Retro Review: Cowboy Ninja Viking

While digging through the discount trades at a local store, I came across Volumes 1 and 2 of Cowboy Ninja Viking at an affordable price. I had read about the series when it was out, so I went ahead and grabbed them.

I’m glad I did.

The series was 10 issues and collected into 2 trades. The story follows a group of assassins which are part of the triplet program – they all have multiple personalities that help with their missions. Duncan, the focal point for the series, has a personality of a cowboy, a ninja, and a viking; other assassins have the personalities of soldiers, chefs, deep sea divers, a rock show roadie, and many more.

The triplet program is facing potential budget cuts and has to do some missions to prove it’s worth, and the series is set up with double crosses, nuclear weapons, international action, and sleeper agents.

Writer A.J. Lieberman crafts an interesting story that can be a little confusing at times; it’s can be hard to tell which personalities belong to which assassin, especially over the first few issues. As the series goes on, it gets a little easier to understand. Outside of the characters, the story is pretty original and it keeps you invested throughout the series.

The art is very different. Penciler Riley Rossmo’s art is very unfinished; it looks like unfinished pencils. The thing is it works; the rough designs fit the rough characters. A majority of the book is black and white with some color added in certain scenes.

Overall, this is a book worth checking out. It’s something that you expect from Image; an off-beat concept that was executed well. I’d recommend it to fans of non-superhero comics. I’d check it out before they get around to making the movie; at one point, Chris Pratt was signed on to play Duncan.

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