You may get tired of figuring out your life has been controlled from nearly the start. That’s what Colin King is facing in issue three of ‘Ninja – K.’ He finally gets answers as to why his mentor and other MI-6 agents associated with the Ninja program have been killed. Still, in the spy business, where part of your job description is professional liar how do you trust anyone?
In the previous issue, Colin comes across a bunker where it appears to be a warehouse for children. He’s nearly killed by the one behind the killings, but, instead of mindlessly battling Ninjak, this agent tells his story. Writer Christos Gage has this knack for laying everything out in a comic and still have you guessing. Although the reader finds out the reason behind Ninjak’s mentor’s death, more questions come to the surface. Is this guy lying is perhaps the most obvious, but Ninjak doesn’t think so. At least he’s going to verify what he’s been told. However, that leads to a more pressing question of how far is MI-6 willing to go to keep their operatives? For Colin, even though he knows his onetime girlfriend, present enemy Roku burned down the family castle, he has to face the idea that she had help in a place he did not think of before. And now he has to figure out just how much of his freedom is real and what’s imagined. Colin has valued being a mercenary, an independent thinker. But with all the machinations of the government agency he thought he rejected, what is he supposed to do if he finds out the people he believed he could trust, or control was lying to him the entire time?
Most of the comic book has Ninjak in full uniform giving Christos Gage a unique opportunity. As secrets are being revealed the eyes of Ninjak becomes Colin. He goes from steely-eyed mercenary, assassin to that lost boy whose parents were murdered to the man who saw his home burned down to the ground. It’s one of the best ways to show vulnerability. Colin is fully clothed yet, completely exposed. That’s something that can only be done in comics.
After the initial narrative of the Ninja-K story, the reader sees the continuation of Ninja-A’s mission. It doesn’t go well. And that’s what makes it suspenseful. It occurs during World War I and everyone knows who wins. But you still get the sense that the outcome of the war depends on this assignment. Only four pages long, you’ll find yourself holding your breath and clutching your imaginary pearls.
Overall, ‘Ninja-K’ pulls the reader into a mystery that doesn’t drastically change the protagonist’s origin story. That is perhaps what’s most refreshing and ironic about Colin King, his consistency.
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