to unlocking those memories…
Right off the bat we are greeted by a discinctive art style drawing inspiration from modern western comics. The strong lineart by Mike Norton features a variation of thickness and weight, maintaining a delicate balance between detailed intricacy and simplicity working in favor of illustrating the various characters in this story. The art is very easy to read, showing Mike, Ludwig, and Exequeil’s experimentation with the composition and colors to control the flow and direct the eyes of the reader. Notably, NinjaK also contains unique visuals which are seamlessly integrated, standing out in comparison to many other comics without feeling out of place or jarring and working in service to the story and its world.
NinjaK also has an impressive variety of character designs which stand out from characters such as the British Punk mage known as Punk Mambo, the bipedal humanoid creatures that serve kingmaker, and most notably Colin King’s outfit when he becomes NinjaK. NinjaK’s outfit being what appears to draw design inspiration from the outfits of characters such as Gi. Joe’s Snake Eyes, and a little bit of the costume design of various characters from Marvel Comics in the 90’s illustrated by the likes of Rob Liefeld. It is unique, simple yet detailed, easy on the eyes, recognizable, and most importantly, the ease of being drawn multiple times from various angles. This allows NinjaK to stand out and look as good as he does when his reveal of him happens in the peak of this story arc.
Overall the second half of the Superkillers Arc is not only action-packed but gives few awners regarding Colin’s memories and past, but brings up much more questions that seem to be setting up future stories surrounding him and Myna. One story confirmed to be next is the Valentines Day special sometime in February, so look forward to reading that if you are interested.
Overall I would give NinjaK Superkillers Book 2 a 4 out of 5. While the story isn’t extraordinary or groundbreaking, the slow burn and mysteries surrounding Colin is what sets him apart from many Superhero-esque comics out right now. With the readers knowing just as much as our hero of the story and the supporting characters do, allowing them to learn new information and truths as time goes on. Not only that but the story is very easy for new readers unfamiliar with NinjaK to get into and catch up and familiarize themselves in its world and cast of distinct characters who I am very sure will reappear in later issues in due time. It is also a decent amount of pages to read through, being longer than your standard comic book issue, but not too long where the story feels like it drags out. It strikes a good balance between plot, mystery, and action.
So if this is the kind of story you would like to give a read, NinjaK Superkillers Book 2 is available now in your local comic book store from Valiant Comics and alien Books. Also keep an eye out for the Valentines day special which will be on sale on Valentine’s Day, and for those who want to start from the beginning of NinjaK’s story there is also NinjaK The 7th DragonA compilation of NinjaK’s first stories set to hit the shelves on February 28th.
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