Sparking a Solo Series
Roku has been antagonizing Ninjak in the pages of Valiant Comics for quite a while. Now, Cullen Bunn and Ramon F. Bachs have presented us with her first solo series. Bunn started off in the business with his creator-owned titles for Oni Press, The Damned and The Sixth Gun. Since then, he’s moved on to heavy-hitters like Deadpool, Venom, and Superman/Batman. I met him at Omaha ComiCon in his early days. It’s great to see his progression. And Bachs has drawn for Star Wars, Batman, and Fables.
What Makes A Killer?
This red-haired vixen is like Medusa from Marvel’s Inhumans. But with what she can do with that hair, she is much deadlier. In issue 2, the title character battles mercenaries in the classic hallway battleground. While doing so, she explains what makes her so deadly in an inner monologue.
“There’s a difference between killing for a living….and being a killer. But it is not training or equipment that makes me deadly. It is what I no longer possess.”
What she no longer possesses are memories, empathy, and mercy. She further explains her origins as she rips these mercenaries apart with her hair. Shadow Seven killed her. They resurrected her. And they stripped her of her humanity. Without the element of humanity, Roku believes this is what made her an effective killer.
The mercenaries are after a little girl named Marybeth. In the back of the girl’s neck is what looks like a computer chip embedded in her skin. Her guardian, Elena Vasliev, calls her the “receiver of secrets.” Intel seems to just stream into her.
Roku protects Marybeth and Elena in the apartment complex they live in. As the mercenaries charge through the halls, Roku rips through them in a bloody mess. Her hair removes sets of arms and feet. And blood just sprays out of the severed areas.
Next Up: The Boss
I like how the story was contained in one area. It was like a video game or a cheesy episode of Power Rangers. Where after the protaganist moved through the first set of cannon fodder, next came the boss.
Enter: The Minister of Blades. Shirtless, with only a belt of numerous knives and a pair of blue jeans, he reminds me of DC’s Victor Zsasz. His chest is tatted up like the Batman villain. The intel that is streamed to Marybeth says that he is altered and has a supernatural connection to edged and stabbing weapons. The Minister tells Roku, “Any blade. Any stabbing weapon. That includes that pretty hair of yours.”
Bach’s pencils remind me of the late 90s/Early 2000’s art featured in the pages of Spider-Man and Thor. Artists such as Scot Eaton and Joe Quesada. This could also be in part due to colorist, Stephane Paitreau. Of course, the splashes of red blood helped too.
I enjoyed the comic. But there was nothing spectacular to it. However, I had no complaints either.