~ Pirates of the Carribean: The Adventures of Jack Sparrow ~
Title: Pirates of the Carribean: The Adventures of Jack Sparrow
Author: Rob Kidd
Published By: TokyoPop
Publication Date: February 19, 2019
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Source: Netgalley *Please See Disclaimer*
~ SYNOPSIS ~
Embark on an adventure filled with dreams, desires, and epic battles surrounding the mysterious Sword of Cortés, a mystical weapon said to grant the wishes of whomever holds it. Throughout history, this powerful sword has allegedly been responsible for many bouts of good fortune — and unimaginable tragedies. With no crew at his command, Jack Sparrow sets off on his own to make a name for himself and take the legendary sword and scabbard of Cortés!
~ My Spoiler-Free Review ~
s someone living in the Caribbean for the last 2+ years while attending school, I can definitely attest to the truth of this statement.
Everything about the Caribbean holds an aura of beauty (go snorkeling off the coast of Grenada), mystery (go scuba diving / exploring shipwrecks in the ocean), history (check out the creation of Chocolate), and just plain MAGIC (EVERYWHERE)! 😀
Honestly, I think I need to make a full disclaimer here and tell anyone reading this, I am a recent convert to the “Uh, can you believe how incredibly amazing islands in the Caribbean are?!?” Up until 2 years ago, I would have uttered some typical, noncommittal New York City response, neither agreeing or disagreeing with that statement. Now I can genuinely say, my response is “OMG! Let’s spend the whole day exploring the Caribbean!”
Okay, so maybe my response wouldn’t be so “fan girl-ish” 😆 .
But even before I was a fan of the Caribbean, I was a fan of pirate stories.
Therefore, it should not come as a shock when I reveal that I am a serious fan of Johnny Depp – yes, I mean the actor, let’s be real… he’s incredibly talented and versatile – Captain Jack Sparrow, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. There’s just something about Jack that leaves me in a state where I cannot help but laugh or smile whenever thinking of him, and that was the main reason I looked forward to reading the graphic novel / manga, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Adventures of Jack Sparrow.
Overall, I found Pirates of the Caribbean: The Adventures of Jack Sparrow worthy of (4.1 / 5 Stars).
In terms of drawing, everything from the facial expressions to the fight sequences was fantastic; I give the artwork 4 out of 5 stars. I took off one star because none of the characters seemed to have any sort of ethnic changes – everyone was for lack of a better term Caucasian. I understand that with black and white pictures it’s difficult to demonstrate a difference in race, but I think some simple shading on some of the characters could have gone a long way to help distinguish the difference between ethnicities amongst the people Jack encounters.
The graphic novel also gets 4.5 out of 5 stars for its plot, which was easy to follow with plenty of twists and turns that kept me engaged with every panel. Best of all, the storyline had some great historical fiction weaved into it much like how the Pirates of the Caribbean movies take advantage of various pirate mythologies. The manga utilized Hernán Cortés and weaves in historical references and actions of the Spanish Conquistador. I personally love when good fictional works incorporate history because nothing is ever as insane as real life – pick up a history book sometime and tell me I’m wrong.
I deducted half a star because there is one instance of the graphic novel where it seems like the author threw in mythological creatures simply to drive the plot forward. To be honest, it was completely unnecessary because the storyline would have continued towards the next sequence even without this addition. Additionally, this plot point is never followed up on, which makes me wonder why the author even bothered. However, this was such a minor issue that I could not take off a full star for the faux pas.
In terms of world-building, the manga gets 4 out of 5 stars. Jack’s adventures take him to varying locations and the illustrator, Kobacha, did a great job at depicting each of these. On top of that, the author, Rob Kidd, did a good job of incorporating the scene changes, making the progression to each location come off as natural to the storyline. One star was deducted for one or two locations that felt like they “appeared” in front of Jack instead of being properly explained.
On the whole, I fell in love with the different characters, both protagonists and antagonists, in the manga. However, some characters, especially the “villains” of the story did not receive enough panel time and I wish their background was more elaborated – this brought the character development to 4 out of 5 stars.
In terms of reading enjoyability, I gave the manga 4 out of 5 stars.
Alas, not everyone enjoyed The Adventures of Jack Sparrow as much as I did. Many reviews I read repeatedly centered on and critiqued the fact that the characters do not look like they do in the movie franchise, nor are their personalities the same .
I completely disagree with these critiques. There are only 3 characters that overlapped from the movie franchise to this manga and those were Davy Jones, Tia Dalma, and of course, the one and only, Jack Sparrow.
Firstly, The Adventures of Jack Sparrow, is set during the teenage years of Jack Sparrow. No, the character does not look exactly like Johnny Depp portraying Jack Sparrow . And that, that is quite alright, because… puberty. You will not see the classic mustache and beard Depp sports on the cover or inside this graphic novel, but you can explain this and other physical discrepancies away with… puberty. I know I did 😆 .
That is the only difference between Captain Jack Sparrow (the adult) and young Jack Sparrow of the manga!
The manga character shares the same lanky frame as the big screen Jack Sparrow – thank goodness because a very muscular Jack Sparrow would have been plain weird. Furthermore, both dress very similarly. They enjoy V-necked shirts, long overcoats, a thick belt over their clothes – is that technically a cumber band underneath their belts? – leather boots, and cloth headbands. I can’t comment on coloring because the manga is in black and white.
But it’s not the clothes or physical characteristics that make Jack, it’s his personality and mannerisms. Even if the illustrator were to depict Jack with a change in outfit – imagine he’s going undercover on another boat – I would always recognize Jack Sparrow.
Captain Jack Sparrow is a rogue, albeit a lovable one, but still a rogue. He uses every opportunity to flirt and push boundaries with women – case in point Elizabeth Swan/Turner from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise and Arabella from the graphic novel. And while I don’t always agree with his antics, he never does anything so untoward that it would be considered disgusting – he’s simply playful.
More importantly, time and again the females he is flirtatious with always seem to play off of Jack’s own mannerisms and eccentricity, making for interesting on-screen chemistry and driving the plot forward within the graphic novel. The female characters in both the movies and the manga even try to take advantage of Jack, which makes for a fun take on just who is the “player” and who is the one being played.
Another aspect to Jack Sparrow, young or old, is that he helps those that need it – a proper pirate would have either killed or dumped overboard anyone not on his crew. Now, I am not saying that he is a hero – if anything he comes off as an antagonist in most stories – but he is not an outright villain. So where does that put Jack? Somewhere in the middle, just like any one of us. No one person is all good – okay maybe the Dali Lama is – or all bad, we as human beings tend to have some of both. And that, that is what makes Jack so relatable and interesting, he embodies those traits in us and embraces them.
Lastly, Jack keeps his word, in fact he summarizes it best when he says in the manga:
Sometimes keeping his word takes him a while, but he does get to it eventually. True he uses people, but ultimately, he does the right thing, ensures those he’s using are alright, and he even brings out these individuals own potentials – see Elizabeth Turner and Will Turner from the films and Arabella and Fitzwilliam from the graphic novel.
Let’s move on to the two other characters that overlap the manga and the movie franchise, Tia Dalma and Davy Jones.
Tia Dalma from the graphic novel matches the Tia Dalma from the movies – they share dark eyes – probably brown but the graphic novel is in black and white so hard to tell – black hair, black lips, and the iconic spots around the bottom circle of the eyes. Also, both are flirty, playful, dramatic, mystical, smart
Davy Jones pictured in the graphic novel and Davy Jones from the movie look exactly the same, so there’s not much to add there.
In summary what I am saying is I whole heartedly recommend Pirates of the Carribean: The Adventures of Jack Sparrow. If you want to find out the shenanigans Captain Jack Sparrow got up to before he became a pirate captain and obtained the Black Pearl – this is the book for you. It is a great read for fans of pirate stories, manga/graphic novels with decent storylines, plots with historical fiction, and of course fans of Pirates of the Caribbean.