A spin-off from Garth Ennis’ vigilante blood-bath title Jennifer Blood, Ninjettes not only carries over some of the characters and plot elements from its sister title, but the feel of it too. Now three issues in, the series has received mixed reviews, and it’s clear Ninjettes still has some catching up to do.
The story follows the creation of the Ninjettes, a group of teenage-girl killers that met a rather fast end in Jennifer Blood. Of course there are other characters, many of which we still don’t know much about at this point in the series. It doesn’t help either that the plot has been very vague at points, but writer Al Ewing could easily be playing this to his advantage; you would expect a book about ninja assassins to be a little shadowy.
Other than the Ninjettes themselves, the story also follows a few female assassins that were introduced in the first two volumes: Daisy and Varla. Varla is easily one of the more interesting characters and seems to be developing into a great femme fetal, something that it seems was the full intention of the creative team. The dynamic between her and Daisy is the main focus of this issue, so expect a decent amount of twists and fireworks. However, still a little too much left out in the open for my taste.
The writing itself also needs a little work. Like the plot, dialogue seems to jump around all over the place and can be a little confusing at times. Ewing walks a fine line between realistic conversation and flat out jargon; some parts just clicked all around while others forced me to re-read a few bubbles or even frames.
Speaking of framing, artist Eman Casallos does a pretty sweet job with his page layouts. There were a few that probably could have been done a bit better, but overall a great effort. Some frames overlap others but not in any way that might be a distraction, just simply a nice reprieve from traditional layouts. Even the bigger frames do a great job of keeping things rolling as far as the action goes, which is exactly what this title needs.
Casallos matches those efforts with some great art work. Character art was overall nice but some of the faces come off a bit too blocky. I was expecting a little bit more violence for a title spawned off an Ennis creation also. That’s just the smallest of criticisms though, and Casallos makes up for it in other areas, namely the female characters. For a book centered around young, attractive female killing machines, Casallos absolutely delivers.
I have high hopes for this title and I expect it to continue to get better and better as the story progresses, but it still has some growing to do. Overall, it’s a fun read with art being its biggest strong point, but you should expect a lot more out of Ninjettes in the near future.