by Jarrod Jones. 5 ninja assassins, once scattered across the globe, now united in a deadly game of survival. Targeted by shadowy forces, these Ninjas, former operatives for MI6, share one commonality—a superhuman ability to tap into their “ki”, or spiritual energy. And it appears that ability has put them in the crosshairs of a nameless enemy.
Nameless, until now. There’s another similarity these Ninjas have in common, a person from their past who has unleashed death and destruction into their lives: Their former sensei, Jonin.
And that brings us to why we’re here today. Courtesy of Valiant Entertainment, DoomRocket presents an exclusive reveal of the villains at the center of Killers, as well as commentary from writer B. Clay Moore, who offers insights into Valiant’s red-hot summer event mini-series.
1. ‘Killers’ #1 finds two of Valiant’s premiere ninja assassins, Ninja-G and Ninja-J, enjoying their respective moments of peace and solitude, removed from a life of international bloodletting and fisticuffs. If you would, tell us where these two characters are in their personal lives at the beginning of this story, and what sends them spiraling down their latest (and possibly their most deadly) adventure.
B. Clay Moore: Well, I can guarantee it’s their most deadly. As revealed in the NINJA-K series, Ninja-G, codename Blindside, is now living with her former arch enemy, Devotchka, in relative harmony, running a ski resort in Colorado.
J, codename Carapace, is drifting through Europe, keeping tabs on other former Ninjas for his own purposes.
And then someone attacks each of them, swiftly and without warning. So, what’s up with that?
2. Assassins in the Ninja programme have been trained to tap into a spiritual force called the “ki” which allows these people to harness strange powers. I can’t help but notice in the series’ trade dress that the “K-I” in ‘Killers’ is painted in blood red. It appears Ninjas G & J are being targeted either because of their abilities or because of their storied histories with the MI6. More than that, though, these attacks feel personal. Who would want these people dead, and why?
BCM: That’s sort of the question at hand. It’s obvious there’s some connection to their past, but beyond that, they don’t know.
Is there any chance we may run into a certain Ninja-K in ‘Killers’?
BCM: Ninja-K is missing. He’s missing as we open. And… missing when we close.
3. Tell me about the aged sensei Jonin, who’s being set up as the primary nemesis of ‘Killers’. Jonin trained most of the ninjas in MI6’s clandestine Ninja programme—is there something that would push Jonin towards having a grudge?
BCM: It’s unlikely the Jonin holds grudges. He’s basically a narcissist who doesn’t perceive that anyone else operates on his level. And he may be right. The key with the Jonin is that anything he does is with his own betterment in mind.
What can you tell us about these designs of Jonin and his daughter, Shuriken, by AJ Jothikumar? Jonin is looking rather cut for someone who should be in their 100s.
BCM: That’s something that’s explored in the book. We delve a little deeper into the nature of the Jonin’s existence. As for the designs themselves, what AJ has done adds another level to the book. It’s really been fun seeing what everyone brings to the table.
4. Speaking of Shuriken, how does she fit into all of this? And what does Shuriken, Jonin, and Ninja-G’s ability to prolong life have to do with Jonin’s plans for the Ninjas?
BCM: Shuriken is the mysterious messenger who initiates contact with the former members of the Ninja Programme. Without revealing too much, she’s the lure for the Jonin’s plan. Essentially, she’s inviting former adventurers on a quest, helping each one rediscover something near and dear to them along the way.
5. What has your experience working with Fernando Dagnino been like?
BCM: Fernando’s been terrific. He’s confident with bone-crunching action as well as quieter character moments. It’s been a joy watching new pages come in.
What can readers expect from this project?
BCM: A swift-moving and fun formal introduction to characters that up to now have only really been hinted at. The powers of the Ninjas (spurred by their ability to access their inner “ki”) assure over-the-top action, but the book will also enrich current understanding of one corner of the Valiant Universe. Having said that, Killers is easily accessible to new readers, as well.
‘Killers’ #1 hits stores July 31. You can pre-order it now! (Diamond Code: MAY192008)
Check out this 5-page, 5-cover preview of ‘Killers’ #1, courtesy of Valiant!
KILLERS #1 (of 5)
Written by B. Clay Moore.
Art by Fernando Dagnino.
Colors by José Villarrubia.
Letters by Jeff Powell.
Cover A by Jonboy Meyers.
Cover B by Diego Bernard.
Cover C by Ken Lashley.
Pre-Order Edition Cover by Whilce Portacio.
Blank Cover Also Available
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | Full Color | FOC: JULY 8 | JULY 31
From Valiant: Five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by their former sensei, the mysterious Jonin!
But what does the Jonin want from them, and what do they gain out of helping him?
Each of these assassins can channel their ki—the spiritual energy within all beings—in different ways, granting them incredible powers, essentially making them “superninjas”!
More comics interviews to get those synapses firing…