by Drew Baumgartner
This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
I just killed James Dean and disarmed a bomb from the future.
Fu Jitsu, Fu Jitsu 1
My own interpretation of the solicit for Fu Jitsu 1 was “if Forrest Gump was a genius and immortal” — it’s an absurd premise, but one that could be fun. Turns out this issue is actually several times more absurd than I expected, but it embraces that absurdity so enthusiastically, I can’t help but love it.
This is a world where Fu Jitsu, ancient boy genius aims to both master “sub-atomic king fu” and satisfy his cravings for Whataburger. Where he spends three years in a sub-antarctic sensory depravation tank to “forget about a girl.” Everything in this world is cranked to its extreme, making for some hilarious juxtapositions. It’s a world where James Dean is an ageless hitman for a giant villain. It’s a world where the MacGuffin is the “atomic Katana,” forged by Nazi zombies in the atomic fires of the bombing of Nagasaki. It’s a world where a toaster can be used as an x-ray to discover a bomb sent from the future.
There’s a lot we don’t know about this world, but creators Jai Nitz and Wesley St. Claire deliver their exposition with such breathless enthusiasm, I really can’t wait to find out more. Fu is still loosely sketched — we know he was born in Guam in 1897, and that he’s apparently a Colts fan — but his mixture of stoic monk and teenage boy characterizations make for yet another intriguing juxtaposition.
St. Claire’s art style evokes Animaniacs-era Warner Brothers — indeed, Robert Wadlow looks at least a bit like Dr. Scratchnsniff, and the James Dean likeness would be at home next to their celebrity cameos — pairing nicely with the cartoony logic of the series. Indeed, I think that Animanics frivolity is probably exactly what to expect from this title. This is a series where anything can and will happen, and is clearly going to have a lot of fun doing just that.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?