The latest issue of Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido’s Ninjak kicks things off with a really fun fight scene, showcasing both Colin King’s skills and his sass in equal measure. The villains he’s facing are as over-the-top as it gets, just one catchphrase away from being Power Rangers baddies — Colin is clearly amusing himself with the different ways he can roast them for their names and get-ups. The action follows the same vibe, with Colin getting batted and thrown around and still showing how unflappable he is in the face of danger. Much like last issue, it’s fun to watch him outwit his enemies without any gadgets, but this issue has the added intrigue of seeing Ninjak getting into a scrap without his signature costume.
There are so many moving parts throughout this opening action sequence — from the multiple combatants to the detailed files Colin reads on each of them (and then uses against them) to the train that gets progressively more wrecked as the fight goes on — and yet Parker and Pullido make everything quite easy to follow. We’re given just enough exposition to be able to follow Colin’s plan, and Myna’s narration continues to give readers a clearer idea of just how insane it would be to watch this man work from the outside.
Readers also get a better feel for just how observant and resourceful Myna is in her own right, making her character much more than just a run-of-the-mill audience surrogate. The addition of Myna and her files helps to make the exposition in the fight scene feel a bit more natural and germane to the action at hand.
This issue also features some exquisite lettering from Pulido, as well. Word balloons are used to great dramatic effect, with some of them squirreling away around corners and others overlapping one another during tense and rapid-fire exchanges. Sound effects are large banners that wallpaper the brightly colored backgrounds and slam into set pieces. There’s an incredible amount of energy that’s crammed into every panel, which is easily one of my favorite things about this series so far.
Parker’s script ratchets up the intrigue, giving readers a proper introduction to Kingmaker, the head of the clandestine organization known as Daylight. Kingmaker gets a monologue worthy of a Bond villain, giving the assembled “movers and shakers” at his party the first inklings of his grand scheme, as well as an unexpected show of force from one of his superpowered lackeys. This sequence has a delightfully off-kilter tone to it, illustrating the villain’s eccentricities and giving readers more of a reason to think he can pose a real threat to Ninjak and MI-6. In short, I think I’m going to love learning to hate this guy.
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