Like “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” which were a great inlay and work point for Lucasfilm to learn, using a young Jack Sparrow to engage a younger and new audience can work quite well in the new age when Johnny Depp is seemingly out of the role (despite the fact that he could play him until he is 80). While this reviewer will give a perspective on the manga, the reality is that this idea could easily be one of the new series on the Disney+ service. Going from that point, the story in “Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Adventures Of Jack Sparrow” [Rob Kidd & Kabocha/Disney Manga & TokyoPop/352pgs] is as good if not more linear than what the films were trying to do. Each major story always revolves around an artifact that will seemingly get Jack ahead and yet it is his basic good human nature that always allows him to just get by. This time is it is the Sword Of Cortes and its sheath which can grant three wishes to its possessor that has Jack running around the Caribbean. The story is anchored by Annabella, a bartender girl who lost her mother to a vicious pirate and is on a search to find her again. Jack helps save her when the same vigilante pirates take her hostage. Jack uses her as a distraction against Torrents, a vengeful pirate who seems to hold ungodly power in his quest. Jack, in trying to find a mythic pirate town, outsmarts him only to find a lizard population that seems to want him dead (this part of the story becomes slightly more nonsensical). Granted, upon the escape, the run in with the dark and alluring mermaids makes the journey more dire but ultimately slightly more animated in its perspective. As with some of the movies, the third act gets too visually out of control when it could have remained a bit simpler if it really maintained a presence of mind. That said, it is still very entertaining and keys in with the continuing notion of family which gives it a consistent tone.
By Tim Wassberg