The Valiant continues to excel as a gateway drug to the Valiant Universe. With so many characters to manage, the writing duo of Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt keep the issue tightly focused on the Eternal Warrior’s struggle to protect the Geomancer (Kay McHenry) from his immortal enemy… known as The Immortal Enemy. They also prove to everyone that Ninjak is the coolest simply because he’s Ninjak.
Where as the first issue of The Valiant introduced readers to this world through the eyes of the Eternal Warrior, Lemire and Kindt turn the tables and present much of the issue from the perspective of the current Geomancer, Kay. The backstory they present provides a manifestation of The Immortal Enemy that is downright terrifying: the villain of a childhood bedtime story, Mr. Flay.
The sense of fear that Mr. Flay brings to the issue is a credit to the work of artists Paolo and Joe Rivera. Their crisp, clean linework provide an aesthetic that can be appreciated by longtime reader, but remains accessible for those new to the Valiant universe, and comics in general. The writers give the Riveras plenty to work with, and they make the most of their opportunities. There are dream sequences. There are knock-down, drag-out brawls. There is horror. There is suspense. And there is Ninjak.
To be completely honest, I knew nothing of Ninjak before reading this issue other than he’s a ninja. After reading a thrilling opening sequence, all I want to do is read more about him. The glimpse into his past via an attack by The Immortal Enemy was fascinating. That’s it, I’m all in on this character. And that’s the point of this miniseries – to invite readers into this world and hook them in on the strength of these characters. To that end, The Valiant #2 is a success.