PopCultHQ Comic Book Review – Ninjak #11 (“OPERATION: DEADSIDE”)

Cover A by KANO
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Hitting stands this Wednesday, January 13th, is the latest from Valiant‘s Ninjak series.  Ninjak #11 is the second part of the four-part arc “Operation: Deadside.”  Artist Doug Braithwaite does a fantastic job in accentuating the mystic aspects and entities of this exotic locale.  His soft, cool-toned, wintry colors of the inhabitants give these magical beings substance.  Writer Matt Kindt delivers an enthralling story determined to engage the reader in our heroes quest in this unknown land.  He creates a looming, staunch antagonist in Magpie.  Kindt has molded Magpie in such a way that it feels as though we have much to uncover about him, though much has already been revealed.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s review of part two of this exciting storyline:

The issue begins with MI-6’s Ninjak and Punk Mambo, a mystic, stranded on a deserted island in Deadside, an alternate dimension controlled by the dead.  The two were paired because Mambo’s prior visit to Deadside, and knowledge of the surroundings, would be advantageous for our protagonist.  Both, along with a magical Loa named Aye, head for higher grounds in attempt to better survey the land and continue their mission.  Unbeknownst to them, they are being watched by an enigmatic entity.

Their path is blocked when they come across an indigenous alien flora with telepathic abilities.  Ninjak looks to his companion and asks if this is an occurrence she has experienced in her prior visit.  Yet Mambo appears mesmerized and is, in fact, recalling the unnerving visit she previously made. She recalls a flashback to a mysterious, brooding individual named Magpie.  Their confrontation resonates within Punk Mambo and the memories are crystal clear.

When she finally snaps out of her trance, the two continue their quest.  They come across something monolithic in nature, which turns out to be a giant sword hilt.  What would a huge sword hilt be doing lodged in an island?  Well, this is no ordinary island!  Meet a primal adept!

While reading this issue, I noticed something on page five.  Ninjak and Punk Mambo are strolling through the woods in Deadside and Ninjak mentions he created a mini-satellite camera.  What struck me as odd, or slight humorous, was Ninjak stating,”The camera will bounce images back to me.  Then we’ll know which way back to Shambhala.”  I couldn’t help be wonder if that was a play on Shambala, a hit song for Three Dog Night in 1973.  Perhaps the writer is a fan? (I know I am!)

PopCultHQ Rating:

PopCultHQ 4 out of 5 stars
*** PopCultHQ 4 out of 5 stars ***


Following the last page of this issue, Valiant has treated us to an eight-page short story on the Magpie’s background entitled, “The Lost Files: Legend of the Magpie.”

The Lost Files

Magpie intro


Here’s a sneak peek at the first few pages of Ninjak #11 to whet your appetite:

Covers of Ninjak #11, available this Wednesday, January 13th (hover over each pic to see the cover artist):

Written by MATT KINDT
Cover A by KANO (NOV151712)
Cover B by CARY NORD (NOV151713)
Cover C by CLAYTON HENRY (NOV151714)
Character Design Variant by TREVOR HAIRSINE (NOV151715)
Variant Cover by DAVE JOHNSON (NOV151716)

Synopsis from Valiant Entertainment:


Stranded in a parallel dimension with no hope of rescue, MI-6’s own Ninjak and Punk Mambo are about to make a startling discovery…the truth about the broken hero called Shadowman!

What happened to Shadowman, the fallen hero of the Valiant Universe? And is he responsible for the strategic attacks that have laid siege to Ninjak’s homeland?

The can’t-miss Valiant milestone of 2016 continues here as New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (DIVINITY) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS) fall further into the depths of Deadside…and recover the long-lost secret of Valiant’s most mysterious hero!

$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On sale JANUARY 13


About Jason Bennett 8308 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett