Ninjak vs The Valiant Universe #1
Written by: Eliot Rahal
Art by: Joe Bennett, Belardino Brabo, and Ulises Arreola
Published by: Valiant Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I had finagled a last minute pass to New York Comic Con with one single mission: go see Valiant’s Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe footage. Got on the train, got to the con, walked around, and then found out… I missed the Valiant panel. It was just a bit heartbreaking.

While I am still waiting to see the live action miniseries the first issue of the comic Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe has arrived. This comic has really been off my radar. With the new Ninja-K series out, I pushed this comic to the backburners of my mind. I really just want to finally see the live action stuff and thought I’d have little desire for this comic.

At least that’s what I thought and I was dead wrong. Because the first issue of Ninjak Vs. is amazing. It seems to be all set up for the webseries or simply telling the first act in comic book form. Not quite sure yet if this series will be a prequel/sequel kind of thing or if it an expanded adaptation.

Issue #1 bangs out the premise: Ninjak is forced to do something he doesn’t want to do and betray those he would never betray. Because of Ninjak’s actions against British Intelligence, Livewire is then forced to reach out to every single contact she knows to go get Ninjak.  Like who?  Well if you just check out the cover you see some familiar Valiant faces like X-O, Bloodshot, and Shadowman ready to do some battle.

That’s the gist. Pretty damn simple, right?

Of course it isn’t that simple. But that’s all the fun in reading the book. Ninjak has become one of Valiant’s most intriguing characters and even though he doesn’t have a feature film on the horizon (yet), I’m so excited to see what this webseries brings – especially after reading issue 1. If the webseries can pull off half of what this comic does then Valiant fans are surely in for a real treat.

I really dug Eliot Rahal’s storytelling. The last Valiant book I remember reading of his was Bloodshot’s Day Off which was a reading experience I truly didn’t enjoy. Rahal is right on the money here. He gets us into the plot and draws us all in with some intense fighting scenes. Artist Joe Bennett masterfully brings the characters to life especially in the breathtaking action sequences.

Ninjak vs The Valiant Universe #1 sucks you right in and really does a bang up job or introducing us to the world of hurt the British spy is in for. I’m looking forward to the webseries immensely, but I’m really looking forward to issue #2 as well.

RATING: A+

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