Written by Guest Contributor: Jordan North It isn’t the beautiful artwork of Andy Suriano, it isn’t how spot on Jim Zub writes Jack himself, (or even the awesome variant covers of every issue for that matter), though those things are there be sure, it’s the ability of them both, in tandem to tell a truly great, totally authentic, Samurai Jack story. Like this one as a matter of fact.
This issue tells the tragic tale of Glorer the Great, defender of the shining city in the fog. Over the course of some thirty pages we see Jack make a friend, connect with another warrior and then fight alongside him in battle, essentially a fighter’s nirvana and then... He has it all taken away from him. Its heavy in a beautiful picture book way.
Jack learns the battle and the whole town period has been a hologram from the beginning and that his friend, and this battle had been waged by Aku and Glorer’s beloved city of gold long before Jack arrived there. That he was a ghost of sorts; a warning from warrior to warrior of Aku’s devastating depravity and an encouragement, no a noble plea to end his evil once and for all. It’s all very beautiful and haunting and focused in the best way possible for the type of story its telling.
This new Jack, in comic book form, is Jack and its great Jack at that. Both from individual`s standpoints with ravishing landscapes and characters by Suriano that are at once all Samurai Jack and all his own or the aforementioned spot-on writing of it all by Zub. Particularly Jack himself who is every bit the original character, and strong original characters like Glorer who could stand along the likes of the Spartans or the Scotchman in the CN cartoon.
That all being said with the Jack formula it has inherit pratfalls. It tells simple stories and is very minimal so if you’re looking for dense lore or tons of characters all with complex progressions don’t look here. Samurai Jack has always been presented as a really great exotic children’s book of sorts, simple,beautiful and noble. Now if those things sound good to you (which they should)? You know where to go.
Writer: Jim Zub Artist: Andy Suriano Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/18/13