Jack, IDW’s Superior Samurai
Samurai Jack: Lost Worlds #3
Not that long ago, in a not so distant land, IDW, publisher of popular comic books, relaunched a book of undeniable righteousness.
The first two issues of this book after the relaunch seemed too good to be true. As I opened up the third issue I had to tell myself no to get my hopes up. The odds of getting three incredible issues of Samurai Jack in a row were slim to none. I am more than excited to say that this issue beat the odds. Samurai Jack is officially being carried out properly in comic book form for the first time in way too long. This issues, like that last two, is a single-shot story that shows Jack getting into an unwanted altercation by being in the wrong place at the most inconvenient of times. This particular instance shows Jack making his way through a forest and getting his leg caught in a bear trap. He is then ambushed by a couple of “hunters” and is eventually captured and thrown into a paddy wagon. In the mobile cell are two other characters. One of them being a dog that plays no part in the story other than being an adorably drawn cartoon dog, and the other being a shadowy figure called Brooz. Brooz and Jack hit it off immediately. Meanwhile, the hunters, which obviously aren’t really your traditional hunters at all, are calling in the new bounty. When they realize that it is the legendary Samurai Jack, they immediately attempt to pull over to fix their mistake, which turned out to be a clerical error. Coincidentally, Jack and Brooz were planning an escape at the same time. The two manage to tip over the truck and take off by foot just as the truck is pulling over. Jack confronts the hunters and finds out what they really are. They are tasked to track down fugitives of the Underworld. The two want nothing to do with Jack and take off. After they depart, Brooz comes out of the shadows to reveal a body with a giant gaping hole in the torso. With the gratefulness of such a beautiful day, Brooz parts ways and walks off back into the forest as Jack looks on with amazement.
Paul Allor is doing a wonderful job reviving a character that has such a hardcore fan base. If not written correctly, Jack is just not that same iconic 90’s figure that I grew to love as a kid. Past attempts at “Samurai Jack” stories have proven to almost ruin Jack. Allor is doing quite the opposite. Jack is as awesome as he ever was, and with the last three issues being as incredible as they were, I may be so bold as to say that Jack is being taken to a new level. The supporting characters have all been unique and interesting in their own ways and it’s almost a shame to know that these are one-shot stories because of this. Every bit of dialog that comes out of Jack’s mouth is perfectly true to his character allowing me to actually hear Phil LaMarr’s voice as I read.
“Samurai Jack”, to me at least, is most iconic for it’s unique art style. With that being said, that particular style with its absence of line work does not necessarily translate to comic book form. Trying to depict a story that is know for its unique style in a format that would not suit well is a challenge to say the least. Adam Bryce Thomas figured a way to plow through that obstacle. This art still shows signs of the original style while still maintaining it’s own uniqueness. The visual delivery is the most important part of this book and it has been done masterfully.
My skepticism of the law of averages taking over while going into this issue only set me up to be overjoyed with the outcome of this story. As a hardcore Jack fan, I may be hyper-critical at times. I am excited to say that I have found no flaws in this series since its relaunch three issues ago. I am enjoying the single shot stories that are coming out of this. It makes it that much easier for a new reader to jump on to this series without being lost. There is no back issue reading needed to enjoy to its fullest. You can go to a comic shop at any time and as long as this series is on the shelf, you can take ease in knowing that your money will be spent well. After three solid issues, it’s safe to determine that “Samurai Jack: Lost Worlds” will more than likely be a top tier read no matter what else is released that week, as long as this creative team keeps at it.
Samurai Jack: Lost Worlds #3
A top tier read no matter what else is released that week.