August may see the Summer of Valiant come to a close, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to look forward from the resurgent publisher this fall.
This September will see the return of another fan favorite character, Ninjak, according to the teaser image released by Valiant this morning.
The striking image, seen below, doesn’t reveal much about the series, or the character. It leaves no doubt. though, that we can can expect him to be formidable, ensuring that he’ll fit right in alongside Aric and the X-O armor (neither of which could be called a pushover)!
Like all the characters in the Valiant relaunch so far, Ninjak has a long and interesting history – both in-universe and as a comics character – as he has had some of the industry’s biggest names involved in his creation.
The character of Ninjak first appeared in the seventh issue of the original Bloodshot series (after a cameo appearance of his alter ego in the previous issue) in 1993, next appearing in Secret Weapons, a Vaiant team book, before quickly being given his own title in the spring of 1994. Created by Valiant editor Mark Moretti and artist (and future Marvel Chief Creative Officer) Joe Quesada, Ninjak was British playboy and gentleman spy Colin King. King, the son of a British spy, went into the family business after his father was murder by a rival agent. Raised in the Far East, King trained to become Ninjak, making a name for himself as Britain’s foremost spy and assassin. His series lasted a little over two years, when it – and the rest of the Valiant universe – ended suddenly and became something completely new.
Like most of the Valiant characters, Ninjak saw a pretty big shake up following the Acclaim acquisition in 1996. In fact, it could be said that Ninjak saw one of the biggest shake ups to the character’s status quo. This Ninjak was an American teen, Danny Meechum, who discovered he could gain the abilities of Ninjak, a video game character. Seen as one of the few bright spots of the Acclaim Comics relaunch, this version was created by Kurt Busiek. Neil Vokes, and Michael Avon Oeming.
From the trade ad above, and the general direction of the Valiant relaunch, I would expect this character will be more like the King version than Meechum. The color of the the hilt sticking out of the X-O helmet, not to mention of the trade dress on the ad seem to indicate as much. But who is to say what character elements will be used?
There is also nothing to tell us whether this is planned as the launch of a new ongoing, a miniseries, or just the reintroduction of the character in one of the four currently announced Valiant titles. No creative team is indicated. Of course I am hoping for a new ongoing series!
If it is a new ongoing, it would bring the total number of returning series to seven, including the four books that make up the Summer of Valiant (X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot, and Archer & Armstrong) along with the two upcoming series teased in Valiant’s Free Comic Book Day offering (Eternal Warrior and Rai)
UPDATE: Ninjak, aka Colin King, will be returning in September in X-O Manowar #5