Ninjago’s greatest villain, Garmadon, now has a comic book! This self-titled work is a joint collaboration between Image Comics, Skybound and The Lego Company and the first two issues have everything to satisfy fans of the cartoon. There are linguring questions that needs answering.
The only thing really missing is a mini-fig to go with the release, and I suspect that’s being saved for the eventual trade paperback. This series answers nearly everything you want to know about this villain but are afraid to ask. Thankfully, readers don’t have to recall everything from the animated series to know where this series is headed.
Garmadon walked away from it all in season 10, March of the Oni and I’ve talked about the season in my look of that chapter. He once wanted to conquer all of Ninjago, and after defeating the greatest threat of them all, the Oni, I suspect the desire to control an entire world just isn’t good enough. He learned to be part of a greater whole. Ever since then, he’s uncertain about where his future lays. He’ll have to reevaluate his goals.
After meeting people from Two Moon Village and saving them from a bear, he’s treated like a hero. But the sons of Garmadon still live. Those who survived the purge went into hiding, and what they desire is to bring their lost leader back to the fold. He regains his power after drinking a fabled tea, but will he use it for good or evil?
This Darth Vader of the Ninjago universe is at a crossroads, and what we get in part two has some mythic significance. He’s in search of redemption. Another interpretation includes justification to be that ruler of an entire world. He’ll have to defeat a force of nature who revealed himself as also Oni. Kuma is a giant white bear, and how that came to be won’t be revealed until the next issue, or later, but I’m intrigued. Usually, these animals from nature are neutral to the matters of mice and men in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.
The Sons of Garmadon remain evil, and they’ve rebranded themselves as The Red Crows. As for what they want with their former leader, it’s uncertain.
The story by Tri Vuong respects everything we already know of this fallen one, and what I’m sensing is that he’s no longer truly evil. That blood curse may well have been expunged many years ago since he went back to the Underworld. But when he was summoned back to the mortal realm, only part of Garmadon returned, and if I’m to understand how spiritually works in this series, the shadow self is where those negative impulses live. The angel part (reasoning) is still in the realm of the departed.
Without the other, he’s not complete. The main series often explored this schism as yin and yang. Between Garmadon and Wu, seasons one to ten showed them often serving opposite sides than together. But it all changed when the Oni arrived. It forced The Dark Lord to decide and perhaps open his heart again. As a result, Garmadon even revealed to Harumi that only half of him (The Destructor) was brought back and he’ll need to be whole if they’re to defeat this greater evil (“Two Lies One Truth”).
There are three issues remaining to show Garmadon in the end, and I hope that is where Vuong’s story will go. Technically, the pitch has to be approved by this franchise’s creators, but I’m hopeful we will see him return as a more restored man than Oni.
I’m only sad this series can’t run for longer. I doubt Lloyd and the gang will get their own miniseries, but to see Nya get her own story won’t be surprising. The next season is coming soon. The next toy sets are due for release over the Summer, and as for the series, it’s headed for streaming on YouTube. In Canada, WildBrain will broadcast it, but no dates have been set.
For now, fans can enjoy this comic book and the children’s novel series featuring Wu and Garmadon as the leads, which are now at its third volume.
5 Stars out of 5