Comic books can conjure heroes out of ink and paper, or resurrect them when they fall from other formats. Samurai Jack was the multiple-Emmy-award-winning brainchild of Genndy Tartakovsky, but little things like “critical acclaim” and “being one of the most gorgeous things on air” apparently don’t mean much to the Cartoon Network and the show was cancelled before Jack could complete his mission. Making network executives are more powerfully evil than a shape-shifting master of eternal darkness. Although anyone working in TV already knows that.
Now IDW Publishing are saving the day. These experts in adapting established properties have already successfully resurrected the Ghostbusters, made a mint with the pre-resurrected Walking Dead, and will soon embody the eighties with another Transformers/GI Joe crossover. They know a good property when they see it.
The entire original cartoon pitch was “Hey, remember David Carradine in ‘Kung Fu’? Wasn’t that cool?”, and it’s completely accurate. Now imagine a Carradine who could actually fight, and did, often, so that the long pauses between became pacing instead of frustrating.
The cartoon was famous for its wide variety of locations, tones, and rhythms, making a point of showing off what animation can do. The comic has a whole new medium to stretch, and an established awesomeness to work with. Comic books are literally art, of characters, doing things. Now we have a character famous for being fantastic at all three.
Samurai Jack #1 is out this month.