Samurai Jack #6 (Comics Review)
Last month writer Jim Zub and artist Andy Suriano ended their first arc on the relaunched Samurai Jack comics from IDW with quite a bang. Together, the two of them delivered a pretty fantastic story that spoke to the fans of the original animated series and which was essentially a huge 5-month long nostalgia trip. For sure, those five issues are among the best comics I’ve read in the last two years since I got back into comics, and Samurai Jack has certainly been a bright spot in my IDW reading. And now, this week Jim Zub began his second arc, with artist Brittney Williams this time.
After the over the top time-travel story of the first arc, Jim Zub goes into this new arc and brings Jack face to face with an old friend, the Scotsman. He was one of the most fun members of Jack’s supporting cast on the animated series, and it is great to finally meet him again, in this form. Plus, Brittney’s art is damn good too. It reflects the grace of the animated series and given how the story plays out, she leaves her own mark on the title, which is extra cool.
Jack and the Scotsman’s friendship was always one of the high points of the animated series. And with the Threads of Time arc now out of the way, it is time to focus on characters like him, to give readers and fans even more of a reason to come back to this comic series. But, the Scotsman’s return doesn’t play out as I expected it to, largely because Jim Zub introduced a fantastic twist from the get go: while out and about in some forest, a bunch of evil wizards turned the Scotsman into a woman. So instead of a bulky, brawny kilt-wearing Scotsman, we have a ticked-off kilt-wearing Scotswoman.
Many laughs ensue.
More than anything, Jim’s writing in this issue is as spot-on as it has ever been. His comic timing is pretty perfect, and he injects a lot of humour into the dialogue. It also helps that he is writing the Scotsman with accented dialogue, which makes things even funnier, especially when he (or she, rather) starts getting antsier. Of course, Jack can’t leave a friend in straits like this, because what will the Scotsman tell his wife when he returns? He can’t go back like this!
So the two friends set out to reverse the curse, and along the way they do meet the evil wizards who put Jack’s friend in the position that he is now. And there’s the second twist of the story, because the wizards are not quite as evil as the Scotsman made them out to be, though they are quite devious indeed. And there was a perfectly good reason for them doing what they did. After all, this is the Scotsman we are talking about right?
Eventually, to lift the curse, Jack has to promise the wizards to take care of a bad guy for them, and when the story finally ends, we have the third big twist of the issue. That final page, a full-page panel, is perhaps the best page of the entire issue, and it totally made this issue for me. This is the kind of narrative brilliance that I expect from Jim Zub, and he certainly did not disappoint on any level.
Like I said, characterisation has always been his strong suit, and Jim definitely delivered on that promise with the start of this new arc. Words are not enough to express my glee at reading this issue. After the (somewhat) seriousness of the previous arc, it is nice to see that some humour is the order of the day.
Brittney Williams, as the guest artist for this arc, does better than I could have expected. Until I picked up this issue I had no idea that there was a change in artists and when I saw the credits on the first page, I was a bit confused. But that confusion gave way to wonder because her art was fantastic. Her panels are detailed, her action flows along smoothly, and she draws a great Jack and Scotsman. Plus all the attendant twists of this story that Jim is telling. Like I said, there is a certain grace to her artwork that I really liked, and I think that’s the key to her style here. And as always, Josh Burcham’s colours were gorgeous.
Andy Suriano may not be drawing the arc, but he is doing the cover, and the one that he did here was just as great as all the others that he has done till now. I love his Scotsman, and once this arc is done, I would love for him to get a crack at the character too.
Overall, this was a far better issue than I was expecting. The story was definitely a big surprise, and I honestly have zero complaints about it. Zero. None.
Posted on March 21, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Aku, Andy Suriano, Animated Series, Cartoon Network, Cartoons, Celtic Magic, Comic, Comics Review, Demon Aku, Evil Wizards, Fantasy, Female Heroes, Genndy Tartakovsky, IDW Publishing, Jacqueline, Jim Zub, Josh Burcham, magic, Review, Review Central, Samurai, Samurai Jack, Scotsman, Scotswoman, Sword and Sorcery, Techno-Fantasy, Techno-sorcery, Time Travel. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.