Yes, you read that right: there are LEGO comicbooks now. After launching a media empire and branching out into shoes and fashion, where else was there to go, really? LEGO Ninjago: Garmadon is the first of what will likely be many new books, thanks to an exciting new venture between LEGO and Skybound Entertainment. The first of a five-issue miniseries, LEGO Ninjago: Garmadon spins directly out of the popular Ninjago series about a group of “Spinjitzu warriors” who defend their beloved Ninjago City from evil forces, including their big bad Garmadon.

After a brief recap, readers are dropped into Garmadon’s narrative, already in progress. Set after the events of “LEGO Ninjago’s” 10th season, our story finds Garmadon in a de-powered and conflicted state. After using his considerable powers to actually save Ninjago City, along with his son Lloyd and the other Spinjitzu warriors, the former(?) villain is struggling to choose his path: Will he continue to fight for good or go back to his treacherous ways? His struggle is less Jekyll and Hyde–more Gollum and Sméagol–as Garmadon faces off with a mysterious specter who looks surprisingly like our protagonist. What follows is a sequence of events that bring him ever closer to the light side before the promise of power threatens to bring him back to his wicked ways.

As a tie-in to the Ninjago franchise, this debut issue is basically perfect. Clocking in at 30 pages, there’s enough action, adventure, and humor to appeal to even casual fans, while fitting seamlessly into the continuity of the TV series. Writer/artist Tri Vuong truly is a master builder, expanding upon the foundation of the Ninjago TV series and adding new layers to one of its most complex characters. And yes, it’s possible for a LEGO villain to be complex–Garmadon is essentially a samurai Darth Vader with four arms and a sense of humor. Vuong nails the voice of the character so well I could hear Justin Theroux delivering every line of dialogue (for the uninitiated, Theroux voiced the character in the criminally underrated The LEGO Ninjago Movie).

Not every piece comes together perfectly, however. While Vuong’s art matches the tone of the story and his depiction of Garmadon is spot-on, the LEGO aesthetic isn’t used throughout. The characters look and move like mini-figs but apart from the occasional weapon or prop, nearly everything is drawn in a more traditional style. It would have been nice to see more of the set pieces actually look as though they were built from pieces of a LEGO set. Additionally, while the recap is helpful, those who aren’t devout fans of the LEGO Ninjago television series may find themselves a tad overwhelmed and needing to review a wiki for more info.

LEGO Ninjago: Garmadon #1













  • Writer: Tri Vuong
  • Artist: Tri Vuong
  • Colorist: Annalisa Leoni
  • Letterer: Rus Wooton
  • Editor: Sean Mackiewicz

Credits (cont)

  • Publisher: Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment
Cameron Kieffer
Cameron Kieffer wears many hats. He is a freelance writer and artist, creator of the webcomic "Geek Theory" and is co-host of the Nerd Dump podcast. He lives in Topeka with his wife and increasingly growing comic book collection.

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