Synopsis: The origins of the Darque siblings are revealed as the Shadow Seven make their way to the perilous Darquewood. Though these assassins have ushered many to their deaths, they now are fighting for their lives. The deeper they travel into the murky wood, the greater the threat arises as twisted monsters close in from all sides. Added to this are the dubious intentions of Roku, the mission leader. Will Ninjak be able to slay Master Darque and save his former love? Things look doubtful.
Review: It is often difficult to make exposition exciting in any story. Comics are particularly brutal in this matter. There is an economy of space, and wasting panels to give vital information often slows down a story to a gut wrenching crawl. So it is my pleasure to say that Ninjak does a wonderful job of it. The framework of how their benefactor, Sandria Darque, came to be an immortal mistress of the dark arts is expertly told. Also, it is sandwiched between the present situation and more revelations for Roku. Tactics like this easily breakup the monotony of having to backtrack in an effort to give the story more of a framework. We know why this mission has to be done, but the writer now has generated a sense of empathy for both Sandria and Roku. Both of these women are deadly and should not be trusted, but a small kernel of compassion begins to form. I love this from a writing standpoint. As the story arc has progressed, the action has become more and more outrageous; however, the story remains grounded by these slower moments.
The art remains solid throughout this issue. Seeing the twisted creatures that attack the Shadow Seven are grotesquely gorgeous. Plus, there is a scene where Ninjak’s jet is attacked that is just bunches of fun. Balancing slower moments with intense bloodbath is not an easy feat, yet in all flows so well. Also, shout out to the colorist this issue. I adore how otherworldly the Darquewood feels, and there is an overall foreboding tension in the air that is absolutely palpable.
The conclusion to the Seven Blades story arc will be bittersweet. The story arc has been incredibly entertaining and well executed, so the final issue should be outstanding. Regardless of how things end, it can be certain that this chapter in the Ninjak saga should go down in the win column.