• Samurai Jack #16



    Samurai Jack #16
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: January 21st, 2015.
    Written by: Jim Zubkavich
    Illustrated by: Sergio Quijada
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    The story that began in issue #11 and has been running through every issue since continues as writer Jim Zubkavich and new artist Sergio Quijada (replacing Andy Suriano, who still delivers a great cover) bring us the latest chapter in Samurai Jack in The Quest Of The Broken Sword.

    This genuinely epic tale continues as Jack, disguised in a red robe matching that of every other townsperson, heads up the mountainside to the massive castle on the outskirts of town. A booming voice alerts all who arrive that ‘today you will find the answers that you seek’ and that ‘all are welcome.’ Who is everyone there to see? It turns out that it’s The Master Of Time and he’s here to tell everyone about his Talisman, an object that will allow those who use it to ‘ensure their proper place in the time steam.’

    Later that night, as a grumpy janitor cleans up a mess of confetti, Jack sneaks his way into the castle past the armed guards and the booby traps aplenty but is then apprehended after making a wrong turn. The guards attack but he makes his way out and then meets up with a small man brushing his teeth – Jack tells him his story but it falls on deaf ears and he is quite literally thrown out with the trash. But in hindsight, maybe that’s not such a bad thing? That is, if it allows him to team up with someone who might be able to help… even if that someone is an obnoxious person from Jack’s own past!

    This storyline just keeps going and going but that’s a good thing. Zub’s able to introduce some interesting twists and turns and so long as he keeps the ‘fun’ level maxed out, which he’s been able to do so far, then why rush it? This is far and away the longest storyline since the series launched and it’s actually refreshing to have a longer, more intricate tale to enjoy. The introduction of the Master Of Time is interesting – we’ll see how the importance of his talisman plays out (is it like a TARDIS? Is Jack going to steal it and travel through time to fix all of this?), while the character from his past who appears in the last few pages of the issue is a nice twist too. Add to that plenty of the series’ trademark humor and this is a really enjoyable read.

    Now, as far as the art goes, let’s not beat around the bush – Andy Suriano’s work is missed. But having said that, Sergio Quijada’s a great replacement. He doesn’t try to copy Suriano’s style but brings his own approach to every panel. Switching artists in the middle of a storyline isn’t always an easy choice or something that readers are necessarily going to want to see, but if Quijada sticks around for a bit, that’s not a bad thing at all. There’s a lot of great coloring here and some genuinely impressive panel lay out too. All in all, another great chapter – bring on the next installment!