Following the critically acclaimed debut issue, IDW Publishing released Samurai Jack #2, written by Jim Zub, with art by Andy Suriano, and colors by Josh Burcham. It’s great that each issue is going to open with the same Aku monologue from the TV show. The cover shows an unmoved Jack with the ninja twins reflected in his sword.
After being informed that if the threads of time are collected, building the Rope of Eons can turn back time, Jack set out and collected the first thread. The thread pulls him towards a small village guarded by twin ninjas named Dis and Dat. Jack realizes both twins possess a thread each, and must do battle to retrieve them.
Jim Zub once again flexes his writing muscles with a blend of comedy and action. This issue is also action-oriented, as was the first. There is some pleasant introspection as Jack recalls previous battles involving duel opponents. The quipping from the twins while fighting is enjoyable as they spout terms such as “twin-jump!”, “twin-strike!”, and “twin-revenge!,” although, again, the best dialogue seems to come from the background characters. A villager, while hiding from Dis and Dat, stuffs himself into a sack, and says, “No one here but an innocent ol’ bag o’ grain.”
A highlight of the TV show was the lack of outlines, but original-character-designer-turned-comic-book-artist, Andy Suriano, brings strong, solid line work to Samurai Jack #2, which gives a sound foundation for Josh Burcham’s colors. Burcham uses vibrant neons to apply a brightness to the pages. The scenes of Jack in the ocean are remarkable for the blends of blues and purples. Once more, I appreciated the use of benday dots in the backgrounds. To me, the highest point for the art is the fight scenes where the duality of the twins takes front and center as the scenes are mirrored. I’m a big fan of unconventional sound effects, and I have to praise letterer Shawn Lee for effects such as SLICE and GRAB.
Upon hearing about false fairness, Jack gives a great speech on fairness, with the highlight being: “Fair is using strength to protect those in need.” This is an aspect that initially drew me to superheroes and to comic books in general. I’d recommend this book to old fans of the TV show, fans of action-comedy, and young readers who can learn the lessons Zub is imparting.