Sam Thorne reviews IDW’s Samurai Jack #1…
‘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?’
So it seems one of the most acclaimed animations of the 21st century finally has a comeback of sorts, after years of Genndy Tartakovsky promising a Samurai Jack movie that seems unlikely to arrive. Before reading Samurai Jack #1 I was perhaps a little sceptical at how the series would translate considering how high the bar was set by the animated series. That being said, I think Samurai Jack #1 delivers.
We start with Jack crossing the desert to find a wise old hermit living in a cave. He seeks help on his unending quest to go back in time. The sage tells him that Aku learned his mastery of time travel through an ancient relic known as the rope of eons. He studied it, and absorbed its power before destroying it, so others couldn’t learn its secrets. However, if the strands are gathered, they can be reassembled to form rope once again. With that Jack set off and crossed the desert to find a remote underground Colosseum where the first strand lies.
Jim Zub’s writing is pretty spot-on in terms of authenticity, the comic feels like a genuine continuation as opposed to trying to sell paper off the back of a decent franchise. We’ll have to see in the grand scheme of things, but I’m certainly interested to see how Samurai Jack continues. Presumably something will go wrong with the rope of eons and Jack’s quest will continue. The battle segment was perhaps a little rushed in the Colosseum, but that’s a little expected because half the page space was used to establish the initial story. Jack’s dialogue is exactly as I remember it. Short, very wooden, very outlandish. From a writing standpoint I approve, and will be keen to see how it develops.
I have complete faith in Andy Suriano’s art after #1, the visuals are entirely preserved from Jack’s multiple prime-time Emmy past. There’s not much else to be said. The battle sequences, the landscapes, the character models are all what they should be. Andy couldn’t have done a better job in preserving that Asian/American hybrid of art style.
In summary, there’s only praise for IDW’s Samurai Jack #1. The first issue was a solid inaugural comic. There’s certainly something to ponder in if it’ll retain an episodic format per issue, or advance to multiple issue story-arcs like most modern comics. It’ll probably heat up when Aku gets involved, or perhaps The Scotsman. Final verdict, I’d recommend tuning in to catch this one, I certainly will.