Review: Samurai Jack #1
Cartoon Network’s hit animated series is back at IDW! The legendary samurai known only as ‘Jack’ is stranded in a strange future ruled by the demonic wizard, Aku. His quest to return back to the past has tested him many times, but now the stakes are higher than ever. Can an ancient relic known as the Rope of Eons finally take him home? Writer Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Street Fighter) and artist Andy Suriano (Character Designer on the original Samurai Jack TV series) begin a new era of samurai adventure!
The second series from IDW based on a classic Cartoon Network show hits this week. Samurai Jack is back in action in a story written by Jim Zub with art from Andy Suriano, the original show’s character designer. Shawn Lee rounds out the cast with lettering. Jack is back, but is he better than ever?
Jack is still looking for a way to go back to the past and return to his homeland to stop the villainous demon wizard Aku. His journeys have taken him all over the land of this strange future, and he’s gotten close to returning, but he’s stopped every time. Still determined to return to his own time, Jack seeks out Soule the Seer to gain the knowledge about a mystical artifact. The Rope of Eons is a magical object the gods used to mark time. Aku stole it and unraveled it to learn the sorcery behind time travel. Aku shredded it so none could learn what he found. However the threads are still out there. Jack must now embark on a journey to find the threads and rewind the rope to return to his time. The journey for the first thread leads Jack into a situation where he’s outnumbered and the rules of the arena are against him. Can Jack collect the first thread or will he be stopped before he even really gets started?
Zub writes a fantastic story. This doesn’t backtrack, reboot, or ignore anything we’ve seen before. This is another adventure for Jack and it’s an incredibly interesting one at that. This is a fast-paced issue that shows us who Jack is and how he can handle himself. The first few pages give us the layout of the plot and then it’s all action. Zub sets up a great quest. Suriano’s art is stellar. Being a character designer for the show means he’s more than able to capture the style and feel of the show. It’s funky and psychedelic in places. While it’s not a perfect translation of the art of the series, it is a prefect comic book translation of everything that made the show so great. This is a fantastic first outing for the team and there’s not really anything to knock other than the fact it goes by so fast.
Bottom Line: Samurai Jack fans rejoice, Zub and Suriano have presented an excellent first issue. IDW is two for two on their Cartoon Network adaptations. Whether you’re a longtime Jack fan or someone who’s curious what all the fuss is about, check this one out. 5/5