Review: Samurai Jack #1

An outlaw biker gang who sell their services to the highest bidder is led by…Samurai Jack? Yes, in Quantum Jack, the fresh offering from IDW Comics, our Samurai hero seems to be astonishingly different. Gone are the fresh gi and flowing hair of yesterday, replaced by leather and raw two-wheeled power. Jack and his band of miscreants are on the job, attacking a royal convoy. Their task is to capture the precious cargo that is being transported, and deliver it to Lord Groog, the creature who hired Jack to bring him the crate he so desperately wants.

This first issue has writer Fabian Rangel Jr’s finger prints all over it. Being a fan of many of his other works, it is fun to see him take a character that I enjoyed years ago and mold a story around him that is fresh and exciting. If you’ve read and enjoy Galaxy of Brutality, another offering from Rangel Jr, then you will be happy with this new series. The psychedelic creative freak out that we’ve seen in other series penned by the author is on full display here.

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell brings an independent spirit to the pages with an art style reminiscent of early 1990’s underground animation that was seen in various Spike & Mike festivals. Artistically the world Johnson-Cadwell is introducing us to looks like it has very few rules and is full of strange and fascinating creatures. No boundaries are observed in the creativity that is on display in this first issue.

When I found out Fabian Rangel Jr was going to write a Samurai Jack series, I was over the moon excited. This first issue, while much different from I originally expected, is not a disappointment. I’m not sure why I thought Rangel Jr would write a straight Jack story, that does not seem to be his style. He took this beloved character, wrapped it up, and re-gifted it to us in a way that allows us to feel like we got something brand new. The birth of this new series is a welcome addition to the history of our favorite Samurai.

Fabian Rangel Jr. (w) • Warwick Johnson-Cadwell (a) • Michael Avon Oeming (c)

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