Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review: THE SEVEN BLADES OF MASTER DARQUE by Matt Kindt

Publisher Valiant
Length 160 pages
Format trade
Published 2017
Series Savage (collects issues #22-27)
My Copy I bought it (individual issues)


My Review
The sixth volume of Ninjak from Valiant comics brings together the core group of characters introduced in the beginning of the series; the Shadow Seven, and pits them against a well known foe within the Valiant Comics Universe - Master Darque. Book-ending the title arc is a silent standalone issue in which Ninjak fights through a nameless and disposable contingent of ninja monks, cleaving a path to Roku, and the final issue of the current run, which gives readers a glimpse of the future direction of the Ninjak series as Ninjak is once again hired by MI6 to undertake a covert mission - this time, to retrieve a scientist responsible for manufacturing breakthrough technology which blends humans and animals - making near perfect weapons; its a story well suited to this title and really hypes the new series starting late 2017, Ninja-K. 

Readers not familiar with the current iteration of Ninjak are advised to read up on the previous volumes before delving in here as The Seven Blades of Master Darque relies heavily (#27 aside) on the reader being familiar with the events which have led Ninjak, Roku and co. down this path.

The Seven Blades of Master Darque is a fanboy's dream. Not only does it take into account continuity elements from the title but contributes to the broader Valiant comics tapestry by referencing the Book of Death and the earlier Shadowman run. This felt like a well rounded conclusion to the series while also ensuring the sustainability of some key characters moving forward. 

The artwork is what I've come to expect from Valiant; exceptional and complimentary to Kindt's writing. The silent issue alone is worth the price of admission while the inks and colors of the splash pages for Master Darque are perfect; crossing that line of fantastical and reality without missing a beat. 

As a longtime reader of this series, I enjoyed the hell out of this book, be it reading the issues individually or as a collection; it provides closure to the current series while transitioning towards the next iteration; a must have for readers of Valiant and fans of good graphic novels. 

My rating: 4.5 / 5 stars.    

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