REVIEW: 'Ninjak' #4 by Jeff Parker, Javier Pulido, Beni Lobel, and Andrew Dalhouse


Ninjak #4 

Written By: Jeff Parker
Art By: Javier Pulido, Beni Lobel
Colors By: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters By: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: Valiant
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 13, 2021

The truth revealed. Nowhere left to run. A formidable foe strikes first.
The stunning final chapter of Jeff Parker and Javier Pulido's explosive first story arc.

★★★★☆ (4/5)

In what's been one of the most exciting and visually enthralling action series this year, 'Ninjak' continues to be intriguing, full of clever twists, and in issue four, a surprise transition in art mid-issue. Jeff Parker's thrilling spy action-adventure has produced some wild shoot-outs, mutated assassins, and experimental human-enhancing trials all under the creative direction of Javier Pulido's distinctive eye-popping designs. With all of MI6's secrets exposed leaving agents out to fend for themselves, Colin and Myna are hot on the trail of Daylight. Will they actually get a leg up on the organization in the midst of a powerful meeting?

Ninjak has been on defense for the majority of this new series.  Since the data dump, he's been on the run along with Myna and while he's been able to reveal some things about Daylight, he still doesn't know who the Kingmaker is or his telepathic sister, Siphon. Some investigating leads to a meeting of heavy hitters in Hawaii and an opportunity to take down Daylight once and for all. 

It's going to be evident the change in art style soon into issue four but the transition isn't as abrupt and it may sound. For whatever reason, once the plan for this secret meeting is discovered, Beni Lobel takes over the pencil duty and Andrew Dalhouse carries over the color palette from Javier Pulido. The colors blend in with Lobel's more traditional designs but the move is smooth albeit different. Pulido's creative whirlwind of panel placement and composition is replaced with a style that's more conservative but no less exciting. In fact, Lobel's work reminds me of Kevin Maguire with its clean lines, strong characterizations, and expressive stern looks. It looks like this is a one-shot for Lobel as the series will return in 2022 with Mike Norton joining Jeff Parker. 

'Ninjak' ends its first arc in typically explosive fashion as Daylight gets the upper hand on Colin and Myna. Pulido exits making room for Mike Norton to take over in 2022. Parker and Pulido put together an exciting first chapter that lays the foundation for more spy action and intrigue that's more Mission: Impossible than James Bond. 'Ninjak' has been one of Valiant's triumphs this year and we can't wait for more.