For nearly a century, MI-6, the most elite branch of Britain’s clandestine intelligence service, has honed a ruthlessly effective, top-secret division – THE NINJA PROGRAMME – into one of its nation’s most finely wielded weapons. Tasked as the first and last line of defense for queen and country, this small shadow army of agents and assassins has produced a succession of notable assets, including NINJA-A, the Queen’s silent weapon of World War I; NINJA-E, the globe-trotting secret agent that pulled the Cold War back from the brink of Armageddon; and, most recently, NINJA-K, aka Colin King, a brash but fearless instrument of lethality that has saved the world from madmen and terror at every turn. But now… an unknown enemy is hunting and killing members of THE NINJA PROGRAMME one by one – and NINJAK is next on the list.
Gage provides a great story, one that I immediately became entrenched in, but it's artwork of Diego Rodriguez's color palette and Giorello's pencils that really grabbed my attention. Giorello's regard to minor details and the way he captures movement blew me away. It appears fluid; A real sense of action. It's like with any good book, when you become a part of the story. You can smell the air, hear the screams and taste the blood. It's an atmosphere unlike anything I've read in recent memory. It actually reminded me a lot of Kent Williams' work in Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown, not in terms of appearance, but in terms of creating a palpable atmosphere that is larger than life.
Overall I found this first issue to be remarkable. NINJA-K just upped the ante, put all the chips on the table and won the damn game. Other books and companies need to take note, beacuse Valiant just brought a sword to a knife fight.