IDW has pulled a special guest out of Samurai Jack‘s vault of support characters. Specifically, they have recruited one of Jack’s staunchest and most seen allies from the Cartoon Network television series; The Scotsman. Voiced in the show by voice acting great, John DiMaggio (Futurama, Gears of War series, Final Fantasy X, Adventure Time, etc). The Scotsman first appeared in the series where he fought Jack over a “misunderstanding” before the two realized that they were both on separate paths to find and defeat the evil wizard, Aku. From there, they fought alongside each other in a few more episodes, chopping down Aku’s minions. Now, The Scotsman is back Samurai Jack #6 …but a lot different than you may remember him.
We get a peak of what The Scotsman’s comic book makeover on the front cover of this issue looks like, a glimpse for fans of the show to recognize and acknowledge the character and for new fans to gaze upon the behemoth of a man for the first time. I have not been reading this new series until now, only having read IDW’s other foray into the world of Samurai Jack in their Samurai Jack Director’s Cut special edition comic created by some of the original show’s creators. In my review for that special (the link for which I provided in the last sentence), I noted how the comic’s artwork lacked some of the animation flair that the show had, such as animating faux Japanese woodprinted images. This current issue’s artwork, and what I’m assuming may be the same artwork from previous issues, seemingly makes a point out of utilizing a form of drawing that mimics woodprint in a comic form. The Scotsman’s name is revealed in print for the first time inside the book in the full title for this issue, Samurai Jack and the Scotsman’s Curse. This blatantly hints towards trouble on the horizon for Jack and his old friend.
The story begins in a serene enough natural setting, as Jack scopes out a place to sleep for the night on a river bank. Just as Jack begins to rest and fall asleep, he’s alerted by a mysterious presence that is stalking him. He narrowly avoids being struck by a large blade and begins fighting the attacker. After he blocks a barrage of bullets shot by the figure from a concealed machine gun, the figure makes their identity known: it’s The Scotsman! Well, The Scotswoman, machine gun leg and all! He’s been transformed into a “no-good, stick-thin lassie monster”; in other words, his body is now in the form of a woman that he views as lesser and he’s none too pleased. I know, what you’re thinking: slightly sexist. We’ll look further into this soon
The Scotsman…woman…Scotsperson? Whatever, this is no time for political correctness. The Scotsman claims that while he was traversing through a forest searching for a gift for his wife, he was ambushed by magic beings that placed this curse on him before he could fight them. As part of the curse, The Scotsman’s head is clouded with an ominous musical tune that clouds his vision and hearing, which is why he had to attack Jack and test his skills to see if he was the samurai. Jack agrees to help his old friend and the two set off searching for the perpetrators. Upon finding the creatures, Jack discovers that they are leprechauns and they tell the truth of why they cursed The Scotsman: he came into their home slicing down trees in a drunken stupor. The leprechauns strike a deal with Jack for Jack and The Scotsman to take out a giant called Cuhullin the Cruel and they’ll change The Scotsman back into his original form. As the leader forces Jack to shake hands on the deal, we see that it’s a trick and Jack has now been turned into a woman as well.
Leprechauns, gender-swapping magical spells, Scottish warriors with machine gun legs; questioning what was in your coffee from this morning? Yea, so am I. This zany plotline for the next couple of issues of this series is exactly the kind of thing to expect from Samurai Jack in his time traveling escapades. Awesome Bushido sword fighting, magic spells mixed with (Rated PG) gunplay, and over the top characterization. The wide-eyed expressions and exaggerated close-ups add to the buffoonery and we’re left with a cliffhanger of things to come in Samurai Jacqueline and the Scotswoman (actual title). As far as any perceived sexism by the two heroes and their enemies considering the womanly forms taken by the duo as inferior and inhibiting, I believe this is intentional by the writers. As we see The Scotsman in his new body fight Jack capably and a scene where the two transformed stand ready to battle the leprechauns, it may be safe to assume that the warriors will discover that they are able to battle effectively as women and that the opposite sex is not so weak and defenseless after all. Their intent could be a little more explicitly implied. Either way, I’m excited to see what’s going to happen next!
Did you like this issue? Are you excited to see Jack fight alongside a familiar ally? Let us know in the comments and feel free to like and share! Hope to see you next time for more Comic Booked dopeness! Peeeeace.
My Rating: 5/5