Written by Guest Contributor: Jordan North Samurai Jack is back! Yes it’s been a long time coming (9 years in fact) but the ponytailed warrior himself is back in action, making the jump from the small screen to the comic book page. And thanks to the talents of Jim Zub and Andy Suriano his comeback is a successful one indeed.
Starting off with a plethora of covers Samurai Jack #1 had me frothing at the mouth from the start. It seemed that the who’s who of comics all lined up to pay tribute to everyone’s favorite time-displaced samurai with everyone and their mother contributing dynamite cover work, setting the stage for the issue to come. These alternate covers showed off interesting interpretations and exciting scenes in a way that had me clambering to get to the main issue out of excitement. Even a personal favorite artist of mine-- Rob Guillroy-- showed up to pay some respects. Nice move on IDW`s part. It really made me feel as if I was getting back into a legacy in a nice way, like slipping on an old pair of pants. Mmm… the “credits” that introduce the creative team at the bottom of the main cover is a nice touch to.
The first thing you notice upon opening the comic is the art by Andy Suriano which stands out for no other reason that it isn’t the original stuff. It all feels so very similar, but Suriano’s work feels slightly grittier, worn in and grown up. In a series prized for the art this is an important distinction to make. After getting over the oddness though I found myself really appreciating Suriano’s take on line-work, which feels a little more adult and like a natural progression of the style of the show. It feels like the artist has aged with the material, and it’s a good thing. As far as color work is concerned Suriano favors more neons and pastels than the cartoon network original which didn’t end up bothering me too much however there were points where I missed the cartoon’s vivid palate of shades.
Story-wise the plot adds up on Jim Zub’s end. Like something strait from the old cartoon the forty-three pages have Jack battling cyborg monsters in an arena, consulting old mystics and searching for artifacts. I do applaud the creative team for actually making a stride towards furthering the plot from where the show left off. The addition of a larger quest in the “strands of time” feels like a bigger thing than the show ever tried to take on and I like the departure from the serialized format of the show.
Overall the team of Jim Zub and Andy Suriano work on Jack. It’s just familiar enough to satiate old fans and just new enough to set itself apart from its wonderful subject material Samurai Jack: the comic book shows promise and its first issue is a sterling example of an adaptation done right. Samurai Jack is just as fun here as you remember him. Bring on the next issue.
Writer: Jim Zub Artist: Andy Suriano Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/23/13