It might sound like a tenuous reach, but watching this episode made me think of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Definitely not in the way you’d think, though…
See, when I was first getting into comics, I read a ton of reprint back issues collecting Jim Starlin’s legendary WARLOCK SAGA. That run was one of many important threads that was woven into the movie’s tapestry (Starlin created Thanos, Gamora, Drax and the Infinity Gems), but the key difference was that it was far weirder than what ended up on screen. If you think a machinegun-packing raccoon is strange, try to wrap your head around a grim, new age-y and extremely philosophical space opera about a failed clone messiah who battles his evil future self and ultimately defeats him by entering an abstract crossroads and literally wiping out all the possibilities of his life.
I totally understand why the studio went for a much simpler and more fanciful approach in the movie (that’s how you open to $95 million). However, I couldn’t help but wonder if there could be a successful middle ground, and I think JOJO’s really embodies that at a lot of points.
No, it's not a space opera but, especially in this episode, where most of the action hinges on Kakyoin and Polnareff’s (far more interesting looking) Stands, there are definitely some parallels of strangeness. Jojo #2 holding a television séance to watch these demon creatures rote a shape-shifting, seemingly-omniscient crab out of his brain is certainly as much of a ‘literal abstraction’ as Warlock’s crossroads. However, there’s definitely a similar tongue-in-cheek feel to it, and it does its own ongoing homage to pop music, too (much like GotG’s ‘Awesome Mix’).
I guess I’m just always trying to get a sense of how much weirdness and headiness certain audiences are able to handle. And I get a charge out of how JOJO’s is able to not only get away with all that, but also have so much fun with it.