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Ninjak #17

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By Matt Kindt, Diego Bernard with Alisson Rodriguez, Ulises Arreola with Andrew Dalhouse, Andres Guinaldo, Marc Deering, Mark Pennington, Chris Sotomayor

He’s doggedly followed the trail of clues, but it looks like the end of the road for Colin King in Ninjak #17. “The Siege of King’s Castle” Part 4 marks the final book in the arc that changed life as he knew it for Colin King, aka Ninjak.

Over the course of this arc, Ninjak has lost his status, his home, his money, and all of the tech. Bit by bit, each of the things that was a part of Ninjak’s identity was taken from him. The focus of this arc is Ninjak himself, giving readers a better look into the character’s psyche. Stripped of all his Ninjak trappings and the security of wealth, we see how Colin functions (and disfunctions) in the world. Readers are given a rare glimpse of his vulnerability.

The story arc gives us a breather from the non-stop missions and takes the time to build a more robust and relatable character. That doesn’t mean it’s not exciting; on the contrary, the action is wincingly gnarly. But there’s less mission ops and more character illumination for all of the featured players. In some respects, the reveal of Roku’s identity is predictable, but that is a hallmark of all well-written mysteries – the breadcrumbs that reveal the truth. Much like Ninjak’s own journey to the truth about himself and Roku. If Kindt’s reveal had come from left-field, it lessens believability plus spoils the experience of reading and detecting.

Kindt’s subtly dropped clues may have primed most readers, but there were some surprise elements to the story that made this story more sinister. The conclusion ties nicely into the larger universe and offers some tantalizing new story prospects. Depending on how you interpret the panels, big things are in store.

The “Lost Files” portion of the story closes the loop between the past and the present. This section of the Ninjak title has served to expand the history of Ninjak and of his parents, thus giving readers insight into Ninjak’s personality. This time out, the story spans decades and brings us to the present. It’s a satisfying end, and we realize that “The Lost Files” isn’t mere supplemental material but part of the overarching plot.

The main portion of the story was handled by the art team of penciler Diego Bernard, inker Alisson Rodriguez, with colors by Ulises Arreola and Andrew Dalhouse. Bernard’s work is as strong as always with excellent character acting and dramatic action. Rodriguez’s subtle inking style shifts helped to differentiate the alternating time line between present and flashback, as did the subdued shift in colors. “The Lost Files” was penciled by Andres Guinaldo with inking by Marc Deering and Mark Pennington. Colors were contributed by Chris Sotomayor. Guinaldo’s distinctive style makes this chapter stand out from the main story line. Sotomayor’s bold colors emphasized the action and upped the shock value.

It’s the end of the world as he knows it, and Ninjak isn’t fine. Ninjak #17, the final chapter in the “Siege” arc, changes everything for Ninjak. The surprise ending may even change the future of the Valiant Universe. Don’t miss out on the revelations in this issue.

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