Samurai Jack continues The Quest of The Broken Blade in Samurai Jack #12. From IDW Publishing and written by Jim Zub, with art by Andy Suriano and Ethen Beavers, the main cover by Suriano has a shadowy Aku towering over a terrified Samurai Jack. The subscription only variant cover by Genndy Tartakovsky features a young Jack on horseback with his father in a traditional Japanese art style.
Following the death of Soule the Seer (still no relation to Charles) and the shattering of his precious eldritch steel sword, Samurai Jack is now more vulnerable to Aku’s wicked ways than ever. Sensing his weakness, Aku sends out an all points bulletin to each corner of his empire, promising riches to anyone vanquishing Jack.
What starts off as a dark issue, stays that way throughout. Samurai Jack is set in a grim, unforgiving universe and this issue sees Jim Zub bringing Jack to his lowest point and literally to his knees. The sense of hopelessness and despair hangs like fog on every page.
The world of Samurai Jack has always been expansive, with the characters being at the forefront. The inclusion of old-timey pioneers with machine guns, driving stagecoaches pulled by mechanical horses helps Andy Suriano, artist and original tv show character designer, flesh out the world. Josh Burcham’s warm colors, during the flashback, really hammer home the happiness Jack feels being with his mother.
Samurai Jack #12 is a heavy issue, with the only bright points being the brief memory of Jack and his mother. The saying goes, it’s always darkest before dawn and things can only go up from here for Samurai Jack.
P.S. If you see Jack, please call 1-800-AKU-UUUU.