Tuesday, October 30, 2012


If you have ever wanted to see James Bond mashed up with the ninja craze, this is your chance.

Ninjak was a title in the Valiant Comics line from the early 1990s.  I was lukewarm on Valiant's comics, but there were still a few that I found enjoyable.  Magnus, of course, Turok on occasion, and who could forget our dear friend Solar?  Then there was Ninjak.

The title character's true identity was Colin King.  King is a master spy in the employ of Britain's MI6.  Yes, the Bond comparisons continue.  He also happened to have been raised in Asia but is an outcast in those parts.  After Colin King's father was killed by an enemy agent, King dedicated himself to training in the way of the ninja.  Not only does King become an expert in martial arts, the katana blade, and ninja skills, he in time earns the title of world's foremost intelligence agent.  This grants him all sorts of gadgets to add to his already formidable skills, gadgets that probably come straight from Q branch.  Just funnin' with you.

What I liked best about Ninjak was that he is what I like to call a "street-level" character.  By that, I mean that he has no superpowers.  In the end, he's just a guy...a guy trained mentally and physically to be the best at what he does.  What gets him through to the next issue are his brain and his fists.  Ninjak does of course have tremendous resources at his disposal as well, what with having a completely fiducial relationship with the British government.  He also has a wry, charmer's wit and demeanor that the other aforementioned British superspy displays.  All this to hide the many of the same scars that Bond had.  In a way, Ninjak wears two masks.

He was not unbeatable, either.  Right now, I'm looking at part one of a story arc called "Cry Wolf." In it, Ninjak infiltrates a wine auction at a French chateau with the intention of stealing information.  He finds the place inhabited by the White Wolf, an especially nasty loup-garou who brings Ninjak to the edge of death. 

I am given to understand that Ninjak has returned in the relaunch of Valiant Comics.  He does not have his own book yet, at least not that I know of.  But you can catch him making guest appearances in Eternal Warrior and X-O Manowar.  While I cannot vouch for the current reboot, I wholeheartedly recommend the Ninjak of yesteryear.  Fun, escapist comics that do not insult your intelligence.  What more can you ask?

My e-novella, Hound of Winter is available for only 99 cents

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