Writer: Matt Kindt
Art: Doug Braithwaite & Juan José Ryp, with Brian Reber
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Summary from Comixology: ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! A SPECIAL FOUR-ISSUE EVENT! “OPERATION: DEADSIDE” STARTS HERE! In December of 2015, a covert military intelligence unit sent a team of 20 agents and one special operative into a parallel dimension. Only one came back. The purpose of their mission was classified. Now, out of options, MI-6 has recruited their most elite operative – codename: NINJAK – to follow the doomed mission’s sole witness back into the dimension called Deadside…and bring her missing teammates home. What will they find there? And who will be waiting for them? Jump on board here as New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (DIVINITY) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS) reunite for a terrifying journey into an unknown plane of existence…and bring NINJAK head-to-head with SHADOWMAN in the all-new, four-part epic “OPERATION: DEADSIDE”! Plus: an all-new chapter of “THE LOST FILES” begins, featuring explosive artwork by Juan José Ryp (Clone)!
Ninjak is, without a doubt, one of the absolute best comics being published right now. Since the launch of the series earlier this year, the story has been exciting and captivating, with some pretty amazing twists along the way. This brand-new story arc “Operation Deadside” kicks off with a blast. Literally. A secret MI-6 facility is attacked and a villain previously captured by Ninjak is taken to the Deadside, somewhere Ninjak has been before but isn’t really in a hurry to get back to. I mean, he’s going back, he just doesn’t want to. He’ll have some help this time, though, from the obdurate and incomparable Punk Mambo. They go together about as well as… well… about as well as an anarchist hippie and an agent of the state.
For me, personally, Ninjak has been my favorite of the new Valiant comics from 2015. Don’t get me wrong, I like pretty much everything that they put out, but Ninjak just has something about it that makes it stand out. It’s more accessible than a lot of other current comics. What I mean is that you can very easily jump into Ninjak and it’s even easier to get sucked into the story. “Operation Deadside” picks up sort of where the previous story arc ended, but not in a way that requires you to read it. However, you should read it because Matt Kindt has been crafting an absolutely compelling plot-line that leads you all the way up to here. The way Kindt writes Colin King (Ninjak) reminds me of a mix of Bruce Wayne and Danny Rand. He’s wealthy, classy and headstrong, but still sarcastic, and even a little reckless at times. Not imprudent, just a tad careless; in a “let’s see what happens when I do this” kind of way.
Moving on to the art… It’s phenomenal. Doug Braithwaite is a fantastic artist who has an incredible talent for drawing detail without being overly complex with his panels. A lot of artists today try to be too complicated and/or too abstract and that can make the story hard to follow. Braithwaite does not suffer from that misguided philosophy. He draws damn good comics and that’s that. Additionally, each issue of Ninjak includes a Lost Files bonus story at the end of the main story that all connects. Previously the story had been about the origins of Colin as an agent but Operation Deadside changes that and seems to be about a new Shadowman. Now, Shadowman is definitely in my top 3 favorite Valiant characters so I’m eager to see how that side story develops and connects to the larger plot, but the thing I’m most excited about when it comes to the Lost Files story is that the art is done by Juan José Ryp. I freaking LOVE his style. It’s super detailed and kind of gruesome at times. It’s just so incredible and I’m really glad that he’s doing it.
If you’ve been looking to jump into a Valiant published comic, this is a great jumping on point. Hell, if you just want a really great series to jump into PERIOD, this is one I highly recommend. The writing is high caliber. The art is top notch. There’s nothing to dislike about Ninjak, and I stand behind that statement 100%. Ninjak #10, the beginning of the “Operation Deadside” arc, is a 4 star book if I’ve ever read one. Head down to your local comic shop and pick up a copy today!
Music Pairing –
Well if you’re gonna jam something while you read a Valiant comic, then you HAVE to make that jam A Sound of Thunder. And while reading this particular issue, that specific jam NEEDS to be the track “Punk Mambo” from their new album “Tales from the Deadside“.