Travelling Man's Blog

Review: Samurai Jack Issue 1 by Travelling Man

‘Samurai Jack and the Threads of Time’

Written by Jim Zub

Art by Andy Suriano

Lettering by Shawn Lee

Samurai Jack created by Genndy Tartakovsky

£2.85 Or be a foolish samurai! Step forward to oppose AKU! Win your victory for £1.99!

Published by IDW

Samurai Jack is one of the best cartoons of the last twenty years. The story of a samurai, thrown into the future where his arch enemy, Aku the demon, rules, it could have been po-faced and grim. Instead it’s a joyous sprint through multiple art styles, genres, explorations of the martial arts, musical numbers and the single best Batman joke ever.

Zub, Suriano and Lee nail the tone, style and humour of the show inside one panel. This doesn’t feel like a tie in, it feels like an episode, Suriano’s style perfectly capturing the square jawed Jack and the bizarre world he finds himself in. Suriano’s work is pitch perfect, everything from Jack’s badass, purposeful stride to the nightmarish (And somehow endearingly rubbish) creatures he faces could have walked off an episode of the show. The art style is simple, versatile and a joy to look at.

Zub’s script is its equal, matching the show’s scale and violence and hitting exactly the same brand of humour. Zub’s work on Skullkickers clearly shows he’s comfortable in this particular wheelhouse and he has a lot of fun here. There’s some nice moments of samurai badassery, a couple of well-judged pop culture gags and the constant threat of Aku. Jack is tonally a really difficult, interesting story, balancing post-apocalyptic science fiction, samurai action, tragedy, comedy and hope. You get all of them here, as well as a magical artefact that could finally send Jack home.

Will it? Could this finally be the end of Jack’s impossibly long journey? Chances are no, because he’s Samurai Jack and he can never catch a break. What this is, without a doubt, is a tremendously assured, funny comic debut for one of the greatest cartoon characters in years. Jack’s back. Evil time travelling demons beware.

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