Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe #4 Review: A Fun and Dumb Finale

Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe #4
6.5 / 10 Reviewer
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Screen Story: Aaron Schoenke, Screenplay: Aaron Schoenke, Sean Schoenke, Joe Harris, Andrew Rowe, Writer: Eliot Rahal, Artist: Joe Bennett, Inker: Belardino Brabo, Color Artist: Ulises Arreola, Letters: Dave Sharpe, Cover by: Brian Level, Variant Covers by: Cafu and Andrew Dalhouse; Francis Portela and Andrew Dalhouse; Barry Kitson and Ulises Arreola, Editors: Josh Johns and Benjamin Peterson, Editor-in-Chief: Warren Simons, Publisher: Valiant Entertainment, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

Ninja-K is finally backed up by MI-6, the heroes, and Neville as they attack Roku’s base of operations. However, Roku has some backup of her own, and the heroes of MI-6 will have to break through their hordes to stop Roku’s plan.

Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe #4 cover Brian Level
Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe #4 cover Brian Level

Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe #4 attempts to bring the story to a bombastic and action-heavy conclusion. It’s successful to a point, but it isn’t quite as fun as it clearly wants to be.

It has some tone-balancing problems, first and foremost. The book opens with Neville reminiscing on more peaceful times with his family, and it’s too late into this story to try to establish some grander emotional connection with Neville. As such, it just comes off as corny and saccharine.

It also clashes with the wanton bloodbath in the back half of this comic. I’ve been reading Valiant for a bit, but it still surprised me how cavalier Bloodshot, Ninja-K, the Eternal Warrior, and Manowar are with just slaughtering henchmen wholesale. It also clashes with the somewhat classical heroism the overall story seems to be reaching towards.

So, it can’t balance a steady tone. Is it still fun? Yeah, and these problems didn’t kill the book for me. The finale is a shaky ass-pull, but even that just comes off as obligatory in a story like this.

Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe #4 art by Joe Bennett, Belardino Brabo, and Ulises Arreola
Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe #4 art by Joe Bennett, Belardino Brabo, and Ulises Arreola

Joe Bennett’s artwork is practically a sure thing at this point, and it looks good here too. Each scene is heavily-detailed and looks generally gorgeous. The gore of the fight scene comes off as surprisingly heavy, but it still looks cool and a visceral level. Ulises Arreola keeps things bright and colorful, which doesn’t help with the overall tone, but it’s still pretty.

Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe #4 manages to finish off this troubled miniseries on a somewhat high note. The story is fun, Bennett and Arreola make it look good, and I can recommend it. It’s not required reading, but it’ll give you a good time. Feel free to check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.