Racing To The Edge Of The World…Literally In Samurai Jack: Lost Worlds #4
by James Ferguson
Samurai Jack has traveled through time and space and seen countless lands and peoples. Now, in his quest to get home he finds himself on a ship in a constant debate over whether the Earth is round or flat. With all he’s seen, he knows the shape of the planet…right?
I don’t want you to think that Samurai Jack: Lost Worlds #4 is taking a weird turn to provide fodder for flat Earth conspiracy theorists. As a quick reminder, this book takes place in a world where a demon has sent a samurai hurtling through time in a never-ending battle of good vs evil alongside robots, ghosts, aliens, and more. In short, anything is possible.
If anything, the series pokes fun at those who think the Earth is flat. Artist Adam Bryce Thomas has a great sequence where Jack is confronted with this notion and he just kind of stares at the captain for four panels with a look of complete disbelief on his face. It’s a perfect amount of comedy to give you an idea of the sheer lunacy the hero is up against here. Letterer Christa Miesner has some perfect word balloon placement to amplify the gag here with a single word.
It wouldn’t be a Samurai Jack story without an epic battle and this issue definitely delivers. Jack fights a huge kraken in a jaw-dropping action scene that is just the precursor to the climax of the story. Thomas’ colors on this beast are wavy and ever-changing. Its skin has a translucent quality to it, like you can see the powerful muscles under each of its tentacles as it prepares to strangle our hero under the water.
Thomas’ designs for the rest of the crew and the other creatures that pop up along the journey are varied and intricate. They range from cartoony to terrifying, which coincides with the overall tone of Samurai Jack. I particularly like the first mate, an adorable anthropomorphic dog who is clearly in over his head.
The final pages of Samurai Jack: Lost Worlds #4 puts Jack face-to-face with an impossibility. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise in the scheme of things, given everything he’s come up against in his journey back home, but it’s still a shocking twist. It forces Jack to put his fate in faith and what he knows to be true. He’s seen enough of Aku’s tricks to know what the right course is…but what if he’s wrong? That tiny bit of doubt could destroy him, but he still soldiers on.
While this mini-series is over, I hope it’s not the last we see of Samurai Jack. Writer Paul Allor delivered a fun trip through some of the strange and wondrous lands that fill this world and I’m eager to see more. This issue leaves us with our jaws on the floor and wondering what could come next. Again, this is totally in line with Samurai Jack.
Samurai Jack: Lost Worlds #4 from IDW Publishing is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.