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Textless variant cover of Ninjak #7 (September 2015).
Art by Stephen Segovia.
|First appearance||As Colin King:|
Bloodshot #6 (July 1993)
Bloodshot #7 (August 1993)
|Alter ego||Colin King|
Ninjak is a fictional superhero appearing in comic books published by Valiant Comics. Created by Mark Moretti and Joe Quesada, the character first appeared in Bloodshot #6 (July 1993) as Colin King and in Bloodshot #7 (August 1993) as Ninjak, and quickly gained his own series.
The Ninjak series was very popular, and the first issue sold close to 1 million copies and was placed number one on Wizard magazine's Top Ten Hottest Comics of the month article in February 1994. The lead character is ninja spy Ninjak, whose alter ego is British aristocrat Colin King. Ninjak has become one of the most popular Valiant characters, continuing a long run and selling millions more copies to date. Ninjak comics have been translated into a number of languages, including German, Italian, Spanish, Norwegian, Filipino, and Chinese. among others.
A second series was produced after Valiant Comics was purchased by video game company Acclaim Entertainment in 1996. The second series was written by Kurt Busiek. In the series, a teenager is endowed with ancient ninja powers from a video game. He is able to become the game's hero, Ninjak, but finds that the twelve villains from the game have started appearing in the real world.
In the 2012 relaunch of the Valiant Universe, Ninjak first appeared in the second arc of X-O Manowar, initially as an enemy, but later an ally of the title character. Since November 2013, Ninjak has appeared in the series Unity, written by Matt Kindt. On October 6, 2014, it was announced that Ninjak would once again have his own series in 2015, also written by Kindt. The series' first issue was released in March of that year.
Ninjak #1 was the American best-selling comic of November 1993 (cover dated February 1994) according to Capital City Distribution, Diamond Comic Distributors, and Heroes World Distribution, making it the first Valiant publication to hit number one in sales. Valiant vice president Jon Hartz cited the comic's wraparound chromium cover as the chief reason for its strong sales.
Colin King is the wealthy son of a master spy who was employed by the British Government. King was raised in the Orient but was an outcast in that society. When his father was killed by rival agent Iwatsu, King decided to go into training, determined to continue his father’s tradition and bring his killers to justice. Now a master of the secret arts of the ninja, he served England and the world as Ninjak.
Ninjak is the enforcer of the mysterious Weaponeer organization and the world’s foremost espionage expert. Ninjak uses his expertise in martial arts, demolition, information acquisition and other skills, a keen intellect and an ability to prepare people for any outcome in a given situation. He wears a kevlar-armored bodysuit that can change color.
Weaponeer is a worldwide network of operatives through which Ninjak distributes all types of weapons, from swords and handguns to nuclear warheads. He has the facilities and expertise to create customized weapons to the buyers specifications. These skills generate a large demand for the Weaponeer's services around the world.
Doctor Silk, a crippled and disfigured recluse, begins to kill Weaponeer operatives, believing the Weaponeer organization is too dangerous. Through his own international terrorist organization called WEBNET, Silk virtually wipes out the Weaponeer organization – only Ninjak survives.
Eventually, Ninjak joins the British Intelligence organization under Neville Alcott, who also works with Bloodshot and Eternal Warrior. Alcott has known Colin since he was a boy, Colin's father also worked for Alcott many years ago in Japan.
With the Weaponeer organization destroyed, Colin considers retiring as Ninjak but Neville Alcott convinces him to return with something he couldn't resist: his long-lost love, the woman he left behind in Japan.
Ninjak and Aric met once again soon after when X-O Manowar returned to Earth-this time as the leader of a Visigoth horde newly freed from bondage on the Vine homeworld of Loam. When Aric and his people then claimed a portion of Romania as their ancestral homeland and began inching the world toward the brink of disaster, Ninjak - under assignment by the secret leader of the Harbinger Foundation, Toyo Harada - infiltrated Aric's command center during an assignment and disarmed the X-O Manowar armor. But when the strike team sent by Harada to retrieve it was quickly slaughtered by Aric, Ninjak was taken captive by his one-time ally.
When Aric of Dacia returned to Earth with the X-O Manowar armor, the alien Vine dispatched their earthly agents in human form-called "plantings"- to recover the armor from their former Visigoth slave. After a failed assault by their own special team, the Vine's agents inside the British intelligence agency MI-6 hired the weapons specialist known as Ninjak to finally finish the job.
Ninjak tracked Aric to Peruvian rainforest where Aric managed to capture Alexander Dorian, the Vine planting that lead the initial assault to reclaim the armor. Ninjak quickly outsmarted Aric, drugging him and stripping him of the armor. Ninjak then took Aric and Alexander captive aboard his jet, planning to turn them over to the MI-6. But, learning the Vine's plans to eradicate all life on Earth, Alexander betrayed his people and freed Aric, quickly convincing Ninjak to aid them in their fight and stop the incoming Vine invasion.
Together, they executed a full frontal assault on the Vine-controlled headquarters of MI-6 in London. Ninjak and Aric parted as uneasy allies with Ninjak agreeing to pursue the remaining Vine sleeper agents with help from MI-6's Neville Alcott-one of the agency's few remaining uncompromised agents.
Ninjak managed to escape and join Harada, the Eternal Warrior, and Livewire in defeating X-O Manowar. Ninjak and the newly formed Unity team quickly realized the Harada represented an even greater danger, forcing them to retrieve the armor once again and form a strategic allegiance with Aric against Harada.
Now with the support of the Unity team under his leadership, Ninjak turns to face Dr. Silk, a mysterious figure from his past whose high-tech terror cell Webnet plans to unleash a viral epidemic of untold proportions.
Powers and abilities
Ninjak has no superhuman powers but has trained his body and is a master of ninjutsu, a group of martial skills that includes jujutsu (hand-to-hand fighting), bōjutsu (staff fighting), and iaijutsu (drawing the sword). An aspect of ninjutsu is the ability of the shinobi, or master, to use any object as a weapon. Ninjak has a highly analytical and tactical mind, allowing him to foresee various scenarios and prepare for them. He is also a computer hacker and uses this skill to gather intelligence.
Ninjak's greatest asset is his powerful intellect. He is the smartest man in the world. He understands human psychology and is always one step ahead of his opponents. Ninjak can anticipate every possible element in a given situation and prepare a counter for it. Ninjak is also adept at learning and understanding languages, including computer languages. He can learn languages easily and can decipher computer codes and hack into the most complex computer systems.
Ninjak has trained his body to the level of an Olympic decathlete. He has mastered a variety of martial arts including karate, jeet kune do, judo, aikido and several forms of kung-fu. However, his fighting style of choice is the lethal art of ninjitsu, which was used by ninja warriors of feudal Japan as assassins. Ninjak is also an expert marksman and trained in the use of the world's cutting edge weaponry. He is an expert with the sai, bō staff, swords and bladed projectiles.
- Customized Shurikens: Golden disks embossed with signature "N" symbol; function as blades and throwing stars. Star points are spring-loaded inside disk, and are easily extracted with a slight amount of pressure on disk face.
- Swords: Collapsible stainless steel blades designed to emulate weight and appearance of ancient samurai swords. Collapsed blades are easily concealed in Ninjak's vest.
- Sai: Three-point stainless steel weapons, effective in blocking and disarming opponents.
Acclaim Comics version
Valiant Comics was purchased by video game company Acclaim Entertainment for $65 million. Acclaim restarted the Valiant universe under the name Acclaim comics. All the existing characters and titles were changed to better fit video games. Ninjak was the most drastically altered title. The Acclaim version of Ninjak was written by Kurt Busiek and was critically praised.
High school pupil Denny Meechum solves a complex puzzle embedded in the popular Ninjak video game and is transformed into the hero of the game. He takes great joy in his enhanced agility and skill and battles superbeings comprising The Dark Dozen, the twelve bosses from the game, now brought to life along with Ninjak.
Denny begins to gain confidence in his personal life but can't seem to find the courage to tell the girl of his dreams, a clerk at the local comics store, his feelings for her. After a series of increasingly difficult battles, Denny tracks down the writer of the Ninjak software and learns the truth behind his transformation. He has inherited the skills and drive of an ancient cadre of Ninja warriors, sworn to protect the world from twelve evil monks, now the villains of the game. Denny is caught up in a struggle for the fate of the world. By the end of the series, his ethics are tested and he learns whether he has the qualities to be a hero.
In other media
Bat in the Sun made a live action Ninjak web series titled Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe with Michael Rowe portraying the character. The series also stars Alex Meglei and Kevin Porter as Archer & Armstrong, Ciera Foster as Livewire, Jason David Frank as Bloodshot, John Morrison as Eternal Warrior, Derek Theler as X-O Manowar, Chantelle Barry as Roku, Tatiana DeKhtyar as Colonel Capshaw, Damion Poitier as Shadowman and Nicola Posener as Agent Vivien.
In April, 2018, it was announced at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo that Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe that consists of six episodes and premiered on April 21, 2018 through www
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