Samurai Jack was a Cartoon Network series that was rather unique, especially when compared to the other offerings at the time. While most of the Cartoon Network series at the time (2001-2005) were humour based, Samurai Jack was more subtle but with plenty of action. Sadly, the series never had concluded, being cancelled after 52 episodes. Although, the series has returned, thanks to IDW Publishing, with a new comic miniseries.
For those who are unfamiliar with the series, it was about a lone samurai warrior who is shot into the distant future by an evil demon known as Aku. In this dystopian future, Aku rules the world and Jack quests to return to his time – in order to defeat him. This is all explained in a recap page (seen below) for those who are new to Samurai Jack or haven’t seen the animated series in some time.
What I most liked about the series was the mash-up of genres that were involved and how harmoniously it all worked. While it borrowed elements of the Japanese Samurai and folklore there was also elements of science-fiction, cyberpunk, sword and sorcery and martial arts. As a result there were a variety of characters and foes from robots, magical demons and aliens – all of which were imaginatively designed. Another I enjoyed about the series was that most of Jack’s communication was non-verbal. Apart from the occasional speech the viewer had to read his body language and facial expressions, which made the series rather unique. Looking at the preview this seems to have been kept, which works well for the medium of comics.
Written by Jim Zub (Skullkickers) and with art by Andy Suriano (the original character designer), Samurai Jack #1 looks like it will be true to the animated series. As the series never had a conclusion, the comic series allows for the series to continue and tells the story Jack pursuing a method of returning back to Feudal Japan. Can a magical artefact known as the Rope of Eons allow him to travel home?
Samurai Jack #1 is available from October 23rd in all good comic book stores and digitally.
Take a look at the cover and a 7-page preview by Andy Suriano.