• Samurai Jack #8

    Samurai Jack #8
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: May 28th, 2014.
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    Once again written by Jim Zubkavich, Samurai Jack #8, the latest in IDW’s ongoing resurrected adventures of the Cartoon Network’s most famous swordsman, brings original illustrator Andy Suriano back to the fold. An opening splash page brings us into a busy futuristic city – it’s chaos. Jack walks towards a hotel promising peace and quiet and after putting on some noise cancelling earmuffs of some sort, he falls asleep blissfully unaware that this is all a trap set by none other than his arch nemesis Aku.

    Jack wakes and finds that Aku has transported him into a cave that appears to be made entirely out of glass but as he turns his back on an unusually aggressive reflection of himself, the hands that should be harmless emerge from the glass and choke him. Jack then finds himself forced to dual against this twisted version of himself, first against one opponent and then against multiple twisted versions of himself. It looks like Jack has got this under control, but as he already knows that appearances can be very deceiving...

    Remember issue #21 of Marvel’s G.I. Joe comic? The one where Snake-Eyes sneaks into the Cobra base to save Scarlet? Remember how it played out silently, with no dialogue? This is basically the Samurai Jack equivalent of that issue, albeit with weird reflection based ‘Bizarro World’ samurai foes instead of ninjas. It works quite well, this fun little self contained story. It isn’t particularly deep and it doesn’t really do anything to further the continuity that’s been established in earlier stories and in the cartoon series but as a one-off, this is fun.

    Suriano’s layouts here are intricate and at times dazzlingly odd. They flow nicely, from the opening panel that, intentionally or not, reminds us a bit of the futurescapes seen in sci-fi movies like Blade Runner into the more claustrophobic locations inside the glass cave. The fight sequence, which takes up the bulk of the issue, has a great sense of movement to it. Equally important to the look of the book is the use of color and again we get an interesting contrast with the harsh reds and purples of the opening sequence against the cooler blues of the cave and of course, the white of Jack’s robe. It’s a very pleasant looking book with the style of the show still very obviously an important part in the visuals of this sequential take on the character.